A keyboard shortcut (or accelerator key, shortcut key, hot key, key binding, keybinding, key combo, etc. ) is a key or set of keys that performs a predefined function. In Computing, a keyboard is an Input device partially modelled after the typewriter keyboard which uses an arrangement of buttons or keys These functions can often be done via some other, more indirect mechanism, such as using a menu, typing a longer command, and/or using a pointing device. In Computing and Telecommunications a menu is a list of commands presented to an operator by a Computer or Communications system. A pointing device is an Input interface (specifically a Human interface device) that allows a user to input spatial (ie continuous and multi-dimensional data By reducing such sequences to a few keystrokes, this can often save the user time, hence "shortcut".
For shortcuts which consist of keys "pressed together", one usually first holds down the modifier key(s), then quickly presses and releases the regular (non-modifier) key, and finally releases the modifier key(s). In Computing, a modifier key is a special key on a Computer keyboard that modifies the normal action of another key when the two are pressed in combination This distinction is important, as trying to press all the keys simultaneously will frequently either miss some of the modifier keys, or cause unwanted auto-repeat. One exception is shortcuts involving the key, which almost always requires pressing and releasing the Esc key before pressing the next key.
When shortcuts are referred to as key bindings it carries the connotation that the shortcuts are customizable to a user's preference and that program functions may be 'bound' to a different set of keystrokes instead of or in addition to the default. This highlights a difference in philosophy regarding shortcuts. Some systems, typically end-user-oriented systems such as Windows or Macintosh consider standardized shortcuts essential to the environment's ease of use. Economics and Commerce define an end-user as the person who uses a product. Microsoft Windows is a series of Software Operating systems and Graphical user interfaces produced by Microsoft. Macintosh, commonly nicknamed Mac is a Brand name which covers several lines of Personal computers designed developed and marketed by Apple Inc These systems usually limit a user's ability to change shortcuts, typically requiring a separate, possibly third-party, utility to perform the task. Other systems, typically Unix and related, consider shortcuts to be a user's prerogative, and that they should be changeable to suit individual preference. Unix (officially trademarked as UNIX, sometimes also written as Unix with Small caps) is a computer In most real-world environments, both philosophies co-exist; a core set of 'sacred' shortcuts remain fixed while others, typically involving an otherwise unused modifier key or keys, are under the user's control.
In most GUIs, a program's keyboard shortcuts are discoverable by browsing the program's menus - the shortcut is indicated in the menu choice. There are keyboards, commonly called Specialty Keyboards that have the shortcuts for a particular application already marked on them. These keyboards can help the users learn the shortcuts and improve their speed of using the particular applications.
The simplest keyboard shortcuts consist of only one key. For these, one generally just writes out the name of the key, as in the message "Press F1 for Help". The name of the key is sometimes surrounded in brackets or similar characters. For example: [F1] or <F1>. The key name may also be set off using special formatting (bold, italic, all caps, etc. Capital letters or majuscules pronunciation /məˈdʒʌskyuls ˈmædʒəˌskyuls/ in the Roman alphabet A, B, C, D, )
Many shortcuts require two or more keys to be pressed together. For these, the usual notation is to list the keys names separated by plus signs or hyphens. For example: "Ctrl+C", "Ctrl-C", or "Unix platforms, the case of the second character is significant - if the character would normally require pressing the Shift key to type, then the Shift key is part of the shortcut e. Unix (officially trademarked as UNIX, sometimes also written as Unix with Small caps) is a computer g. '^C' vs. '^c' or '^@' vs. '^2'.+[C]". The Ctrl key is sometimes indicated by a caret character (^). Thus Ctrl-C is sometimes written as ^C. At times, usually on
Some keyboard shortcuts require keys (or sets of keys) to be pressed individually, in sequence. These are generally written with the individual keys (or sets) separated by commas or semicolons. For example "Alt+F, S" or "Alt+F; S" would mean "First press For a list of keyboard shortcuts see Table of keyboard shortcuts The Alt key on a computer keyboard is used to change (alternate the function Such shortcuts often represent a series of smaller shortcuts, strung together to create a larger action. To continue the "Alt+F, S" example, in many programs, this will open the "File" menu, and then invoke the "Save" function.and F together, then press S".