Microsoft Office and Windows 7 provide many keyboard shortcuts that can improve your ability to multitask and get things accomplished quickly. Most of these shortcuts will work in previous versions, like Windows XP, Vista and the Microsoft Server Operating Systems as well. Give them a try, and the next time your tech comes by, be sure to show off your new skills.

Windows Key + Arrow Keys

  • These key combinations will manipulate the currently open window.
  • Windows key + Up will Maximize the window
  • Windows Key + Down will either restore down the window or minimize it to the taskbar
  • Windows Key + Left/Right will snap the window to the left or right, or center it in the screen

Ctrl + X/C/V

These shortcuts may be the most useful. Ctrl + X will Cut, Ctrl + C will copy and Ctrl + V will paste the current selection. Once you get used to these shortcuts, any copying and pasting you do will be a breeze.

Ctrl + Z, Ctrl + Y

Ctrl + Z will undo the last action you made, and Ctrl + Y will redo the action that was last undone. Depending on the program being used, you can undo/redo many times.

Alt + Tab/Windows Key + Tab

Holding Alt and then pressing tab will allow you to cycle through your open windows. Windows will remember the last used window so when you want to switch back, just use the shortcut again. This is very helpful when you have a full-screen program that will not close, press Alt + Tab to get back to your desktop, and from there you can right click and close the program window. Holding the Windows Key and the pressing tab will do the same thing, but in a more fun and graphical way.

Alt + F4

This shortcut will allow you to quickly close the currently active window. This can be helpful when a window or program freeze and the red X is not working.

Ctrl + B/U/I

These shortcuts are great when compiling a Word, Excel or PowerPoint document to apply formatting to your text. Ctrl + B will bold the text, Ctrl + U will underline the text and Ctrl + I will make the text italic.

Ctrl + 1/2

In a Word document, these shortcuts will set the line spacing of your document to either single or double spacing respectively.

Windows Key + L

When you need to step away from your computer, this shortcut will lock your computer without having to log out. Keep in mind this is only effective if your user account has a password set up.

Windows Key + D

This shortcut will quickly minimize all windows and show your desktop. If you press it again, all of your windows will be brought back up.


F1 will quickly bring up a help page for the program in use. Try it in Microsoft Office, you will find that the online help can be very informative.

Some of these shortcuts may not be used every day, but most of them can greatly improve productivity by saving you the time of searching through menus or ribbons.