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Ctrl keyboard keyShort for control, Ctrl is a modifier key found on IBM compatible computer keyboards in the bottom left and right portion of the main keyboard. The picture is an example of what the Ctrl key may look like on your keyboard.

Where is the Ctrl key on the keyboard?

Below is an overview of a computer keyboard with the Ctrl keys highlighted in blue.

Ctrl keys

Apple command keyApple control key

On Apple computer keyboards the Ctrl key is "control" and is next to the option key and command key as shown in the picture ot the right. As far as the placement, the control keys are found in the same location as the Ctrl keys.

Ctrl keyboard shortcuts

Ctrl is used in keyboard shortcut key such as the three finger salute or CTRL + ALT + DEL. This key combination suggests pressing and holding down the CTRL, ALT, and DEL keyboard keys to open the Task Manager or reboot the computer.

Some documentation may also list commands such as ^X, ^C, ^Z, etc. this means CTRL-X, CTRL-C, CTRL-Z, etc. In other words, a user would want to press and hold the CONTROL or CTRL key and then press the letter following the caret. Below are some other commonly used Ctrl shortcut keys on a Windows computer.

Ctrl + A These two keys will select all text or other objects.
Ctrl + B Bold highlighted text.
Ctrl + C Copy any selected text or other object. See Control C definition for further information.
Ctrl + D Bookmark an open web page or open font window in Microsoft Word.
Ctrl + E Center text.
Ctrl + F Open find window.
Ctrl + G Open Find in browser and word processors.
Ctrl + H Open the Find and Replace in Notepad, Microsoft Word, and WordPad
Ctrl + I Italicize text.
Ctrl + J View downloads in browsers and set Justify in Microsoft Word.
Ctrl + K Create a hyperlink for the highlighted text in Microsoft Word and many HTML editors.
Ctrl + L Select address bar in browser or left align text in word processor.
Ctrl + M Indent selected text in word processors and other programs.
Ctrl + N Create a new page or document.
Ctrl + O Open a file in most programs.
Ctrl + P Open print window to print page you're viewing.
Ctrl + R Reload page in browser or right align text in word processor.
Ctrl + S Save the document or file.
Ctrl + T Create a new tab in an Internet browser or adjust tabs in word processors.
Ctrl + U Underline selected text.
Ctrl + V Paste any text or other object that has been copied.
Ctrl + W Close open tab in a browser or close a document in Word.
Ctrl + X Cut selected text or other object.
Ctrl + Y These keys will redo any undo action.
Ctrl + Z Pressing these two keys will undo any action.
Ctrl + Esc Open the Windows Start Menu.
Ctrl + Tab Switch between open tabs in browsers or other tabbed programs. Ctrl + Shift + Tab will go backwards (right to left).

Tip: See our shortcut key list for a full listing of all shortcuts.

Tip: Apple users can usually substitute the Control key keyboard shortcuts with the command key or control key.

Also see: ALT, Caret, Control, Control keys, Keyboard terms, Modifier key, Option key