The Alt + Tab Shortcut: A Convenient Task Switcher

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Do you ever find yourself buried in work and the next thing you know, you have 10 or more different windows open at one time? I found myself in this situation pretty frequently in the past. It was so irritating to have to use my mouse to click into separate windows for each needed task…not to mention how much time I was wasting while doing that!

Well, it turns out that there’s a magnificent shortcut that I didn’t know about until a friend of mine laughed at the way I was managing my computer windows. She showed me a shortcut called, “Alt + Tab”. This shortcut switches between top-level windows without having to use your mouse.

If only I had known about this trick years ago! Apparently, this shortcut has been in Microsoft Windows since Windows 3.0. Where have I been?

This shortcut is the most convenient function I’ve ever learned. I can switch back and forth between windows without having to touch my mouse. Using the keyboard to accomplish a task is so much more efficient.

Try it!

1.)    Have at least two open windows on your computer screen.

2.)    Press and hold down the Alt key on the keyboard.

3.)    Press and release the Tab key on the keyboard without letting go of the Alt key. A Fast Switching window should appear in the middle of your computer screen. This window will contain an icon for each document that is currently open on your computer.

4.)    The first icon on the left will be for the current document – which should be the one visible on the screen.

5.)    Continue to hold down the Alt key while tapping the Tab key. Each tap should move the highlighted box from one document to the next.

6.)    Once you’ve highlighted the document you would like to open, release the Alt key and windows switches you to the highlighted document.

It’s that simple!

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