Technology Shortcuts Every Teacher Should Know

With busy schedules, keyboard shortcuts can save a lot of time and frustration.  Committing a few of your favorites to memory is worth the effort, and I have also created an image that you can print so that these tricks can be posted beside your computer – when needed.

Shortcuts often require you to hold down one or more modifier keys while pressing another key. For example, to use the print shortcut, Command-P (print), hold down Command and press P, and then release both keys. Here is a list of the modifier keys:

  • Command ⌘
  • Shift ⇧
  • Option/alt ⌥
  • Control ⌃
  • Caps Lock ⇪
  • Function fn
Here are my favorite shortcuts:  
  • Command  Option  ESC – Force Quit
  • Command  Q – Quit active application
  • Command  W – Close active window
  • Command  H – Hides active window
  • Command  M – Minimizes active window (This is a favorite as I can maximize when needed)
  • Command  N – Opens new doc or Internet page
  • Command  P – Print active screen or doc
  • Command  S – Saves active doc or tab
  • Command  Z – Undo previous command (If you delete something by accident this can be a lifesaver)
  • Command  Y – Redo previous command
  • Command  A – Selects whole document or contents of screen
  • Command  I – Italicizes text in docs
  • Command  U – Underlines text in docs
  • Command  B – Bolds text in docs
  • Command  L – Left justifies text
  • Command  R – Right justifies text
  • Command  E – Centers text
  • Option  Delete – Deletes word left of cursor
  • Command  1 – Single line spacing bt. sentences
  • Command  2 – Double line spacing bt. sentences
  • Command  5 – 1.5 line spacing bt. sentences
  • Command  F – Opens find window to locate words or quote in document or website (This is fabulous when searching for a quote or word in a PDF, Doc or web page)
  • Command  E – Uses the selection for a Find (Great to use with Command F)
  • Command  D –  Bookmark website
  • Command  Tab –  Toggles between open websites
  • Command  T – Opens new tab in web browser
  • Command  + –  Zoom In (Plus sign is above the = sign)
  • Command  – –  Zoom out (Minus sign is next to the number 0)
  • Command  + Shift  + 3 – Capture the screen to a file
  • Command  +  Key + 4 – Capture a selection to a file (Great for copying an image from the computer)
  • Command  X – Cuts selection and stores in Clipboard
  • Command  C – Copies selection or text to Clipboard (Great for copying text from the internet, so it can then be pasted into a document with Command V)
  • Command  V – Pastes contents of Clipboard in location of the cursor
  • Double Click a Word – Highlight a word
  • Triple Click a Word – Highlight a sentence
  • Click on a file Space Bar – Quick look at the file without opening it.
  • Control Eject – Opens a dialog box so you can sleep, shut down, or restart your computer

Shortcuts on Other Devices I Can’t Live Without:

  1. When working on your iPhone a double space at the end of a sentence will provide a period, a space, and will capitalize your next word.
  2. When taking a selfie, your volume button can also be used to take the picture.
  3. Ask Siri to open your apps, so that you don’t have to search for them on your device.
  4. On Google, when you type Define before a word, Google will provide a definition of the word.
  5. On Google, if you type in your flight number, you will get the gate, airline and time.
  6. On your phone’s camera, half press the shutter button to focus.  Once you have done that, if you push down, it will avoid any lag.
  7. Any side button on your phone will stop it from ringing.
  8. With popup menus – to fill in the state, type the first letter multiple times to scroll through the options.

To get a free, crisp copy of this shortcut list, click on the image to download a free PDF

I hope you find these tricks helpful!

Dr. Erica Warren is the author, illustrator and publisher of multisensory educational materials at Good Sensory Learning and Dyslexia Materials.  She is also the director of Learning to Learn, in Ossining, NY.  To learn more about her products and services, you can go to &  
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