Don’t you hate it when you’re halfway into writing a sentence and you spot a typo? Your train of thought derailed, you now have to take your hands off your keyboard to fix it. Maybe it doesn't phase you, but it drives me nuts.

Thankfully, a few years ago, I discovered a handful of keyboard shortcuts that meant I never have to take my hands off the keyboard just to move around the document. These shortcuts modify the way your arrow keys move the cursor.

Once you get these down, I’m certain you’ll be using them all the time.

Commanding your cursor

If you hold down the Command key (Control and Alt keys for PC) while using the arrow keys, you can replicate the Home, End, Page Up and Page Down keys. This is particularly useful if you’re typing on a keyboard without them.

Need to jump to the start of a sentence? Just hold down Command and press the Left Arrow key. Jump to the end? The Command and Right Arrow key.

Want to quickly select an entire line of text? Add the Shift key to the mix.

Command Key + Arrows

Command key shortcuts

Mac / iOS PC
Home Command + Left Arrow Control + Alt + Left Arrow
End Command + Right Arrow Control + Alt + Right Arrow
Page Up Command + Up Arrow Control + Alt + Up Arrow
Page Down Command + Down Arrow Control + Alt + Down Arrow

Note: this functionality can be hit or miss for PC users. If the Control + Alt + Arrow key combination doesn't work, try switching out Alt for Fn. For example, Control + Fn + Arrow.

A finer option

Using the Option key (the Control key in Windows) in conjunction with the arrow keys allows you to move around in smaller increments. While holding down the Option key, the Right and Left Arrow keys will move your cursor around in one word increments, while the Up and Down Arrows will cause it to jump one paragraph at a time.

I use this one all the time to fix typos since I never have to take my hands off the keyboard. It’s also a great way to select or delete whole paragraphs without having to select them manually using the mouse.

Option Key + Arrows

Option Key Shortcuts

Moves Cursor: Mac / iOS PC
Up A Paragraph Option + Up Arrow Control + Up Arrow
Down A Paragraph Option + Down Arrow Control + Down Arrow
One Word To The Left Option + Left Arrow Control + Left Arrow
One Word To The Right Option + Right Arrow Control + Right Arrow

What are your favorite keyboard shortcuts? Did you already know about these? Share your thoughts in the comments below:

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  • What are the keyboard shortcuts that changed your life?

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