Hotkeys: ctrl + shift + arrow = awesome

You know what time it is? It’s time for another installment of our hotkeys series: Burnin’ Down The Mouse! Specifically, I’m going to talk about a common hotkey (or possibly just “key combination”) that folks don’t seem to know about, holding down the ctrl key while pressing an arrow key.

A square image which reads "tip: if you aren't pressing 'ctrl' while you highlight or select words, you might be doing it wrong."

Imagine you’re editing a Word document, and you need to take the phrase “There is no cow level” and make it bold and italic. Naturally, you’d reach for the mouse, click on “There” and select all the words through “level”, right? I mean, it’s wayyyyyyyy too hard to hold down shift, then hit the arrow key the 21 times it takes to highlight all the letters in each of those words, right? You’re absolutely right- it is too hard; don’t be a hero.

An image of Han Solo (of Star Wars) aiming a blaster to his right (our left).

Pictured: actual hero

Except for one thing: here at, we’re all about helping you be a hero.

So, keep the mouse at bay, and try selecting a word in a document (spoiler alert on a Windows PC: you can hit Win-R, then type “notepad” and press enter to pull up a text editor) by holding down ctrl and shift, and arrow to the left or right. I’ll wait.

A window with "This is a sentence I just wrote on my computer box", being highlighted one word at a time

It should look something like this. Your text hopefully varies from mine. Your speed should definitely vary from mine.

Wasn’t that exciting? I thought so. When I got into the workforce I was shocked to find out that more people didn’t know about this little trick. Well, now you know!

Also, you can grab whole paragraphs by simply using ctrl + shift + up or down. You’ll feel like a rock star in no time.

Do you have any other tech tips you think we should know about? Perhaps you have a question for the crazy-geniuses we have working for us? Why not drop us a line and ask away?

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