Keyboard shortcuts are one of those things you never think you need – until your tab button stops working and you can’t press Alt+Tab to switch windows when your roommate walks past your door.
There are hundreds of shortcuts on Windows. Most of us know the basics: the Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V, Alt+Tab, Alt+F4, and Ctrl+A shortcuts are all fairly common knowledge. They’re also very useful. Have you ever tried to copy text by highlighting and right-clicking on it? It’s barbaric.
Today, we want to help make Windows more useful for you. with that in mind, here are 5 surprisingly helpful Windows shortcuts that are weirdly obscure:
Ctrl+Shift+V Will Paste Unformatted Text Into Microsoft Word
Have you ever plagiarized something from the internet, copied it into your Microsoft Word essay, then painstakingly tried to change everything to your normal font and size? Yeah, you don’t need to do that. After copying text as normal, press Ctrl+Shift+V to paste the unformatted version of that text into whatever program you’re using. If you do a lot of work on the internet (or just love to plagiarize), this will become extremely useful.
Windows Key + Pause Will Display the System Properties Dialog Box
This one is certainly obscure, but it’s very useful if you frequently access your computer’s settings menu. Windows Key + Pause will display the system properties box dialog box, letting you control crucial system functions without navigating through the settings menu.
Minimizing your Active Windows with Shortcut Keys
There are a few different ways to minimize active windows on Windows. You can press Windows Key + M to minimize all windows to the taskbar (then press Windows Key + Shift + M to restore them). Alternatively, you can minimize everything but your active window by pressing Windows Key + Home.
Windows Key + Shift + Arrow Keys to Lock Windows to Different Sides of the Screen
I find this one very useful when working on multiple projects: you can use the Windows Keys + Shift + Left/Right Arrow Keys to shift windows to different parts of the screen. You can align your active window to the left, right, top, or bottom parts of the screen. Then, select your other window and align it to the opposite side. Just like that, you have two perfectly opposite windows.
Windows Key + Comma to Peek at the Desktop
This one was first introduced in Windows 8.1, and it’s available in Windows 10 as well. Press Windows Key + Comma to take a quick peek at your desktop. When you release those shortcut keys, you’ll be back to your normal windows.
We’ll end with an easy one: press F2 when you’ve highlighted a file. You’ll immediately be able to rename it. You don’t have to carefully click on the name of the file any more. Just press F2, and you’re done!