Ergonomic Computer Tools

In this age of information, one of the most common tools we have is the personal computer. As a web developer, I have cultivated a few useful shortcuts, applications, and workflows that I think most people would find useful in their daily computer usage. Most of the time, I use these tools without even thinking about it. I’ll be watching other people needlessly doing tedious work on their computer, thinking to myself why don’t they just use ____? The following tools are readily available, free, and easy to use – a lot of people just don’t know they exist.

Keyboard Shortcuts

I’m going to preface this section with the explanation that, if you have a MacBook, you can replace ctrl with cmd, and backspace with delete. If your computer’s settings are managed by your organization, some or all of these settings may be disabled.

ctrl + backspaceRemoves the preceding word instead of only the single letter`On Windows, if this setting doesn’t work on your computer and you are able to modify your computer’s settings, you can navigate to “Settings > Time & Language > Language”, select “Options” for your your language under “Preferred Languages”, and, under “Keyboards”, select a keyboard layout for that language.

If this is not working on a MacBook, you can navigate to “System Preferences > Keyboard Keys” and make sure Command is enabled and mapped to the Cmd key. Also check custom shortcuts in the “Keyboard Shortcuts” panel.
ctrl + right/left arrowNavigates the cursor forward/back a wordIf you encounter issues using this shortcut, see the solution provided for the above shortcut.
alt + tabSwitches between active windowsThe only times this shortcut has not worked for me is when I have an application that interferes with it. This usually only happens with full-screen applications.
ctrl + tabSwitches between active tabs (like on an internet browser)I am unaware of a setting for this feature.
windows logo + tabCascades open windows to make each visibleI am unaware of a setting for this feature.
windows logo + .Opens a window to choose emojis or other special characters fromSettings for this feature are located in Settings > Devices > Typing.
ctrl + left clickOpens a link in a new windowI am unaware of a setting for this feature.


When I change computers, I always install these apps first – before I start jumping into doing work or other things.


Only available for Windows, this app can be found on the Windows Store. It’s a must if you use screenshots regularly. Simply press ctrl + prt sc, then select the portion of the screen you want to screenshot. It automatically saves the screenshot to a folder, unlike the built-in snipping tool. It also has many tools – like highlighting, custom shapes, arrows, and blurring. You can also press ctrl + shift + prt sc to record a gif of the selected portion of the screen. This feature also has the same features that a regular screenshot has.

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