10 Keyboard Shortcuts That Work on Both Windows and Linux

Migrating to a new operating system can seem overwhelming or difficult, but the joy of learning something new is well worth the effort.

Let’s take a look at some important keyboard shortcuts that work similarly on both Linux and Windows. Although Windows and Linux are inherently different, you can still use most of the familiar keyboard shortcuts in either operating system.

Why use keyboard shortcuts?

Keyboard shortcuts are one of the best ways to get things done quickly on your PC. If you notice that you are performing some task or action very often then you should consider finding a shortcut to 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 shortcuts below rarely change. For example, accessing installed programs from the GUI on Windows XP, Windows 10, and Windows 11 is very different, but the keyboard shortcut remains the same and will likely stay that way for years to come.

In addition to being fun, keyboard shortcuts help you gain confidence and mastery over the operating system or software you’re using.

1. Lock screen

Do you want to leave your PC? Don’t compromise your security by leaving your PC unlocked. Quickly lock your PC screen with keyboard shortcuts Super + ERROR, to avoid people spying on your PC. After locking your device, the system will ask you to enter your password to access your PC again.


In Linux, Windows the key on your keyboard is called super key, so we’ll stick to this convention for consistency.

The launcher menu or the application menu gives you access to installed software programs and the search bar to quickly search for files or applications. Simply press super key or Super + FEAR and start typing to search for the file or application you are looking for.

On Linux, the launcher also gives you a view of the currently running software programs.

3. Display the desktop

If you have multiple apps or files open but want to quickly jump to your desktop, just tap Super + EASY. This minimizes all open windows and brings you to your desktop. Press Super + EASY again to bring back open programs.

4. Switch apps

To quickly switch to another open program on your PC, use Alt + Tab shortcut. Keep pressing the shortcut to mark the next open app and release it when the app you’re looking for is highlighted.

To go back, press Alt + Shift + Tab. Alternatively, you can use Super + Tab keys to quickly switch between open applications. On Windows, Super + Tab the shortcut also shows your current virtual desktop.

5. Maximize and minimize a window

Use Super + Up to maximize the window size of a program and Super + Down arrow to minimize the window. This is useful when you want to open multiple program windows at the same time.

6. Get help

Both Windows and Linux are well documented, and so are most software programs built for them. Minimize all open programs (Super + EASY) then press F1 and you will get some documentation about your operating system.

You can also use F1 to get help with a specific application. For example, press F1 in your web browser window will open the browser’s documentation or help pages.

7. End of a program

Use Alt + F4 shortcut to quickly close open programs on Windows and Linux.

8. Split Windows

Oftentimes, you might want to look at apps side by side to compare or easily switch between them. Use Super + Left arrow shortcut to snap software window to the left and Super + Right arrow to snap a window to the right. Programs will take up equal window space.

9. Change the keyboard language

If you have installed multiple language packs on your PC, you can easily change the current language using Super + Spacebar shortcut.

10. Edit Shortcuts

One of the most common tasks PC users do is editing. We edit documents, scripts, software code, images, etc. Use Ctrl + X shortcut to cut text or file. To copy text or files, use the keys Ctrl + then use Ctrl + DRAW to paste copied or cut content.

Alternatively, to quickly rename a file, highlight it and press F2.

Improve your productivity with keyboard shortcuts

That’s it for now. We have looked at some important keyboard shortcuts that you can use on both Linux and Windows, but there are many more. Mastering keyboard shortcuts for common tasks can save you a lot of time and increase your productivity.

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About the author

https://www.makeuseof.com/keyboard-shortcuts-work-both-windows-and-linux/ 10 Keyboard Shortcuts That Work on Both Windows and Linux

Sarah Ridley

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