When it comes to productivity something a lot of people overlook are keyboard shortcuts. This is understandable to some extent because you first need to know what they are. The Chromebook has many keyboard shortcuts, and I’m about to show you a list of some of the best.
One reason why many people don’t use shortcuts is due to habit. Unless you get into the habit of using shortcuts. You’ll unlikely remember these keyboard shortcuts in the future. Sure, you can do most things with a mouse and a menu. However, you’d never beat someone when it comes to productivity if they also know the best keyboard shortcuts to use.
Best Chromebook keyboard shortcuts
In the list below you’ll find some of the best Chromebook keyboard shortcuts. The first three are universal and work with all computers. Therefore, you most likely already know about these. However, they are great at saving time, so I’ve added them for anyone who has been living under a rock for the last twenty years.
Copy a selection of text – ctrl + c
This one most of you will be aware of and is arguably one of the most popular keyboard shortcuts. Once you’ve highlighted some text you wish to copy. Simply hold down the control key and then the letter ‘c’. This saves the text to the clipboard, which you can then paste to another location.
Paste a selection of text – ctrl + v
Once you’ve copied some text you’ll want to know how to paste it to another location. To do this you simply place your cursor where you want the text to be. Then simply hold down the control key and press the letter ‘v’.
Highlight all the text – ctrl + a
If you want to highlight all of the text in a document. Instead of starting at the top and struggling to highlight the whole text with your mouse. You can simply hold down the control key and press the letter ‘a’. This will then highlight all of the text in the document.
Whether this works as intended depends on where you’re highlighting the text from. It will either highlight a paragraph, the whole text as intended or too much text. You can then use the control and c key to copy the text.
Select browser tabs – ctrl + 1 to 8
If you prefer to use tabs on your internet browser rather than opening a separate window each time. You may prefer to use a keyboard shortcut rather than selecting each tab with your mouse. To do this you simply hold down the control key and choose between 1 to 8 to change between the tabs you have open.
Holding down the control key and number 4 at the same time would select the fourth tab along in your internet browser. Holding down the control key and number 1 key would select the first.
Finding a window to work on – alt + tab
If you’ve got a lot of windows open it can be difficult to find the one you’re looking for. Holding down the alternate key and pressing the tab key will show you all the windows open.
Continue to press alt + tab to go forward and if you need to go back instead of forward. Hold down alt + shift + tab. Again, continue to press the tab key to go back further.
Turn on caps – alt + search
If you’re using a Chromebook or a Chromebox with a Chrome OS keyboard. You’ll notice there isn’t a caps key. If you want to type a lot of text in capital letters. Instead of holding down the shift key for each letter. You can simply toggle caps lock on and off by holding down alt + search. Let go and you’ll now be typing in capitals. Repeat to take caps off.
Open Google assistant – search + a
One of the great benefits of the Chromebook is having direct access to Google Assistant. Simply hold down the search key and press the letter a. You’ll then have Google assistant ready to ask it any questions.
Open the Crosh terminal – ctrl + alt + t
If you want to get quick access to Crosh on your Chromebook you can. Simply hold down the control and alternate key and press the letter t. A Crosh terminal will then open. If you want to close it you can simply type in ‘exit’ and hit return or press the x close at the top right to close the tab.
Open a Chrome Incognito window – ctrl + shift + n
If you want to do some browsing and wish to keep this private. Simply hold down the control and shift key and press the letter N. This will open a Chrome browser for private browing. This is known as incognito mode.
It’s important to recongise this doesn’t mean your browsing is private from your ISP or the authorities. It simply means whatever website you visit or entries you type into Google. Will not be remembered when you or someone else next uses Chrome. It also stops any website you visit recongising who you are.
Open the task manager – search + esc
Yes, the Chromebook has a task manager just like what you get with Microsoft Windows. To open the task manager simply press the search key and then press the escape (Esc) key.
This will show you a list of everything that is currently running on your Chromebook. This includes any Chrome browsers you have open and any Chrome extensions that are currently enabled.
It will also show you a list of system processes that are currently running. It’s advisable not to end any of the system processes. If you do your Chromebook may not work correctly. You can easily fix this by shutting down your computer and rebooting.
See all shortcuts – ctrl + alt + /
There are many more shortcuts you may want to use on your Chromebook. As I’ve already mentioned the hardest part of using shortcuts is remembering them. To get the most out of keyboard shortcuts you need to use them regularly.
The more you use them the more likely you’ll remember them in the future. It’s only then that keyboard shortcuts will help you be more productive.
You can easily see the shortcuts available on your Chromebook. To do this hold down the control + alternate and then the / key. This will bring up a list of shortcuts available.