A few weeks ago my brother told me that he'd had to turn his computer monitor upside down to continue using it. Apparently, his baby daughter had spent a few seconds mashing the computer keys when the display on the screen had suddenly vanished for a second, and then reappeared the wrong way up. As he couldn't figure out how to fix the problem, he had to move the monitor to continue using it.

As it turned out, what had happened was that she had triggered one of a number of keyboard shortcuts which are embedded in all Windows software, which is the operating system that most computers use. Shortcuts are designed as an alternative to using the mouse to accomplish everything on screen, and can also be useful to computer users with motor difficulties.

Lists of all of the existing shortcuts are available online. If you are using Windows Vista then click here, XP users should click here, while shortcuts for older versions of Windows are available here. The sheer number of options can look daunting, but many regular computer users find that there are a handful of actions which they need to carry out on a repeated basis and discover that doing that action via a keyboard shortcut is sometimes a quicker alternative. Why not try out one or two for yourself?


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