Ctrl keyboard keyShort for control, Ctrl is a 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. This term is commonly used to refer to a 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.

Many times documentation or information from Computer Hope and other computer related documentation may 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 keyboard shortcuts

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.

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 Option key.

Related pages

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