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Tech tips

Tech tip: 5 smart keyboard shortcuts everyone should know

Slow typing can cost you the most precious resource of all: time. According to Lifehack, the average person spends at least three hours a day typing away at their keyboards. If you speed it up, you could save up to 35 minutes a day — or 21 days a year.

However, teaching yourself how to type faster can be challenging. One easy way to speed up the process is by using keyboard shortcuts. That’s when you get a job done by clicking two or more buttons on your keyboard. Tap or click here to create your own keyboard shortcuts.

If you want to start slow, you can try to use the following five easy shortcuts.

1. Clear your cache with a hard refresh

When a website isn’t working, try refreshing the page. It’s probably an issue with the browser cache or the website data your browser saves to your computer. Usually, a hard refresh fixes the problem in a snap.

Usually, you just hit the refresh button, which looks like this:

If your mouse isn’t working, you can also refresh the page by hitting a few buttons on your keyboard. It depends on the computer and browser you’re using, though. Here are the keyboard shortcuts to use:

  • Windows users on Chrome, Microsoft Edge or Firefox: Press Ctrl + F5 or Shift + F5. You can also try Ctrl + Shift + R.
  • Mac users on Chrome or Firefox: Hit Shift + Command + R.
  • Mac users on Safari: This is a two-for-one. First, press Command + Option + E to empty the cache. Next, hold Shift and click Reload.

After you perform the hard refresh, the webpage should reload properly.

2. Paste text without its original formatting

Copying and pasting is a great way to save content and help you write more quickly. If there’s a phrase you need to repeat multiple times in an article, you don’t have to retype it every time. You can copy it and plop it down wherever.

It’s also a nifty trick when you want to save cool content online. Say you’re reading a news article with a few fact bombs that blew your mind. You want to share the findings with friends, but the writing has a bizarre font.

Maybe the paragraph is in a font and color you want nothing to do with. Perhaps the line spacing is bizarre, and the text size fluctuates. Either way, if you want to keep the message but discard the dressing, try this trick.

It’s called a clean paste. Just select the text and hit Ctrl + Shift + V. Just like that, you can share the plain text. No differing font sizes, line breaks, bolding or italics.

CHECK THIS OUT: Clever Mac keyboard shortcuts you’ll use time and time again

3. Go fullscreen

This is an excellent tip for anyone who wants to focus. Fullscreen mode hides the distracting apps and notifications that throw you off track when you’re trying to work. It hides the bookmarks bar, tabs and more.

Best of all, you can turn it on in a snap. Just hit F11 on Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge or Firefox. If you’re using Google Chrome from your Mac, press Ctrl + Cmd + F. Those steps also work using Safari.

4. Switch apps in a snap

When working with multiple apps simultaneously, it can be easy to lose track of everything. If you’re using Windows 10, just hit Alt + Tab to see what you have going on.

This opens up the task switcher, a panel that shows thumbnails of all the apps you’re running. Keep holding down both buttons to move your selection forward and select apps or tasks. Once you release the keys, the panel closes.

You can switch between tabs on Firefox by pressing press Ctrl + Shift + Tab on Windows or Mac. To see all your tabs on Microsoft Edge, press Alt + Tab.

5. Quickly check your downloads history

Just hit Ctrl + J to see everything you downloaded in a browser on your Windows PC. This is an excellent tip to use when doing some maintenance work. Some downloads can take up a ton of space on your computer, so it’s good to clean them up now and then.

Of course, downloading files can also be dangerous. Tap or click here for five mistakes to avoid when downloading items off the internet.

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