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5. Common Windows 3.1 shortcuts
Greg Baker describes some Windows 3.1 keyboard shortcuts.
These shortcuts work in most Windows 3.1 applications.
Whether they do or not, experiment with them to see the effects they produce and try out other combinations of keystrokes for the same reason.
Check your application documentation and help file for other shortcuts.
Cancels most operations and dialog boxes. It is faster to cancel an operation using the Esc key than pointing at the Cancel button and clicking.
This usually takes the insertion point to the beginning of the open document.
This usually takes the insertion point to the end of the open document.
Moves the insertion point to the beginning of the current line.
Moves the insertion point to the end of the current line.
Cuts out any selected text or object and places it on the clipboard.
Pastes the contents of the clipboard into the open file at the insertion point.
Copies any selected text or object to the clipboard.
Cycles through open windows.
Closes the open application or dialog box. If there are open documents you will normally be asked if you want to save them before exiting. This command is useful because it saves having to remember whether to close the application with Alt+F, X or Alt+F, Q.
Brings up the control menu indicated for mousers by the long horizontal bar in the top left corner of the screen. This control menu can be used for minimising, closing or switching to another application.
Alt plus a hyphen brings up the applications's control menu indicated by a short horizontal bar to the top left of the document window. It can be used for minimising or closing the open document or for cycling to the next document. This menu also indicates other better shortcuts. For example this menu shows that Ctrl+F6 is a quick way to cycle through open documents.
Task switch. Holding Alt down while repeatedly pressing Tab cycles through open applications. Release Alt when the application you want to switch to is indicated on the screen.
Brings up the task list of applications currently running. Using the up and down arrow keys to select the application you want to work in and pressing Enter will bring up that application. With only a few applications running it is probably quicker to Alt+Tab around the open applications than to Ctrl+Esc, use the arrow keys and press Enter.
Closes the current document window.
Moves up one screenful in the current window.
Moves down one screenful in the current window.
Allows multiple selection of non-contiguous items from any list. Shift+F8 on the first item then use the arrow keys to move to subsequent selections and press Enter to select them.
Undoes last command.
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This page was prepared by Greg Baker.
Last updated: 29 July 1997
Comments and suggestions to Greg Baker at