Most new Android phones and tablets are speedy enough as it is, but you can use keyboard shortcuts to improve usability and functionality in a few simple steps.
We have a list of 35 keyboard shortcut tips to speed up typing and productivity, as well as information about how to add more shortcuts.
(Some shortcuts will only work on certain Android devices, but most of the ones listed here will work on nearly every device.)
Let’s kick off the list with a few typing shortcuts, and what they do.
- Alt + Spacebar: Allows you to insert a special character
- Shift + Del: Delete the character to the right of the cursor
- Alt + Del: Delete an entire line (this is very useful)
- Menu + X: Cut text (will cut all text on-screen unless specific characters are highlighted)
- Menu + C: Copy text to clipboard (will copy all text on-screen unless specific characters are highlighted)
- Menu + V: Paste text from clipboard (C&P is notoriously difficult on some Android devices.)
- Menu + A: Select all text in the current field
These will help while you’re browsing the internet;
- Menu + I: Zoom in
- Menu + O: Zoom out
- Menu + J: Go back a page
- Menu + K: Go forward a page
- Menu + R: Refresh current page
- Menu + F: Find on page
- Menu + B: Open bookmarks
- Menu + S: Open social network sharing menu
- Menu + H: View browsing history
- Menu + S: Open browser settings
These shortcuts allow you to access some of the stock apps quickly;
- Search + B: Open your browser
- Search + C: Open your contacts
- Search + E: Open your email
- Search + G: Open Gmail
- Search + I: Open your calendar
- Search + M: Open maps
- Search + P: Open music
- Search + S: Open text messaging
- Search + Y: Open YouTube
- F: Forward current message (works only while inside the message)
- R: Reply to current message (works only while inside the message)
- A: Reply-all to current message (works only while inside the message)
- Y: Archive message (works from within the message or while on the main inbox list)
- Menu + U: Refresh inbox
- Menu + C: Compose new e-mail
- Enter: Open an email (from the main inbox list)
- Alt + Trackball-Up: Jump to the top of your inbox
- Alt + Trackball-Down: Jump to the bottom of your inbox
Making Your Own Shortcuts:
You can also make your own keyboard shortcuts, which are great if you text a lot, or even for business emails.
(You may have to use the Google Keyboard, or your stock option for this to work. If you’re not sure how, you can find out how to change your Android keyboard here.
Once you’re ready to start:
- In your Settings, tap Language & input.
- Tap Personal dictionary to bring up a new menu and choose your preferred language.
- Tap the Add or + icon located in the top-right corner of the screen to add a new shortcut.
- Type the text you would like to shorten in the top line and the shortcut itself below.
- Confirm, and go back to the main Personal dictionary
- You should now see your shortcut listed here.
- You should now be free to add more shortcuts, or test them out as you wish.
Hopefully, you’ll now have a better idea of the range of shortcuts your Android device offers, as well as the ability to add new ones whenever necessary. Once you get used to using your new shortcuts, you’ll be amazed at how many times they get used during a typical day.
If you’re looking for a great alternative keyboard, here’s a list of three of the best Android keyboards on the market.
If we’ve missed a great shortcut, or you have questions about one of the shortcuts on this list, let us know in the comments below, or you can contact us via Facebook or Twitter.