Key combination

Updated: 01/31/2019 by Computer Hope

A key combination is the use of two or more keys on a keyboard to generate a specific result. These keys are pressed either at the same time, or one after the other while holding down each key until the last key is pressed.

Many key combinations are shortcuts to performing various actions in the operating system or a program that is running. These shortcuts may help save time when working with a document. When written, key combinations are often noted with a plus sign (+) between the names of the combined keys.

Examples of key combinations

  • Ctrl+S - Save currently open file.
  • Ctrl+C - Copy highlighted text or an image.
  • Ctrl+V - Paste text or an image from clipboard.
  • Ctrl+Alt+Del - Open up the Task Manager or option to change password for the user's account.
  • Ctrl+B - Change highlighted text to be bold.
  • Ctrl+I - Change highlighted text to be in italics.
  • Ctrl+U - Change highlighted text to be underlined.
  • Ctrl+A - Select all text and images (everything) in the current, active application.
  • Alt+F4 - Close the currently open and active application window.
  • Ctrl+F4 - Close window in open application but leave the application open.
Fun fact

Older "green screen" applications, such as MS-DOS, used key combinations to access different pages and areas of the application, due to not being able to use a mouse.


See our Ctrl page for a full listing of keyboard shortcut keys used with the Ctrl key.

Green screen, Keyboard terms, Shortcut, Task Manager