Basic Computing

Control keys: Uses and commands in computing

Knowing how to use the keyboard optimizes our tasks and reduces time in front of the computer. Here you will learn how to use the control keys efficiently. control keys on keyboard

Control keys control keys on keyboard

control keys on keyboard
keyboard keys and their functions

The keyboard is one of the main parts of the computer. It constitutes an essential peripheral element for the interaction between man and computer.

The set of keys that make it up are connected to the microprocessor. It has five types of keys: writing, function, control, navigation and numeric. In turn, it has two operating modes: text input mode and command mode.

The control keys facilitate on-screen editing and, by using the cursors, allow scrolling through the screen. The most frequent are: Ctrl, Alt, Esc and the one of the Windows logo.

They are keys that by themselves have no function, as they are unable to perform any action if they are not combined with another key. Among the main editing elements that are carried out through them are: Start, end, insert, copy, paste, delete, etc.

Despite the existence of command mode, most people use the keyboard only for typing. If we all knew that it is through the commands that we indicate to the operating system the need to execute a specific task, its popularity would increase.

Where are the control keys?

There are two Ctrl keys and two Alt keys on a keyboard, all located at the bottom of the keyboard. For convenience, they are located on both sides of the keyboard. Windows icons are usually found between the Ctrl and Alt keys.

Advantages of use control keys on keyboard

There are many control key combinations that we can perform and here are some advantages:

  • They allow the accomplishment of simultaneous tasks.
  • They shorten the time to complete tasks.
  • If it is about text editing, it is done more precisely.
  • They optimize frequent use of the computer.
  • Increase efficiency and productivity.

Commands for document editing

control keys on keyboard
keyboard keys and their functions

They are combinations between the control keys and the typing keys and are as follows:

  • Ctrl + C: It is used to copy texts or files after their selection. It works the same as the Ctrl + Insert command.
  • Ctrl + V: Used to paste texts or files that have previously been selected for copying. With the command Shift + Insert you get the same result.
  • Ctrl + X: Allows you to copy a text or file, and delete it automatically. Both will continue to be available on the clipboard.
  • Ctrl + Z: Used to undo any changes that have been made previously. It can be used consecutively until several actions are eliminated.
  • Ctrl + Y: Allows you to redo one, or several actions, after having used the Ctrl + Z command.
  • Ctrl + B: Used to search for a word or part of a text within a document.
  • Ctrl + U: Allows you to underline a selected text.
  • Ctrl + I: Used to apply italics to selected text.
  • Ctrl + E: Used to select all the text in a document.
  • Ctrl + N: Used to highlight selected text in bold.
  • Ctrl + S: Used to underline a selected text.
  • Ctrl + K: When selecting a text, it allows to place it in italics.
  • Ctrl + T: Used to center the selected text.
  • Ctrl + J: Used to justify the selection of a text.
  • Ctrl + D: Allows you to place the selected text to the right of the document. control keys on keyboard
  • Ctrl + G: Used to save the working document.

Commands for special characters

Sometimes we need to insert special characters as part of the text. Some of the main commands that allow it are:

  • Alt + 160: á
  • Alt + 64: @
  • Alt + 130: é
  • Alt + 161: í
  • Alt + 162: or
  • Alt + 163: ú
  • Alt + 164: ñ
  • Alt + 165: Ñ control keys on keyboard

General keyboard commands control keys on keyboard

To execute this type of command, it is necessary to combine the control keys with each other. At other times, these are combined with the function keys. The main ones are:

  • Ctrl + Esc: Open to the Start screen. A menu item can then be selected by using the arrow keys.
  • Ctrl + Shift + Esc: Used to open the Windows task manager.
  • Alt + Right Arrow: Using this command, you can open a drop-down list box.
  • Alt + Tab: Used to switch to another running program.
  • Alt + Space: Allows you to display the System menu of the main window.
  • Alt + – (dash): Used to display the System menu of the sub window of the multi-document interface.
  • Ctrl + Tab: Allows you to go to the next secondary window of the multiple document interface.
  • Alt + underlined letter of the menu: It is used to open the menu that is displayed.
  • Alt + F4: Used to close the active window.
  • Ctrl + F4: Allows you to close the active window of the multiple document interface.
  • Alt + F6: It is used to switch between several windows of the same program.
  • Ctrl + Windows key + F: Allows you to find a computer within a network.
  • Ctrl + Alt + L: Used to activate lens mode.
  • Ctrl + R: Used to update or refresh the running task.
  • Ctrl + Home: Quickly go to the beginning of the active document.
  • Ctrl + End: It is used to automatically go to the end of the document.

Commands for controlling folders and shortcuts control keys on keyboard

If you want to carry out more specific functions, referring to the general folders and shortcuts of the computer, for this they are:

  • Ctrl + Z: used to undo the last command executed.
  • Ctrl + A: used to select all the elements present in an active window.

Commands for accessibility controls

Basically two commands of this type are used:

  • Left Alt + Left Shift + Num Lock: Allows you to activate and deactivate the mouse keys, through which you can use the numeric keypad to move the mouse cursor.
  • Left Alt + Left Shift + Print Screen: Used to turn high contrast on and off.

By using the control keys, you can:

  • Esc: Used to cancel an action.
  • Alt + underlined letter of the dialog box item: Goes to the selected item.

Commands for Windows

One of the types of control keys is the one containing the Windows logo. Some of the commands that include it:

  • Windows key + Start: Used to clear the desktop. In such a way, that only the current work window remains
  • Windows key + Space: Allows you to see the desktop of the computer, without finding another item.
  • Windows key + P: Used to view options for monitors.
  • Windows key + D: Used to go to the desktop, minimizing all open windows and applications.
  • Windows key + I: Allows you to go directly to the configuration panel, including reaching the button to turn off the computer.
  • Windows key + X: Used to open the contextual menu, which includes power management, device management, among other very useful options.
  • Windows key + F1: Allows access to Windows technical help.
  • Windows key + PrintScrn: Used to take a screenshot in the normal way, but it saves it in PNG format automatically.
  • Windows key + C: Used to open the toolbar that contains shortcuts to the main Windows functions.
  • Windows key + Tab: Allows the activation of the Flip 3D.
  • Windows key + Ctrl + Tab: Used to activate the persistent 3D Flip mode.
  • Windows Key + Down Arrow: Used to minimize a window.
  • Windows Key + Up Arrow: Maximize the size of the window.
  • Windows Key + Left Arrow: Used to make a window occupy only half of the screen. It works the same with Windows key + right arrow.
  • Shif + Windows Key + Right Arrow: Used to move the monitor window to the right.
  • Shif + Windows Key + Left Arrow: Used to move the monitor window to the left.

Commands for navigating in Google Chrome

These types of commands facilitate the execution of tasks within the Google Chrome browser.

  • Ctrl + F: Used to search in the web browser.
  • Ctrl + N: Open a new window.
  • Ctrl + T: Used to open a new tab.
  • Ctrl + Shift + N: Used to open a new window, but in incognito mode.
  • Ctrl + Shift + T: Used to reopen a tab that had been closed. Works for up to 10 tabs.
  • Ctrl + 1 to Ctrl 8: Allows you to go to the corresponding tab with the selected number, according to its location in the tab bar.
  • Ctrl + 9: Used to go directly to the tab that occupies the last position.
  • Ctrl + Tab: Allows you to advance to the next tab. It works the same with Ctrl + Page Up.
  • Ctrl + Shift + Tab: Used to move to the previous tab. With Ctrl + Page Up you get the same result.
  • Alt + F4: Close the current window. Ctrl + Shift + W is also used.
  • Ctrl + W: Used to close the current tab. It works the same with Ctrl + F4.
  • Ctrl + O + select a file: Used to open a file from your computer.
  • Ctrl + click on a link: It is used to open the selected link in a new tab, in the background.
  • Ctrl + Shift + click on a link: Used to open the selected link in a new tab and go directly to that tab.
  • Alt + Home: Open the home page in the current window.
  • Alt + F: Used to open the main menu. With this command Alt + E you get the same result.
  • Ctrl + Shift + B: Allows you to switch between different markers on the bar.
  • Ctrl + H: Used to open the history page.
  • Ctrl + J: Used to open the download page.
  • Ctrl + Shift + Esc: Open the task manager.
  • Shift + Alt + T: Select the first tool on the browser toolbar.
  • Ctrl + Shift + J: Used to open the developer tools.
  • Ctrl + Shift + Del: Open the dialog box to delete the navigation data.
  • Ctrl + Shift + M: Used to change user.

Commands for direct access to the address bar

Here, more useful commands to navigate in Windows.

  • Ctrl + Enter: Used to open the URL as a consequence of adding and an entry to the address bar.
  • Ctrl + L: used to highlight the selected URL. It works the same with Alt + D.
  • Ctrl + K: Followed by a question mark, used to search through the default search engine. Ctrl + E gives the same result.
  • Ctrl + left arrow: Go to the previous keyword.
  • Ctrl + right arrow Used to go to the next key term.
  • Ctrl + Backspace: Used to delete the term located before the cursor.

Commands for websites

Here are the main commands used in website management.

  • Ctrl + P: Used to print the current page.
  • Ctrl + S: Used to save the current page.
  • Ctrl + R: Used to reload the current page.
  • Esc: Used to stop page loading.
  • Ctrl + F: Go to the search bar.
  • Ctrl + F5: Reload current page, regardless of cached content.
  • Alt + click on a link: Used to download the destination of the link.
  • Ctrl + D: Used to save the current page within your favorite web pages.
  • Ctrl + Shift + D: It is used to save as bookmarks, in a new folder, all the pages that are open.
  • Ctrl + move the mouse up: It is used to increase the zoom of the page.
  • Ctrl + move the mouse down: It is used to decrease the zoom of the page.
  • Ctrl + 0: used to restore the normal size of the page.

In some keyboard models, the configuration is different from the one we have shown in this article. However, this is no reason to be alarmed.

How to redefine the functions of the keys?

To change the configuration of the keys on a keyboard, the procedure is as follows:

  • Download the Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator application, which allows us to create a keyboard or recover a previous configuration.
  • Run and install the application.
  • Once the program is installed, we must go to the File menu and select Load Existing Keyboard> Spanish> Ok.
  • Next, a virtual keyboard appears. On it we must choose the key that we want to configure.
  • When the character box opens, we select All to access the available options. We choose the option of our preference and press Ok.
  • Later, we go to the Project menu and click on Test Keyboatd Layout. This shows us how the keyboard works.
  • Then, we return to the Project menu, within it we select Properties. In the Name field, we write Keyboard 1, and in the Description field, we put Spanish-Custom Keyboard. We press Ok.
  • Finally, we select Build DLL and Setup Package, which will allow the program to create the libraries and files required for the installation of the new keyboard in the computer’s operating system.

Final Recommendations

Due to the purpose and benefits of using control key commands , it is important to mention a few things:

  • The keyboard should be centered in front of us.
  • We must place the keyboard at the level of the elbows, with the forearms placed comfortably on the sides.
  • Hands and wrists should be elevated above the keyboard while typing.
  • It is preferable that we place our palms or wrists on a surface while we are writing.
  • While writing, we must try to keep our wrists straight and not press hard on the keys

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