Shortcuts are similar to magic...

Ever use a few shortcuts in front of a co-worker and blow their mind? Well, I have and it's awesome! They give you a look like you just melted their mouse because they can now do X process with a simple key stroke instead of a lot of unnecessary clicking.

Honestly, I try to learn at least one shortcut a week in some program. I try to find the most redudant task that I do each week and figure out it's shortcut. The best part is if a shortcut doesn't exist I might even make it myself (see my blog on Doskey :) ). I'm getting to the point of where I wanted to make some AutoIt scripts, but before that I thought I should share the list of shortcuts I currently use.

For the record, this blog will probably be updated the most. I learn so many shortcuts, that I want to make a challenge now to keep this blog up to date. That way I can relish in my efficiency hehe (and of course share it).

I figured I'd organize them by program, and in priority the most used

Windows Shortcuts

alt+tab allows you to switch between whatever programs are open in windows. I could seriously write paragraphs about how much I use this. Skipping all of that, this should be the first shortcut you learn!

shift+right_click user this in a Windows File Explorer. It allows you to open a new command line window in that exact directory. No more cd theDirectory/I/need/to/go/to. I learned this shortcut as an intern, and I share it as often as I can.

windows_key+e will open a windows file explorer. I use this a whole bunch even though I use the commmand line to navigate around. Its a great way to get to the Control Panel quickly.

ctrl+left_arrow and ctrl+right_arrow allow you to shift to the next word. At first this is rather weird to use, but once you get use to it you'll notice your ability to traverse chunks of text horizontially in a quick manner skyrockets. You can actually amplify this one with other standard keys like shift, backspace, delete, and many more. It'll allow you to select whole words, delete whole words, and many more. 90% of this blog was written with this. I literally just typo-ed this part, and used ctrl+backspace to delete mutliple words I messed up.

windows_key+left_arrow and windows_key+right_arrow will take advantage of Windows 7's tiling abilities. This is great for when you want to quickly tile one or two programs vertically. I still use the mouse to this a lot, I'm recently warming up to this shortcut more an more. It just seems to take a little more getting use to it.

widnows_key+up_arrow and windows_key+down_arrow this is similar to the shortcut above. However, this helps with maximizing, minimizing, and the Restore size (the non-maxmized, but still showing view).

alt+F4 this closes the currently opened window. Its an odd keypress, so I use it when I need to close a lot of windows/programs quickly.

Sublime Text Shortcuts

ctrl+t I actually changed the "new_file" command from ctrl+n to the ctrl+t. This was pivital to me because I was so use to that shortcut in browsers. I try to keep all of my shortcuts computer agnostic, but this is a non-negotiable one for me.1 This is what the key looks like for me: { "keys": ["ctrl+t"], "command": "new_file" },.

ctrl+1 and ctrl+2 is a great shortcut for switching rows/columns. I operate in a 2 row setup similar to the one below. This is a great shortcut for switching between the top and bottom sections for when I'm coding. I usually put the code I'm working on on top, and the unit tests on bottom.

ctrl+d and ctrl+k this pair takes a little bit of practice, so do it in an off day. ctrl+d will take the text you have selected and try and find it's match inside the file. This is similar to a ctrl+f. However, it'll give you a cursor to actually start editing it. This way you can make edits to multiple lines of code at once. The hard part is that you might not want to edit every instance. If you want to skip an instance you can use ctrl+k to skip that instance that is selected and move onto the next one.

ctrl+shift+up_arrow and ctrl+shift+down_arrow will move a selected chunk of text up and down rows inside the file its in. If you realize you need to move some code up into an if block you can simply select it and move it with this command.


alt+up_arrow and alt+down_arrow will move up and down between the ConsoleZ rows. I use rows not columns, so if you use columns use the left_arrow and right_arrow.

alt+shift+o opens up a new command window inside of ConsoleZ. This is helpful for having one row running Grunt Watch and one for my Git command line.

ctrl+s opens up the settings windows so you can make quick changes.

Firefox and Chrome Shortcuts

ctrl+tab allows you to move from the current tab you are in to the tab just right of it. If you are on the end it'll loop back around. This is probably the first shortcut in FF I learned. Since I'm a browser-tab freak I use it quite often.

ctrl+t this creates a new tab for you. Since I'm a Firefox user from the way back my typical "hand roll" is: ctrl+t plus tab plus whatever I want to search for. Even though I can search in the address bar now in Firefox; I still use the search bar. I guesss I'm old school like that.

ctrl+0 will jump you to the tab furthest to the left. If you have tabs pinned on the left it'll jump to that one.

ctrl+9 this acts just a tad differently than you might think. It'll jump to the furthest tab to your right of your browser. Even if you have 2 or 9000 tabs open, it'll jump to the furthest tab to the right.

ctrl+l will jump to, and select the URL bar. I was rather annoyed by the key placement on this one because I couldn't do it with just my left hand. However, it grew on me quickly and I use it quite often now.

ctrl+e it actually acts different in Chrome and Firefox. In Chrome it does the same as ctrl+l but it puts a ? mark in the URL. In Firefox it moves you to the Search Box that you have in the top right.

ctrl+w will close the current tab. This is essential for people like me who go on research sprees and have dozens of tabs open at once. A couple presses of this shortcut and I can kill a whole bunch of useless tabs.

ctrl+shift+t will re-open the previously close tab. This is a great way to undo an accidently closed tab.

F12 opens your dev tools. Firebug for Firefox or Chrome Dev tools.

backspace is the same as the back button. It'll take you back one page. However, if you're actively in a text input or textarea it won't work.

Firefox Specific Shortcuts

ctrl+F5 clears your cache and refreshes the browser. Keep in mind, do not hit shift+F5 or else you'll open Firefox dev tools.

Chrome Specific Shortcuts

shift+F5 clears your cache and refreshes the browser.


1 When I say computer "agnostic" I try to learn shortcuts that if I step up to someone's computer that I can use them regardless of their state. However, some shortcuts are just far too important for me to overlook on the 99% case. If that 1% case comes up, I know what the default "work-around" is. :)

tl;dr shortcuts are a quick way to keep your hands on the keyboard and sling more code. Just learn one a week.