Regular readers know of my love for keyboard shortcuts. And who can blame me? When I'm typing along in, say, Word or a blog tool, the last thing I want to do is reach for the mouse. Totally interrupts my workflow. (We writer types are all about the workflow.)

Of course, there are times when I need to select, copy, cut, and/or paste text--all functions that would seem to mandate a little mouse action. But no: You can accomplish all those tasks with a few simple keyboard shortcuts. These may seem old and obvious to some users, but trust me: Not everybody knows them.

These shortcuts work in just about every text editor known to man, from Word to WordPad to WordPress.

  • Ctrl-Shift-Right Arrow: Selects the word immediately to the right of the cursor.
  • Ctrl-Shift-Left Arrow: Selects the word immediately to the left of the cursor.
  • Shift-Home: Selects all text from the cursor's current position to the beginning of the line.
  • Shift-End: Selects all text from the cursor's current position to the end of the line.
  • Ctrl-C: Copies selected text to the clipboard.
  • Ctrl-X: Cuts (i.e. temporarily deletes) selected text and copies it to the clipboard.
  • Ctrl-V: Pastes whatever text has been copied to the keyboard.

Once you master these shortcuts, I guarantee you'll find yourself working much more quickly in Word and similar programs. So put down that mouse and keep your hands on the keys where they belong.