Tell Us Your Favourite Keyboard Shortcut And Win A Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Desktop

Tell Us Your Favourite Keyboard Shortcut And Win A Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Desktop
To sign up for our daily newsletter covering the latest news, hacks and reviews, head HERE. For a running feed of all our stories, follow us on Twitter HERE. Or you can bookmark the Lifehacker Australia homepage to visit whenever you need a fix.

At Lifehacker we love keyboard shortcuts. They make us more productive and they give us a warm feeling inside. Tell us about your most-used keyboard shortcut and you could win one of two Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Desktops.

Valued at $129.95, the Sculpt Ergonomic Desktop offers an advanced ergonomic design, with the keyboard curved to match your fingertips and a mouse designed for maximum wrist comfort. (Yes, even we’ll admit there are times you need a mouse.)

To win one of these great prizes, simply tell us in the comments below what your favourite keyboard shortcut is and why. We’ll pick the two most impressive and creative answers as winners.

The competition runs until midday on Monday 21 October. Full terms and conditions here. Get typing!


    • Exactly, Windows + D is the number one short cut I use, I work with XP, 7 and 8. Within XP and 7 it’s great as time saver when supporting or simply using the pc to clear the screen and find what you need. When 8 is configured in a way similar to XP, with control panel, explorer, apps, etc on the desktop, windows + D is just bliss. Those tiles just waste time and space, I avoid them as best I can.

  • ALT, F, S

    There was a time when CTRL+S wasn’t standard, and this was my ultimate universal save shortcut

  • Ctrl-Shift-B – REBUILD, baby! Considering how much time I spend writing code with my hands glued to the keyboard, moving off to use the mouse and painfully clicking through menus to rebuild/recompile is just too much work 😀

    • I hear ya Gaz, save them ears from pain! I also love a bit of Ctrl+Shift+T action, but I find it alleviates pain in the old ticker!

  • My most used shortcuts would be Ctrl + C/V/Z (Probably the same as most people)

    But my fav would have to be Ctrl + Shift + Esc
    bypassing the options to open the task manager

  • I’m a serious excel user so I love keyboard stuffs.

    Alt+= is auto sum
    Shift+space select row
    Ctrl+space select col
    Ctrl+ +/- is insert and remove

    Plus many more I use all day, and when that doesn’t cover it I’m a fan of my shortcuts like sort and pivot table.

  • Most used would have to be Windows + L to lock the PC
    bust most useful would be Ctrl+Shift+Escape to bring up task manager

  • Windows Key + [Left|Right|Up|Down]. Simply the best and fastest way of moving windows and recovering off screen windows

  • I’d have to say I use Windows Key + L quite a lot- Locks the computer when i step away from the computer without having to go to the start menu.

  • Windows Key + R to bring up the Run dialogue. It may not be displayed on the start menu by default anymore, but it’s still there under the hood.
    My second favourite is telling people ALT-F4 will speed up their computer; which is kind of true.

  • Ctrl + Alt + Shift + S in Photoshop to Save for Web & Devices. Every time (every 10 minutes) i want to save my Photoshop file as a JPEG i need to smash this doozy of a combo.

  • Ctrl+Shift+R Microsoft outlook reply all, used to
    A: Reply to all, very useful
    B: Re-send an email to everyone you sent it to the first time. really good for chasing people for information/updates

  • Windows Key + [Left|Right|Up|Down]. Simply the best and fastest way of moving windows and recovering off screen windows

  • Either of the following “Oh shit, the Boss is coming” shortcuts

    Alt + Tab or Windows + D

    Quickly change from reading Lifehacker back to the work I should be doing

  • The quickest way to shutdown in Windows 8. Windows Key + D to head straight to the desktop, then ALT-F4 to bring up shutdown menu.

  • Chrome:
    Open new Chrome window in incognito mode.

    to Like a photo in a post. I like the oxymoron of Facebook productivity.

    Most used Windows shortcut, Alt+F4 to quit a program. Related and useful for trolling; Ctrl+W to close the active browser window.

  • For me, it’d have to be Control + Shift + Left or right, to select entire words, or Control + Left or Right to jump a word. It took me a while to get use to using the keyboard to navigate large sections of text efficiently, but once I learned it, I could never look back. It also makes renaming files super easy as well!

  • Am I the only person who uses F2 to rename a file? It’s so useful! Far better than right-click, or slow double click. Saves lots of time, and you never have to leave the keyboard.

    • +1 for F2, I use it a lot in excel as well for editing cells without having to type over or use the mouse!

  • CTRL + ALT + DEL

    Ever since it was implemented it has allowed me to log in, log out, end sticky processes, start processes, find spyware, gloat to friends with how much RAM i’ve got. It’s the Swiss Army knife of Windows. Considering it was a “mistake” according to B.Gates, worked pretty well for me.

  • Win+M – gotta love “Minimize all”. Great for when the boss is coming… I mean when you have to access that icon on your desktop *cough*.

  • CTRL + ALT + L

    Reformat Code. There is nothing I hate more than messy code! This one resides in a specific program, but it is one that I use after writing a chunk of code. Basically it makes the code more readable to others. I very rarely use the mouse since the wireless broke, as the cord gets tangled around the keyboard, so I’ve adapted many other shortcuts.

  • F6 in web browser to enter the URL bar and highlight all text ready for you to type replacement why it’s good – because i’m too damn lazy to move my hand off my KB to my mouse then move it 3-4 CM up to move the mouse pointer there and highlight. They need to call these KBSC… Keyboard Shortcuts is too much to type

  • F2. Rename that file with 1 key press. It’s like the shortcuts shortcut. No CTRL, Shift etc. 1 button; press it and get on with it. Not like this post!

  • I tend to find myself using explorer quite often thus:
    Windows key + E

    After that

    CTRL + C/V/Z
    Windows Key + R

  • I love having a bunch of windows open and holding Windows key + Tab. WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

  • Windows Left/Right/Up/Down. In this age of widescreen monitors, arranging windows quickly is a godsend.

  • Windows+Left/Right/Up/Down on windows 8.

    Best shortcuts to maximise screeen real estate and productivity at work

  • Windows Key + Shift + [Left|Right|Up|Down] – I mainly use it for moving the window between screens by pressing left and right.

  • WinKey + Break for System Properties.

    KB+Mouse combination:
    Shift and Right Click for Open Command Prompt Here / Copy Filename as Path (no more need for a registry hack or power toy installation).


  • While using a secondary monitor the following is helpful when you want to tile windows to the middle edges:
    WinKey + ←, → (as well as ↑ and ↓ add further functionality)

    A favourite of mine and little known in MS Outlook and some other email clients is:
    From in the To: field: Ctrl + K will auto correct/match a name with it’s address book contact. Very handy for Exchange users. ie. Type ‘Joe B’ and press Ctrl+K will detect ‘Joe Bloggs’ (If there is one!). If there is more than one ‘Joe B’ it will give you a list. Magic when you’re unsure of how to spell someone’s name.

    Finally, we all know ‘Shift + →‘ lets us multiple select letters, but make that ‘Ctrl+Shirt+→‘ and it’ll select WORDs at a time rather than characters. Furthermore ‘Ctrl+Shirt+↓‘ will select entire PARAGRAPHS at a time. Woah, life hacked!

    Its Tricky!

  • Alt+F4

    Alt+Space > M > Arrow Keys (to move window, more for windows XP where it was sometimes nearly impossible to re position a window because it was partially off screen)

  • on the mac, i love using the quarter volume shortcut. Option + Shift + Volume up/down. I find that i can achieve the optimum volume this way 🙂

  • My favourite keyboard shortcut is the windows key to bring up the start screen in windows 8. I can take a peek at all the tiles without opening any app and get back to where I was working on.

  • Windows + L
    After a spate of office practical jokes, locking my computer has become such a habit I now do it at home – much to the amusement of my husband!

  • Ctrl + Alt + Delete

    When your PC game has frozen and there’s nothing you can do about it, Ctrl + Alt + Delete will be there. When your program isn’t working and it can’t be fixed and has to be closed, Ctrl + Alt + Delete will be there. When your mouse isn’t moving or clicking on the screen and you can’t open a link to a kitten being cute for no reason at all, Ctrl + Alt + Delete will. be. there. When your computer can’t shut down from the start button or the button on your tower, who is the one that will be there? Ctrl + Alt + Delete.

  • In your browser: CTRL + TAB (or the inverse CTRL + SHIFT + TAB)

    These two toggle through your open browser tabs, forward and backwards respectively.

    When browsing this keeps your left hand on the keyboard and your right hand on the mouse. It also has your hand setup comfortably to quickly use other useful shortcuts such as CTRL + C/X/V.

    It’s a very comfortable and ergonomic way to casually browse the web.

  • SHIFT + DEL(iver), Shift-deliver allows me to send my unwanted emails and files into a magical void. At no cost, it is the most efficient way to purge my clutter.

    I like to believe that somewhere out there, there is a man receiving all my deliveries trying to piece together my life.

  • Random Scrubs shortcut.

    Not a standard shortcut but a few years I did have a Logitech keyboard that had a function button which I programmed to pick a random episodes of Scrubs and play it full screen on my second monitor.

    Perfect button for accompanying brainless work tasks. I miss that keyboard…

  • At work, we still operate on Windows XP, so the newer keyboard shortcuts don’t work. However, one of my absolute favourites for XP is still “Windows + L” – to instantly lock a computer. Great for security issues, visitors and quick exits from the desk.

    At home (on Windows 8), I use three screens, which is a great productivity enhancer. My favourite shortcut, “Windows + (Left) or (Right)” snaps windows to half-screen size, and cycles windows through multiple monitors (easier than dragging a window all the way across), which helps greatly with window placement (and forcing small or awkward-sized windows into a standard size and placement). It also helps with making windowed games play nice with internet browsers on a big monitor!

  • Two of them are handy for people with bad eyesight like me:
    Enable high-contrast mode: Alt with Left Shift and Print Screen
    Zoom in or out: CTRL with + and CTRL with -, CTRL with the mouse scrollwheel up/down or CTRL with trackpad two finger scrolling. It works in all browsers and document editors that I have tried.

  • Ctrl+Alt+Shift+E in Photoshop to Duplicate all layers and merge them into one. It’s great for a faux non-destructive edit and those times you need to do a high-pass sharpen.

  • WinKey + P is excellent for presentations. You can choose the option to enable, modify or configure your screens without going through the very finicky traditional method.

  • Windows + E = Windows Explorer

    Speeds up my windows exploring experience by a lot!

    and I’ve just learnt a bunch of new ones after reading all the above posts, so it may not be my favourite soon

  • For me its CTRL + S,C,V and CTRL + Alt + Delete on XP for task manager. Also ALT + Tab is also a favourite

  • ctrl + v

    One of the less tech savvy guys I work with remembers it by “Ctrl + Vomit”… pretty accurate for some of the rubbish that gets copied and pasted.

  • F5 to refresh
    Working as a web designer since the beginning of the web, this is a shortcut I have used, and recommended over the phone to worried clients, millions of times….

  • ctrl-y : redo

    Comes in handy when to quickly redo a change that you have undone, but also in SAP it allows you to select multiple items which otherwise would take you forever…

  • “Win + L”, to keep snoopy/sneaky work colleagues from high-jacking my email to send out silly derogatory emails to our group email address (the email game… oh so fun until someone pokes an eye out!).

    “I like turdles!”

  • alt + space to bring up Launchy.

    or for an actual windows shortcut win + e for file navigation or win + r

    I like to access/launch things as quickly as possible so often end up typing the application name to run or the file path.

  • Apart from any macros I’ve created, my most used would definitely be good ol’ Ctrl + C
    You have no idea how useful this little guy can be until you work in IT, especially when accessing remote boxes!
    The clipboard is my saviour!

  • Ctrl+Alt + arrow keys was always a favourite around the office. This would assist in teaching people to remember to lock the screen.

  • For jokes:

    ctrl + alt + arrow (up, left, right, down)

    A lot of computers have these screen orientation keys enabled by default. If your work standard computers have them enabled it can be quite funny watching people work with their heads tilted left or watch while they physically tilt their monitors to try to figure it out.

    For practical day to day:

    ctrl + shift + esc

    Brings up the task manager in windows so I can see what is going on. Then I can kill any rogue applications.

  • Win+X on a Windows 7 laptop to bring up the mobility center to adjust brightness, enable/disable wi-fi, etc. And on Windows 8 it’s even better, bringing me a menu with the mobility center as an option as well as programs and features, device managager and many more. Especially if you remember the shorcut keys for the menu.
    Win+X, A is a great help when you need an admin command prompt. Or Win+X, V for the event viewer when you need to debug a particular app. I generally use Ctrl+Shift+Esc for the task manager, but Win+X, T does the job almost as well.
    Seriously, Win+X is where it’s at in Windows 8.

    That’s why I want that mouse. With a windows key on the mouse I wouldn’t even have to move my fingers from the home keys.

  • Win8’s Win + X for a small but useful multitude of system tools in a menu including Admin Command Prompt and Device Manager.

  • As an accountant with limited creative capacity, I stare at spreadsheets for mindless hours on end. The only saving grace which adds any excitement (don’t judge me) to my day is using Excel shortcuts. While there are plenty of short cuts going around, my favourite is:

    Alt + H + K

    This puts the punctuation into big numbers so they can be easily read. See how hard these numbers are to distinguish otherwise? 10000000.00 100000000.00.


    I’m a ubuntu user, and this allows me to swap between workspaces. Effectively giving me 3 extra pairs of monitors for positioning windows around my screens.

  • ctrl + (as in the “+” key on the number pad)

    Used to resize columns in Windows Explorer to just the right size.

    Use it all the time.

  • Windows Key + Pause/Break

    A rarely known one but it’s my go to shortcut to getting to a lot of stuff when I’m troubleshooting someone else’s PC. Immediately getting the CPU and memory information, architecture and activation status of the PC. 🙂

  • I think my most used shortcut would be Windows+E – I’m forever browsing for files.
    Then there’s Windows+R usually followed by ‘cmd’ or ‘calc’ (I’ve only recently discovered my keyboard has a dedicated calculator button, but I often forget it’s there and fall back on old habits)

  • Win Key + Arrows, to throw windows from screen to screen. Great for quickly moving pages I probably shouldn’t be on at work off my primary screen. Pages like Lifehacker

  • Ctrl+Alt+Delete then Enter
    When I was reading Lifehacker and my boss coming his way to my desk, nothing is faster and safer to get it out of the sight.
    And also when time to go home, you can leave your desk the fastest way. LOL.

  • Windows Key + X: This shortcut brings up a menu of advanced system options, including Windows Control Panel, Command Prompt, Task Manager and File Explorer.

  • alt + tab
    ctrl + tab
    window and tab swapping in chrome… would die of over extending arm syndrome with out these

  • In many Steam games on PC and Linux, Ctrl+space to switch between full screen and windowed mode. You can also press Alt+F4 to instantly share a screenshot to a friend. Handy!

  • Windows + L. Before this simple password requiring workstation locking shortcut which keeps all your programs open for you I would return to my computer to find deleted reports and announcements to the world that I had lost my penis.

  • WINKEY+P as a constant movie and tv show watcher i have a hdmi cable running form my PC to my TV and WINKEY+P helps me easily switch when ever i want

  • If anyone remembers the episode of Homer Simpson using a computer I would say the Any key is the best, followed by Tab…

    Favourite for switching windows
    Alt + Tab / Alt + Shift + Tab

    Completing work and filling in fields (in order)
    Shift + Tab

  • I regularly copy text from various sources. Some sites (Eg news) prevent this but the ancient and original shortcuts for copy/cut/paste – ctrl-insert/shift-delete/shift-insert – work in almost every case, including login Email re-entry) and password fields. I never use Ctrl-C, V, X

  • Save all with

    In many programs it saves all open files; particularly in coding IDEs. Save a ton of pain compiling programs but missing your unsaved changes.

  • My mates and I often go to each other’s places over the weekends to do some gaming, and if there is one key I’m thankful for, it’s Win + L. Trust me, if you forget to lock your computer when you go out for a minute, expect your homepage to have changed, your social feeds modified and your background changed to something which could possibly make your mother faint. Win + L has saved my life, and I’m thankful to Microsoft for making such a great and useful shortcut!

  • I used to have a ridiculous amount of fun back in primary school, using Ctrl + Alt + [Arrow Key] to flip other people’s screens and seeing them looking in confusion at the orientation.

  • Alt + . (as in dot) in the bash/dash shell allows you to cycle through last arguments of previous commands

  • A bit late. But these are the keys I use on a daily basis for basic windows use.

    win+e => Explorer
    win+shift+up=> expand window vertically.
    win+shift+left/right => move window between physical screens
    alt+f4 from desktop focus => bring up shutdown window.
    win+pause/break => bring up system panel.
    win+r => Run command.
    win+d => desktop

    I have no idea why I use these over ctrl+c, ctrl+x, ctrl+v, but they are so embedded in my muscle memory I can’t seem to switch.
    shiftl+del => cut
    shift+ins=> paste
    ctrl+ins=> copy

    favourites in web browser.
    Ctrl+mousewheel=> for zooming in and out on page.
    ctrl+0=> Returning to normal after zooming with mouse.

  • “Windows key + E” to bring up Windows Explorer. I use it all the time at home to browse to my collection of movies and TV shows. I use it all the time at work to browse network and home drives for documents.

  • Ctrl +, Ctrl – and Ctrl 0 (zero) – when viewing web pages to zoom in, zoom out and return to standard zoom level respectively.

  • Windows Key + [Left|Right|Up|Down] – just brilliant for moving things around a multi monitor setup.

  • Win-D has been so useful! Especially being a student, having a research assignment, with millions of tabs spread over several browsers and multiple documents and programs open. When I found this shortcut, it was a godsend! It is particularly useful because I base everything off my desktop. My Desktop has turned into My Documents.

    Some other useful ones that have saved my life on many occasions are F2 (rename), Ctrl-Shift-S (save as) and Ctrl-Shift-T (reopen last closed tab). The latter one in particular has rescued me from all sorts of peril!

  • Hope more than one submission is alright because all of these are invaluable to me!

    Opens up Launchy (Windows) or KRunner (Kubuntu). From there you can run applications, open folders, use it as a simple calculator, and much more. Essentially, it’s a shortcut that opens the door to even more shortcuts!

    I recently started using ShareX and this shortcut takes a window/rectangular screenshot, uploads the image to my Dropbox public folder, and puts a shortened Dropbox link in my clipboard – all in a matter of seconds. Perfect for fast and easy sharing that automates all the intermediary steps. It’s also highly customizable so you can add an annotate step before uploading and change the hosting service, among others.

    Great shortcut for closing tabs in tabbed windows like Internet browsers and text editors. I’ve also set up Autohotkey to send the Alt+F4 command on non-tabbed windows to consolidate almost all the tab/window closing to this single hotkey. The only time I use Alt+F4 is when I want to close an entire tabbed window without closing each tab individually. When the desktop is active, the shortcut also opens up the system power dialog box since it’s sending Alt+F4. Definitely one of the fastest ways to shut down and perform other power actions in Windows 8.

Show more comments

Comments are closed.

Log in to comment on this story!