I use the keyboard shortcuts for cut, paste and copy all the time on my computer. They’re real timesavers, and I’d love to have a lot more of them. Is there any way to make my own shortcuts with my operating system?
Windows makes the process a bit tricky. But, with some free software, it’s possible to give nearly any menu-item command in any program a keyboard shortcut. If you’re keen on learning a niche scripting language that applies to only one program, use AutoHotkey, a powerful application that allows you to write a ton of shortcuts – for keyboard commands, for mouse buttons, and for shortened text inputs, among others. But if you’re just looking to assign a quick window-close shortcut or two, try HotKeyz. The program comes with some hot keys already written, which serve as good reference for your own shortcuts based on, for example, if a window title includes the text Microsoft (you might want a specific command to close a Microsoft Word document).
On a Mac, keyboard shortcuts are included in the Keyboard section of System Preferences. There, find the application in which you want to use the shortcut, and enter the to-be-shortcut menu-item text exactly as it appears. Simultaneously press the keys you want to assign and, voilà, you’re spared some mouse movement.
So, for instance, if you want to make a shortcut to insert a page break in a Microsoft Word document, you’d choose Word as the application and then type Page Break, which is the exact menu text.