HomeTechnologyNews52 Essential Windows Shortcuts and the Ctrl Key for Windows 11

52 Essential Windows Shortcuts and the Ctrl Key for Windows 11

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You have probably seen or used some Windows 11 keyboard shortcuts like Ctrl + C, but have you ever thought about what each letter of the alphabet does? For reference, we will go through the complete list of 26 letters with the Windows key and the Control key.

The Windows Key Shortcut Alphabet

In Windows 11, Microsoft uses shortcuts made with the Windows key as universal shortcuts that work across all apps and control basic Windows functions. Some of these date back to Windows 95, but newer editions of Windows have changed over time. At least seven of these shortcuts are new to Windows 11.

  • Windows + A: Open quick settings
  • Windows + B: Focus on the first icon in the taskbar system tray
  • Windows + C: Open team chat
  • Windows + D: Show (and hide) the desktop
  • Windows + E: Open File Explorer
  • Windows + F: Open feedback hub
  • Windows + G: Open Xbox Game Bar
  • Windows + H: Open voice typing (voice dictation)
  • Windows + me: Open Windows Settings
  • Windows + J: Set the focus to a Windows tip (if it’s on the screen)
  • Windows + K: Open Cast in Quick Settings (for Miracast)
  • Windows + L: Lock your PC
  • Windows + M: Minimize all open windows
  • Windows + N: Open notification center and calendar
  • Windows + OR: Lock screen rotation (orientation)
  • Windows + P: Open the Project menu (to change display modes)
  • Windows + Q: Open the search menu
  • Windows + R: Open the Run dialog (to run commands)
  • Windows + S: Open the search menu (yes, there are currently two of them)
  • Windows + T: Cycle through and focus on taskbar app icons
  • Windows + U: Open the accessibility settings in the Settings app
  • Windows + V: Open clipboard history (if enabled)
  • Windows + W: Open (or close) the Widgets menu
  • Windows + X: Open the power user menu (like right-clicking the Start button)
  • Windows + Y: Switch input between Windows Mixed Reality and desktop
  • Windows + Z: Open Snap Layouts (if a window is open)

RELATED: Why do keyboards have a Windows key? this is where it started

Control key shortcut alphabet

Some of these Control-key-based shortcuts vary by application, but there are some standard conventions that apply across many applications, such as Ctrl + B to make text bold and Ctrl + F to search within an application. Of course, there are also the famous Ctrl + Z / X / C / V shortcuts for undo, cut, copy and paste commands that are universal in almost all applications. In cases where there is no common use for the shortcut, we have listed its use in Microsoft Word (which is also used by many other text editing applications) and in most web browsers.

  • Control + A: Select all
  • Control + B: Bold (Word), Open Bookmarks (Browsers)
  • Control + C: Copy
  • Ctrl+D: Change Font (Word), Create Bookmark (Browsers)
  • Ctrl+E: Center (Word), Focus on address bar (browsers)
  • Control + F: Find
  • Control + G: find next
  • Ctrl+H: Find and Replace (Word), Open History (Browsers)
  • Ctrl + me: Make text italic
  • Control + J: Justify text (Word), Open downloads (browsers)
  • Control + K: insert hyperlink
  • Control + L: Align text to the left
  • Control + M: Bleed more (move right)
  • Ctrl + N: New
  • Ctrl + OR: Open
  • Ctrl+P: Impression
  • Control + R: Align text right (Word), reload page (browsers)
  • Control + S: Save money
  • Control + T: Hanging Indent (Word), New Tab (Browsers)
  • Control + U: Underline text (Word), View source code (browsers)
  • Control + V: Pasta
  • Control + W: Close
  • Control + X: Cut
  • Ctrl + Y: Redo
  • Control + Z: Undo

Those are not all the shortcuts in Windows, far from it. If you add all the special characters and meta keys, you’ll find that there are hundreds of Windows key shortcuts to master. But for now, you can impress all your friends by knowing what each letter key does as a primary Windows shortcut. Have fun!

RELATED: Explanation of the origins of Ctrl + C, Ctrl + V, Ctrl + X and Ctrl + Z

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