Top 10 Hotkeys, Shortcuts, and Terms for Scholarly Research

Ok, in the spiraling vortex of information saturation lists of top shortcuts and hotkeys are about as prevalent as grumpy cat memes. So to ease your overly stimulated brain I am going to bypass the common sense shortcuts (CTRL + V, CTRL + C) and share some that you might not be aware of (or forgotten about). All of these are used specifically when I am conducting research. When I am researching any methods I can implement to streamline my process is vital. Here are my top 10:

1) CTRL + F

You probably know about this one but I thought I’d share anyway. CTRL + F “finds” a specific word on a webpage, word doc, pdf file, etc. This function is particularly useful when you have pages and pages of text and all you need to do is find a particular area or topic.

**If you are viewing a pdf file in a browser window make sure you click on the text area and then press CTRL + F. If you don’t you will just be searching the webpage and not the pdf file.

2) CTRL + T

Opens a new tab in your browser’s window.

3) CTRL + Shift + T

Opens a previously closed tab. In Chrome this works even if you’ve closed the entire window. Just open a new window and press CTRL + Shift + T and voila!

4) CTRL + Shift + Tab

Often times our tab happy fingers will skip over a field we meant to fill in. CTRL + Shift + Tab will go back to the previous field you skipped over.

5) Windows Key + Right/Left Arrow

windows key

This Windows 7 shortcut snaps windows to half of your screen . This is particularly useful when you are working with dual monitors and have 4 windows you want to snap. (The up arrow will maximize and the down arrow will minimize your window but I don’t use those as often.) This works with any window not just browser windows.

6) Google Search Operator: filetype:pdf 

This allows you to use Google and/or Google Scholar to search only pdf files. Just type your search term and then filetype:pdf and you’re good to go! I search Power Point presentations using filetype:ppt a lot as well.

7) Google Search Operator: site:.edu 

A lot of times I want to see what other universities are doing. So rather than sift through countless pages containing unrelated information I can search only websites with the domain .edu. You can do this with any domain .com, .org, etc. Combine this with filetype:ppt and you can search Power Point presentations from universities which can be really helpful when looking for ideas.

8) CTRL + W

Closes your current window/tab.

9) ” ” Quotes

Quotes search a phrase. I use this a lot in Google and Google Scholar but you can also use this in databases and the majority search engines you encounter. Ex: Searching for the clothing brand “bless ed are the meek” with quotes will make sure that you are searching that exact phrase not let’s say, blessed are the meek, which would be unrelated to the clothing brand and most likely related to the Biblical scripture verse.

In addition to searching phrases if you put quotes around a single word it forces Google to display that have that specific word (not synonyms). Ex: Searching for “easel.ly” will search for the infographic generator and not the word easily (which Google might try to auto correct)

10) CTRL + Tab/CTRL + Shift + Tab

Navigates to the next or previous tab in a window. You can also use CTRL + a number to go to the first, second, third, etc tabs respectively.


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