If you surf and work on your computer as much as I do, you will probably be already making use of these little shortcuts that make use of the Ctrl button on your keyboard with a letter of the alphabet to make life so much easier. If you don't do so it is probably because you find them too confusing to remember (and I can't blame you because they can be quite confusing!) For this reason I have thought up a few mnemonic aids to help you remember what letter to use with the Ctrl button for a particular function. But don't just read them. Try them out for yourself!
And please bear in mind that certain functions might not work in some browsers. The incompatibility among browsers is a big headache in the evolution of internet! But all these shortcuts have been tested and found to work in my version of Firefox.
First the obvious ones, which are: Ctrl C to Copy what you have highlighted, Ctrl F to Find a word in a page and Ctrl P when you want to Print a page (it will open up the Printer options).
Some people might also want to make use of the following obvious shortcuts:
Ctrl T will open a new Tab if you don't want to close your present page while Ctrl N will open a New window.
Ctrl L will take the cursor straight to the url box where you can type in the Link (address) of a website that you want to visit
Ctrl H will display the History of the web pages that you have visited earlier
Ctrl S will open up the default folder if you want to Save the page you are on. This shortcut can save your life if, for some unknown reason and without warning, your mouse suddenly goes dead. If it is an old file it will be saved under the same name otherwise you will be asked to type the file name.
Now to the less obvious shortcuts using the Ctrl button and a letter. Hopefully my personal mnemonic aids below will help you not to confuse them:
1. If you want to Copy it's Ctrl C (C for Copy). Ok, this is quite straightforward. But if you want to paste it then you have to use Ctrl V (Why V? Simply because P has been reserved for another shortcut - Print - remember?) So how are you going to remember that V is the letter to use when you want to paste something? Well, I have a little mnemonic for you. As both functions (Copy then Paste) are usually used together, just think of your CV (curriculum vitae), with C coming before V! If you can remember this you will never forget that Ctrl V is used after Ctrl C. In fact this CV mnemonic has come to my aid a number of times when I was not able to Copy a text because the right-click was disabled.
2. If you want to cut/delete the highlighted text to paste it somewhere else, it's Ctrl X (think of X as a pair of scissors or when you put X to strike out a word - when you are writing with a pen, that is.) Or even X-films (why not?) so long as it helps you to remember that it is for the Cut function!
3. If you want to add a web page to your Favourites it's Ctrl D (and not F as it has been used for another shortcut). You can remember this by thinking of D as standing for Darling. After all if someone is your Darling he's your Favourite, so Ctrl D is for Favourites!
4. If you want to undo an action it's Ctrl Z (after Z we're back to A, right?) So this will help you to remember that Z is used to go back to an earlier state. This has also been used by me a few times when something I thought I had copied was not and so I quickly used Ctrl Z to save me the trouble of deleting the (usually) long text that had remained in the clipboard and so was wrongly pasted.
If you are working on a Word document the following 3 shortcuts could come in very handy indeed.
Besides they are so easy to remember!
To put a word or a section in bold, highlight it then press Ctrl B (B for Bold)
To put a word or a section in italic, highlight it then press Ctrl I (I for Italic)
To underline a word or a section, highlight it then press Ctrl U (U for Underline)
There is also a shortcut to select ALL the text on a page (you might want to delete it or paste it somewhere else) and that is Ctrl A (A for All)
Well these are the little tricks that help me not to mix up my shortcuts using the Ctrl button and a letter. Hope they will help you to remember too! In the long run they will save you a sizeable amount of time!
Ctrl + to enlarge (easy, plus means more!)
Ctrl - to reduce (easy, minus means less!)
One very useful function that the Ctrl button offers, but not with a letter this time, is when you find that the print in a web page is too small and you want to make it bigger or when the whole web page cannot be seen on the screen (lengthwise that is) and you want to reduce it. For the zooming function you first press the Ctrl button, then the plus (+) button on the NumPad (screenshot on right). And when the whole web page is beyond your ken do the opposite in order to reduce it, that is Ctrl - to downsize everything. Just try it out now and see if it works with your browser.
Oh, by the way, if you should want to put it back to the normal size for the next person just press Ctrl 0 (zero).
Ctrl Enter for URLs
One of the very first shortcuts I used ages ago with the Ctrl button was when I wanted to avoid typing the http:// and the .com parts of a website address. For example instead of typing http://pgoh13.com or even worse http://www.pgoh13.com all I had to do was to type pgoh13 in the address box then press the Ctrl button followed by the Enter button and the page would appear. This shortcut still works today in most browsers.