Tech Tip Thursday - Shortcut Keys

Education & Training with Tech Training for You!

I love using shortcut keys! There are certain frequently used commands and tools that are made instantly available to you when you invest just a little time in learning the shortcut key combinations. Today, I'm going to highlight a key that is useful for Windows users and that is the "Windows Key". (NOTE: if you are on Mac, skip to the bottom, I have tips for you also!)

You'll find the Windows Key just to the left of the spacebar.

If you need to browse files on your computer, you need a file explorer window try the shortcut Win+E.

If you want to minimize all your open windows in one shot, to see your desktop, use shortcut Win+D

Finally, snapshots are SO USEFUL. Windows 10 enabled a new shortcut for us, Win+Shift+S and the snapshot rectangle tool will launch. Just drag to box an area of your screen and it will be instantly sent to your clipboard so you can paste it somewhere (e.g. an email or chat message). If you want to add some highlighter or red pen markups, simply click the popup notification that appears as soon as you do the snapshot and you will have access to these tools for marking on your snapshot.

windows key shortcuts


For those using Macs, here's some similar shortcuts that you'll want to try out:

  • Option+Command+Space should open up a finder search window. From there, you can use the left navigation pane to browse different favorite locations on your computer.
  • Command-HHide the windows of the front app. To view the front app but hide all other apps, press Option-Command-H.
  • Command-MMinimize the front window to the Dock. To minimize all windows of the front app, press Option-Command-M.
  • Shift+Command+4 will allow you to snapshot a boxed out area of your screen (file is saved to your desktop)
  • BONUS Tip: what if you want the snapshot to go to clipboard instead of file? Start the same way with Shift+Command+4 - after you release those keys, then  hold down the Control key when you draw your snapshot rectangle. Now you just captured an image to your clipboard so you can directly paste to email or other chat message)

Whether you are on Mac or Windows, the snapshots are extremely useful to capture what you see on your screen to share with somebody else. I see people still very often taking "photographs" of their screens to share and I think "if they only knew..."  :)

I hope you enjoy some new keyboard shortcuts to make common and useful tasks faster!

Here's a page full of Mac shortcuts that you can also check out.

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Craig Daniels
This blog is all about technology and helping you to use it smarter! Your digital footprint is your chance to attract new clients. What kind of impression are you making via your website, blog, and social media? We’ll be talking about that! Are you as productive as you can be? What apps might help you out? Do you know how to use all the best tools inside the apps? I enjoy photography and videography, you can expect to see those topics also on this blog.
Are you ready to learn?
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PS - get ready for some homework… :) 

Comments (38)

Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker/REALTOR® - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Thank you for the tips. I've been using the screen shot (w/Mac) but found several shortcuts in the link that I wasn't aware of. Great info!

Jun 19, 2020 05:08 AM
Kat Palmiotti

that's awesome Kat that you went off on a shortcut discovery trek via that link. happy shortcutting! :)

Jun 19, 2020 05:37 AM
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes™- by eXp Realty - Vancouver, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Hey, Craig. Always love seeing one of your tech help posts. I will have to check out the Mac shortcuts, like Kat I do know how to use the screen shot, but I'm guessing, like her, I will learn some new tricks.  Thank YOU. 

Jun 19, 2020 06:54 AM
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD

You all can be my Mac testing team LOL. I had tried to be helpful with a shortcut tip for Mimi recently figuring if Ctrl+H is browser history for PC (to go back to a recent page you visited) then Command+H must be mac, right? wrong! That's Command+Y because as you see Command+H is already taken! :) glad to see you!

Jun 19, 2020 10:12 AM
AJ Heidmann ~ CRS
McEnearney Associates, Inc. - Alexandria, VA
YOUR Alexandria & Arlington, VA Real Estate Expert

Craig ~ Thanks for the tip on taking Snapshots... didn't know it existed!

Jun 19, 2020 06:58 AM
AJ Heidmann ~ CRS

using it frequently daily! glad you now know :)

Jun 19, 2020 10:14 AM
Matt Brady
Watermark Capital - Del Mar, CA
One of San Diego's Best Lenders

Thanks for the tips! I use the snipping tool all the time, so nice to have another option that has a freeform tool.

Jun 19, 2020 07:33 AM
Matt Brady

yes the pop up toolbar lets you go freeform too! :)
(or choose a window, or choose full screen)


Jun 19, 2020 10:15 AM
Margaret Goss
@Properties - Winnetka, IL
Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate

Craig - I've been despairing over the snapshot tool I use - Jing - which is going away this year. Now I have something to replace it! Thank you.

Jun 19, 2020 08:04 AM
Margaret Goss

hi Margaret, I'm glad to get you that tip right now, seems timely for you! :)

Jun 19, 2020 10:16 AM
Margaret Goss

Oh my goodness, I use Jing as well.  I did not know it was going away.  Rats.  At least now I know a work around. 

Jun 19, 2020 06:52 PM
Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi
NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656 - New Lenox, IL
708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience

Some great tips here, Craig Daniels ... when you're on your computer constantly, any shortcut is greatly appreciated.  Thank you!


Jun 19, 2020 08:58 AM
Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi

love that attitude Gene :) thanks!

Jun 19, 2020 10:16 AM
Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®
Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate

Thanks for the tips, Craig. I've been using snag-it for years. I tried the win+shift+s  it doesn't work for me.


When I hit ctrl+win+s -- I can save my document.

Jun 19, 2020 09:37 AM
Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®

see my note just below... could be which version of windows?

Jun 19, 2020 10:18 AM
Craig Daniels
Tech Training for You! - Staten Island, NY
Technology Instructor/Project Consultant

Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor® - glad you tried it! this is a new shortcut only available in windows 10. (i.e. win 7 or win 8 etc, doesn't have the shortcut). do you know which version you are using?

Jun 19, 2020 09:52 AM
Craig Daniels

so the home computer shortcut won't work however win 10 work computer it would. However even before windows 10, windows has a tool included called "Snipping Tool". You can find it in your menu and though it doesn't have a shortcut, you can start the tool and then click the button to create new snapshots.

Jun 20, 2020 10:39 AM
Craig Daniels

 my home computer is 8.1; my office computer is windows 10.

Jun 19, 2020 03:39 PM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


We are big apple fans, and I pay attention to all the shortcuts, as I get notices from them regularly on short cuts/. Thanks A

Jun 19, 2020 11:15 AM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel

great to hear! thanks for the comment :)

Jun 19, 2020 05:44 PM
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Selling the Main Line & Chester County

Good shortcuts to remember, that being the key, to remember them.

Jun 19, 2020 11:46 AM
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543

maybe one might stick, thanks for giving it a go! :)

Jun 19, 2020 05:45 PM
Anne Edwards Johnson
JPAR Real Estate - Austin, TX
Austin Realtor | HookemhomesATX (512)917-5260

So helpful.  Thank you for taking the time to share.

Jun 19, 2020 06:50 PM
Anne Edwards Johnson

that's great Anne, thanks for letting me know! :)

Jun 20, 2020 06:00 AM
Ann Wilkins
Golden Gate Sotheby's International Realty - Oakland, CA
Oakland, Berkeley, Piedmont CA

Thanks Craig - some nice tips for a Windows user.

Jun 19, 2020 06:55 PM
Ann Wilkins

I love when others discover some useful tips! thanks :)

Jun 20, 2020 06:00 AM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good morning Craig Daniels -  thanks for sharing this.  I have bookmarked for future reference.

Jun 20, 2020 03:36 AM
Grant Schneider

great to see you stop by Grant, hope that helps!

Jun 20, 2020 06:01 AM
Peter Mohylsky, Beach Expert
PMI. Destin - Miramar Beach, FL
Call me at 850-517-7098

Thanks for sharing, I don’t but will start using the short steps more going forward.

Jun 20, 2020 10:00 AM
Peter Mohylsky, Beach Expert

one step at at time moves you forward! thanks for your comment Peter :)

Jun 20, 2020 10:38 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good evening Craig Daniels ,

Congratulations on the featured post..SOOOOO glad to see you posting! Thank you for sharing you always have such goo information and instructions for us to use! 

Jun 20, 2020 04:50 PM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX

thanks so much Dorie, appreciate the kind words! :)

Jun 21, 2020 10:14 AM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Thanks for all the wonderful tips.  I have been using snipping tool but now I will try your...Win shift s...

Jun 20, 2020 09:22 PM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400

glad to hear you already knew about this useful tool Margaret... now perhaps it is one step easier now too! thanks!

Jun 21, 2020 10:15 AM
Kimo Jarrett
Cyber Properties - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

I've been surfing and learning ever since I started in the Rain and thanks to you and many others, the tools and lessons are very much appreciated. Thanks so much.

Jun 22, 2020 12:46 AM
Kimo Jarrett

keep on learning Kimo :) thanks for stopping by!

Jun 22, 2020 11:15 AM
Mel Ahrens, MBA, Kelly Right Real Estate
Kelly Right Real Estate - Hood River, OR
Customized Choices for your Real Estate Needs

Thanks for the tips, very useful. I had forgotten the Win+E combination. Nice refresher.


Jun 22, 2020 02:43 PM
Mel Ahrens, MBA, Kelly Right Real Estate

very glad Mel to hear you remembered that one... very useful and I use it all the time :) thanks for the comment

Jun 23, 2020 08:55 AM
Kris Collis, Associate Broker
Smart Way America Realty - East Stroudsburg, PA
Professional Results you Expect 570-801-5525

Craig, thanks much for the quick list for both OSs.  We all know we can search the shortcuts but nothing like having a quick reference at the ready.  Great subject matter.

Jun 24, 2020 09:01 AM
Kris Collis, Associate Broker

thanks Kris. there are way more shortcuts than most of us would ever use, but there is a short list of shortcuts that I would be very upset to not have available!! thanks for your comment :)

Jun 25, 2020 06:49 AM
Debe Maxwell, CRS
Savvy + Company (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC

You know, we would love for you to join us on a ZOOM call and talk us through some of your tech tips! We do them every Tuesday at 2PM EST. 

Jun 24, 2020 10:56 AM
Debe Maxwell, CRS

thanks for thinking of me Debe! :) it has been on my mind, but so far I haven't yet had a chance to breakaway at that time. Let's keep it in mind as a possibility!! thanks :)

Jun 25, 2020 06:51 AM