A handy guide to Windows shortcuts

Whenever I watch someone demonstrate something to me on their computer and they navigate through clunky menus instead of using shortcut keys, it irks me. So in honor of those people who aren’t using their computers efficiently, I’ve decided to write a handy shortcut guide to make their lives better. I’ll keep it as general as possible and include only commonly used programs. If you have suggestions for any other shortcuts, let me know and I’ll consider adding them to the list. Here we go!

Windows 10
These should work on older versions of Windows as well – also, you should have upgraded if you haven’t already.
Windows + D : minimizes all your programs to reveal your desktop. Great ‘boss key’, also great if you need to access something on your desktop without minimizing every open window.
Windows + M : minimizes your current window
Windows (to open the start menu) then type the name of the program you want to launch : this should let you launch the program of your choice without having to click through multiple menus or look for icons on your desktop. It should work for most programs installed on your computer. If it doesn’t work, you can use the shortcut below.
Windows + R : brings up the run dialog which will allow you to run or open any file on your computer. Most of the time you will need to get the filename of the program correctly i.e. winword for Microsoft Word, not word.
Windows + E : opens Windows Explorer. Something I use on a daily basis, and I’m sure you will too.
Windows + Left/Down/Up/Right : snaps the window to the corresponding edge of the screen. Windows 10 will also allow you to select another program to fill the other side of the screen if there are any available for you to choose from. It will also allow you to move windows across multiple monitors. Down will restore and minimize, while up will maximize the window.
Windows + L : log out of Windows. Great for when you need to leave your PC unattended without having to sleep it or shut it down.

Alt + F4 : exit the current program. When you have no programs open, this will bring up the dialog for shutting down your computer.
Alt + Tab : cycle through your running programs.
Windows + Tab : cycle through your current programs with a larger preview, also gives you the option to create additional desktops on your monitor.
Alt + Space : brings up the menu bar for your current window. From here you can hit the shortcut keys to Restore, Minimize, Maximize, or Close it.

Ctrl + Backspace : delete a word. This saves you so much time. Make it a habit. It allows you to easily erase words instead of tapping the backspace key multiple times. You can also double-click a word to select it and hit backspace/delete to achieve the same effect. This shortcut deletes characters from where the cursor is until the next space on the left.
Ctrl + Delete : Same as above, except it deletes instead, so it will delete characters from where the cursor is until the next space on the right.
Ctrl + Escape : Brings up the start menu. If for some reason your Windows key is broken and you want to bring up the start menu, this shortcut will do that for you.
Ctrl + Left/Right : this shortcut lets you jump through your text word by word instead of letter by letter. It will place your cursor to the beginning of the next or previous word. Words are clumps of texts separated by spaces or punctuation.

Ctrl + Shift + Left/Right : highlights text, one word at a time.
Shift + Left/Right/Up/Down : highlights text, one character at a time.
You can also use Home/End/Page Up/Page Down with the shortcuts above for bigger jumps.
These shortcuts also work in Excel, letting you select cells instead of words.

Windows Explorer
Ctrl + Shift + N : create a new folder.
Shift + Delete : delete a file or folder without sending it to the recycle bin. Be careful when using this – I’ve deleted files that I didn’t want to delete using this method before. Fortunately I could just download them again.
F2 : rename selected file or folder.
Ctrl + Click : add a file or folder to your current selection.
Shift + Click : add files or folders from the current position and everything in between where you click to your current selection.
Alt + D : jump to the address bar – in the event you would like to type out a location instead of manually navigating to it.
Shift + Double click : open a folder in a new window.
Ctrl + Drag : create a copy of selected items at the location you drag to.
Shift + Drag : move selected items to the location you drag to.

The shortcuts above should improve your Windows experience significantly once you have memorized them. Here are some additional shortcuts for some commonly used programs. More will be added in the future.

Google Chrome
Ctrl + W : closes the current tab.
Ctrl + Tab : jumps to the next tab.
Ctrl + Shift + Tab : jumps to the previous tab.
Ctrl + T : opens a new tab.
Ctrl + Shift + N : opens an incognito window.
Ctrl + F5 : forces a complete refresh of the current page.
F5 / Ctrl + R : refreshes the current page.
Ctrl + N : opens a new window.
Ctrl + 9 : jumps to the last tab.
Ctrl + 1 - 8 : jumps to tab 1-8.
Ctrl + -/= : zooms in or out of the page.
Ctrl + 0 : resets the zoom.
Ctrl + click on link : opens a link in a new tab. Can also be accomplished by clicking a link with your middle mouse button.
Shift + click on link : opens a link in a new window.
Alt + D or F6 : places your cursor on the address bar and selects the URL, allowing you to easily copy/paste/or type in the address bar.
Ctrl + J : opens your downloads page.
Ctrl + H : opens your history page.
Ctrl + F / F3 : search the current page.
Ctrl + D : add the current page to your favorites.

Space : play/pause a video
Shift + Left/Right : jump back or forward a few seconds.
Ctrl + Left/Right : jump back or forward a minute.
T : displays the time remaining for the current video.
Mouse scroll up/down : increases/lowers volume.
M : mute.
F : toggle fullscreen mode.

In Da Club

I didn’t want to come here tonight. But my friends all told me that I’d never meet anybody if I never left my house. After paying for the entry fee, I found myself in a sea of dancing people. From the entrance all the way to the bar, this place was packed. I slowly made my way through the crowd, looking for a familiar face to latch on to. There was nobody I recognized. I decided to line up for a drink to kick-start the night. “Might as well get alcohol in my system so I can leave this place earlier,” I thought to myself.

While waiting in line, I observed the club. This place was filled with hot women. Too bad none of them would talk to me. I was a weirdo, according to my friends. They still hung out with me because deep inside, they knew I was a nice person – it just took a while for my personality to surface. I felt my phone vibrate in my pocket.

“Sorry Fei, I can’t make it to the club tonight. Something came up!” said one of them.
“Yeah, me too, sorry to cancel on you last-minute!” said another one.
“What the fuck guys? I’m already here at the club, getting myself a drink, why did you not tell me earlier??”
“Something came up last-minute, I didn’t think you’d be there so early!”
“It’s already past midnight, how am I early?”
“I’ll make it up to you next time, have a good night!”

I wasn’t amused. I wasn’t sure if they had purposely abandoned me tonight or they really had other things to do. Since I had already paid the cover charge and it was almost my turn to order a drink, I decided to stay on and finish at least one drink. I ordered a pint of Stella (my favorite) and paid for it. After being told off by the bartender for standing around and blocking the drinks line, I decided to scour the bar for a place to sit.

There were no seats available. “Well done! Looks like I’ll have to finish this drink standing up,” I told myself. It was then I noticed a couple who were done drinking leave their seats to head to the dance floor. I quickly made my way past the crowd of sweaty people towards the recently vacated table.

Just as I was about to place my drink on the table, a girl swooped in from the side and placed her handbag on the table. “Urm, this seat is taken!” she yelled at me over the blaring hip hop music.

“No fucking way, I got here first, you just stole my seat from me!” I replied.

“Nuh uh, I’ve been eyeing the couple for the past half hour, if you think you’re going to take the seat from me, you’re wrong!” she stood in between me and the table, arms crossed in front of her, scowl on her face.

“Feels Bad Man,” I said. I pushed her aside and sat myself down on the seat.

“Pepe Hands,” she replied. “Look, this is my table, and you’re not getting it. I’m in heels and my feet hurt from standing. What’s your excuse?”

“Nobody told you to wear heels man. Anyway, I’m just here for a bit. Let me finish my drink and I’ll let you have the table to yourself.”

“No,” she replied. “I like to sit by myself. I hate talking to strangers.”

“I’m not even asking you to talk to me! For fuck’s sake, just let me finish this drink and I’ll be out of your way!”

She contemplated my request for a moment and reluctantly agreed. “Fine, just finish your drink and leave me the fuck alone.”

So there I sat in silence, slowly sipping my drink and staring at the girl in front of me.

“This is like 2 Girls 1 Cup,” I quipped.

“You’re disgusting, you know that?” she replied.

“Where’s your drink?” I asked her.

“I’ll get it when you’re gone.”

“What if I decide not to leave?”

“You said you would!”

“I could have lied.”

“Stop talking to me.”

“I’ll make you leave.”

“Make me.”


I took out my phone and showed her the Goatse.cx website. She didn’t flinch. I showed her Tubgirl. She laughed. She loaded up a website on her phone and showed me Meatspin. “Amateur,” I told her.

“Looks like I’ve met my match,” she said as she loaded another website on her phone and showed it to me. BME Pain Olympics. I giggled and looked at her with a sly smile.

I launched my messaging app and typed in a message for her to see: “LET’S GET OUT OF HERE”

She read the message and without any hesitation, she nodded. I took her hand and we walked out of the club together. All brakes were off as soon as we stepped out into the chilly night. She pulled me in close and kissed me hard. I didn’t resist.

“What’s your name?” she asked me.
“Lemon Party,” I replied.
“I’m Blue Waffle,” she laughed.
I gave her another kiss and said, “let’s go eat some special fried rice.”

Writing Prompt from Reddit: You’re at a crowded bar and can’t get a seat, so you concoct a plan to hit on the hottest woman sitting there, hoping she’ll leave in disgust so you can take her seat.

Nobeard Problems

There are many different kinds of problems in the world. One of the problems I’ve been facing my whole life has been not having a beard. However, all that changes. In a few months time. Hopefully.

You see, I’ve been doing some research (i.e. Googling) on how to solve the problem for a while now, and it turns out that short of a hair transplant, there’s only one solution: Minoxidil. In the past I’ve tried some organic oil which was said to promote beard growth but it didn’t make any difference (I thought I’d try something cheap before forking out cash for something more expensive).

Last night, I made up my mind and placed an order for a few bottles of Kirkland which will hopefully arrive in a few weeks. This will be my last shot at growing a full beard. If it does nothing, then I guess I’m destined to have a thin patchy beard for the rest of my life. Curse you genes!

Assuming the Minoxidil actually works, I’ll be able to do the following things:

Dress like a pirate
Sing Four Year Strong songs
Wear flannel shirts while looking the part
Wield an ax
Get featured on incredibeard

Hopefully it won’t take too long to see results. If not I guess I’ll just remain regular ol’ me. PepeHands.

Hoarder Mentality

I’ve seen the horrors of hoarders, thanks to all those shows on TV. I’ve always wondered how people can do such things to themselves. Collect so much shit until the point where it’s practically impossible to walk around their homes without tripping on anything. Why do these people want more things than they need?

Today it struck me, I have a similar mentality too. Fortunately for me, I’m mostly limited by my budget so I can’t really afford to buy everything I want on whim. However, my problem doesn’t lie with physical goods. Beyond the countless books I have waiting to be read (thanks Big Bad Wolf!), I have more digital content than I can ever hope to finish consuming in a lifetime. I’ve got tons of music. Every time I fall in love with an artist, I tend to download their whole discography so I have access to it anytime. It just annoys me to know that I don’t have the complete collection of an artist’s catalog even if I’m only a fan of a couple of albums or songs.

At first I thought, maybe I’m some sort of completionist, but then I realized I’m far from it. Especially when it comes to video games – I don’t really care about collecting all the achievements or getting every item in the game. I enjoy games pretty casually – as long as I finish the game and get to experience the story, I’m satisfied. I don’t need to do anything extra to enjoy it.

I’ve got enough movies, TV series and cartoons to last a lifetime if I played them continuously nonstop. When will I find the time to watch them all? I won’t. Yet they sit idly on my hard disk drives, metaphorically collecting dust, until I decide to watch them. Same thing with all my ebooks and digital comics.

Computer games – I’ve got a few hundred games in my Steam library, many I know I’ll never touch (titles I’ve obtained from bundles) and yet many more in my wish list. I bought them all because I was interested in them and they were available at a cheap price. I would love to play them all, but I don’t have the time to do so. I have more guitars and keyboards than I need, and god knows what else that’s hidden in the back of my shelves.

And all these things I’ve mentioned have only been acquired over the past decade. There’s a whole lot more than I can’t recall at the moment I’ve been collecting my whole life. I used to keep empty alcohol bottles when I first started drinking, but I got rid of them in January. I know I don’t have any problems throwing out things I don’t need, I just need to find out why I wanted to keep so many in the first place, and stop that problem before it starts. I don’t want to end up on TV with a crew of people trying to coax me out of my room and clearing out my house because it has become hazardous to live in. It’s time to stop.

What’s Your Potential?

I was listening to an episode of The Joe Rogan Experience (a very good podcast I discovered recently) where he was speaking to Dr. Jordan Peterson, a clinical psychologist. One of the topics which came up for discussion was potential. An unquantifiable value that human beings hold each other accountable for, despite it being vague and different for everyone. It brought back memories of the comments I used to receive in my report cards in school. George has so much potential.

For context: I was never a top student, neither was I at the bottom of the class. I was the very definition of average. I got by in my classes, wasn’t much of a nuisance to my teachers, and I didn’t participate in any delinquent activities. But when you were enrolled in one of the ‘top’ schools in the country (debatable, also subjective), there were expectations to be met.

I’m not sure how many kids received the same comments, but I’m pretty sure I wasn’t the only one. While it seemed like a reasonable comment back then (my parents took it as a neutral-positive statement), in retrospect it was just another way of saying I was a shitty kid. I mean, think about it. Everyone has the potential to do almost everything they want to in life. As long as they are physically capable, it’s all up to them to work hard and practice the right skills and techniques correctly to accomplish their goals.

We all had the potential to become something. Whether that is something to be proud or ashamed of, nobody knows, we find out when it happens. If the teachers were blunt, they would have written: George hasn’t been showing any signs of being a future rocket scientist or doctor, he’s what we call in this school a disappointment. I guess if they wrote that, it would have probably been applicable to many other kids in the school as well. And there’s no way lil ol’ me could be the problem. It’s the fault of the school/teacher/education system! There would have been an uproar from the parents.

However, as I grew older, I realized that school wasn’t as important as adults had wanted me to believe. With each new phase of life, what I had learned in the previous one didn’t matter to me. High school didn’t prepare me for college. College didn’t prepare me for work. Nothing prepared me for life in the working world – I learned all I needed to learn for work while on the job! School was just an alternative name for daycare. We were being taken care of until we could go out to make our own money.

Back to my report card. Did my teachers have foresight? Did they know what I was going to be? I can’t say for sure. After all, they never told me what they thought my potential was. It’s vague statements like these that will haunt me until the day I die. What if I had already achieved my full potential? Does that mean I can’t do any better in life? Do the goalposts shift? Would I be capable of achieving more? How can I have so much potential if I don’t know where I am and what my limit is? It’s practically infinite, right?

And that’s how I ended up writing.