You plan on doing a lot of work when you're out of the office, but once you start up your laptop you realize that you're using a touchpad instead of your mouse. When your muscle memory is used to that peripheral, you could find yourself taking longer on your tasks. Our next edition of #officehacks will examine a few keyboard shortcut that eliminate the need to use the touchpad controls for your most common actions.
Renaming Current Items
You can quickly rename the current item that you're working on by pressing F2. This shortcut is useful if you need to edit a name so it fits with your office's file-naming convention, or you have a large batch of items that need changing.
Refreshing Open Windows
Some windows don't automatically update when there's a change. For example, most web pages don't refresh if a new piece of content gets uploaded. Press F5 to refresh the window and get the latest version of it. Use this shortcut if you need to view real-time data, check on a new blog post or look for comments from your customers. If you still don't see the new information, press Ctrl + F5 to redownload all website components instead of using what's locally cached.
Closing Active Window
Quickly close your active window by pressing Alt and F4 at the same time. This combination closes down the program completely, so make sure that you save your work before you initiate this command. You can use this to shut down windows at the end of a work session or if you run into errors that require an application restart.
Windows' Run box gives you access to many power user features, but getting to it via the touchpad is a cumbersome process that requires too many clicks. Eliminate this time-eating inefficiency by holding down the Windows key and pressing R to open the run box. You can enter command lines to quickly open up programs, access the command prompt and leverage other advanced functionality.
Opening Windows Explorer
Windows Explorer is another part of the operating system that shouldn't require so many clicks to open. You can streamline this process by holding the Windows button and pressing E.
Showing or Hiding the Desktop
Need to take a look at your desktop or hide it away? You can do this quickly by holding down the Windows button and pressing D at the same time. Some use cases for this shortcut include hiding windows with sensitive business information if someone is looking over your shoulder at a co working space, checking on a desktop widget for new information and accessing shortcuts on the desktop.
Locking Your Computer
Need to step away from your laptop for a moment and don't want to risk unauthorized people accessing sensitive work information? Lock it in a snap with the Windows key and L.
Many administrative tasks require a lot of text manipulation, which goes slowly if you try to manually point and click. Holding down Control and C copies the text that you have highlighted. You can paste this into another area of your document by holding down Control and V together. If you want to cut the text from the file and save it in your clipboard to paste, then use Control and X together. If you want to delete text from one file and place it in another, use Control + X to cut and Control + V to paste.
You might have a bit of a learning curve when you first get started with keyboard shortcuts on your laptop. Once you're familiar with these time-saving functions, you'll wonder why you use your touchpad for anything. The productivity-boosting benefits are a key part of optimizing your remote work experience. Keep the info graphic below on hand so you always have a reference for these #officehacks.