Transitioning to a new operating system can seem overwhelming or daunting, but the joy of learning something new is worth the effort.
Let’s take a look at some of the important keyboard shortcuts that work the same on Linux and Windows. Although Windows and Linux are inherently different, you can still use most shortcuts you know, in either operating system.
Why use keyboard shortcuts?
Shortcuts are one of the best ways to do something quickly on your PC. If you find that you perform a task or action very often, you should consider finding a shortcut for it. It will save you a lot of time and increase your productivity.
The graphical user interface (GUI) of most software systems changes quite often, but the underlying shortcuts rarely change. For example, accessing installed programs from the GUI in Windows XP, Windows 10, and Windows 11 is very different, but the shortcut key remains the same, and it will probably be that way for many years to come. .
Apart from being cool, shortcuts also help you gain confidence and master the operating system or software you are using.
1. Lock screen
Want to get away from your PC? Don’t compromise your security by leaving your PC unlocked. Quickly lock your PC screen using the shortcut Great + L, to prevent people from snooping on your PC. After locking your device, the system will ask you to enter a password to access the PC again.
Under Linux, the the Windows key on your keyboard is known as Great key, so we’ll stick to that convention for consistency.
The launcher menu or apps menu gives you access to installed software programs and a search bar to quickly find files or apps. Just press the Great key or Super+S and start typing to search for the file or application you are looking for.
In Linux, the launcher also gives you an overview of running software programs.
3. Show Desktop
If you have multiple apps or files open but want quick access to your desktop, just tap Great +D. This minimizes all open windows and takes you to your desktop. Hurry Great +D again to bring back the open programs.
4. Switch apps
To quickly switch to another open program on your PC, use the Alt + Tab shortcut. Keep pressing the shortcut to highlight the next open app, and release once the app you’re looking for is highlighted.
To go back, press Alt + Shift + Tab. Alternatively, you can use the Super + Tab key to quickly switch between open applications. Under Windows, the Super + Tab The shortcut also displays your current virtual desktops.
5. Maximize and minimize a window
Use the Great + More key to maximizing the window size of a program and Great + low arrow to reduce the size of the window. This is handy when you want to open multiple program windows at once.
6. Get help
Windows and Linux are well documented, as is most software designed for them. Minimize all open programs (Great +D) then press F1 and you will get documentation about your operating system.
You can also use the F1 key to get help on a specific application. For example, pressing F1 in your web browser window will open your browser’s documentation or help pages.
7. Close a program
Use the Alt + F4 shortcut to quickly close an open program in Windows and Linux.
8. Split windows
Often, you may want to view apps side by side for comparison or to easily switch between them. Use the Super + Left arrow shortcut to quickly align a software window to the left side and Super + Right arrow to align a window to the right. Programs will occupy equal window space.
9. Change keyboard language
If you have more than one language pack installed on your PC, you can easily change the current language using the Great + spacebar shortcut.
10. Editing Shortcuts
One of the most common tasks among PC users is editing. We edit documents, scripts, software code, images, etc. Use the CTRL+X shortcut to cut text or file. To copy a text or a file, use the keys CTRL+C then use Ctrl+V to paste the copied or cut content.
Also, to quickly rename a file, highlight it and press F2.
Improve your productivity with keyboard shortcuts
That’s all for the moment. We’ve looked at a few important shortcuts you can use on both Linux and Windows, but there are plenty more. Mastering shortcuts for mundane tasks can save you a lot of time and boost your productivity.
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