The Shift key is used in keyboard shortcuts, multiple selections, occasional caps, and key combinations. It is known as a modifier key (which when pressed with another one performs a certain action), and we will find it at each end of the keyboard, one on the right and one on the left.
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Knowing the Shift key
An up arrow on the keyboard represents this key. The name of the key originates from the old typewriters, in which you had to hold down this key to type a character, symbol, or a capital letter.
These keys are at the beginning and end of the second row of the keyboard. One of them is below the Caps Lock key, and the other is below the Enter key (the thickest key). If the keyboard we have is a laptop or a desktop keyboard, the right Shift key is located on the directional keys.
Most keyboards have a numeric keyboard; the Shift key will be found on the right and left Control key.
Using the Shift key
The main function of the Shift key is to type the occasional capital letter. It consists of keeping the Shift key pressed and pressing any key on the keyboard that we want to be capitalized once. An example, if we want to mark the capital letter G for Great, we hold down the Shift key and press the G key on the keyboard only once.
However, if the Caps Lock key is activated, we want to mark a letter in upper case using the Shift key; when marking it, the letter will be written in lower case. You will need to turn off Caps Lock to capitalize the letter.
However, the situation will not be the same with the symbols above the number keys. Although we have activated the lock-in capital letters, the numbers or symbols will continue to be typed by pressing the Shift key.
This key is also used to mark the character key above the alphabet keys. For example, if we want to mark the $ character (it is above the number 4), we hold down the Shift key and press the 4 key; instead of marking it, it will mark the above number ($).
Other interesting uses
This key has other uses, in addition to the ones we have already mentioned. For example, it is applied to take keyboard shortcuts with a simple key combination. It is very timely when we want to do something quickly, and it helps us solve certain frequent activities if we want to do them in an instant.
On the other hand, with this key, we can customize certain combinations to execute programs. Another utility of this key is its ability to modify the function keys. For example, modern numeric keyboards have function keys up to F12. Using the Shift + F1 key combination is like pressing the F13 key, and so on.
It is also useful in selecting multiple files or in blocks. To select continuous files, we click the first file, hold the Shift key, and then click the last file. All files in a row will be selected.
If we want to select all a text in a text editor, with the key combination click + Shift, we will select all the text from where the cursor was located to where we click.
Some shortcuts with the Shift key
Sometimes certain situations push us to want to do things faster; the key combinations allow us to achieve that purpose. In the previous sections, we already mentioned some of them; below, we will give you other useful shortcuts.
Alt + Shift + Tab: with these key combinations, we can resort to moving in open or active applications on our computer; we can select one and maximize the one we want to access. With these keys, we don’t need to go to the taskbar.
Ctrl + Shift + Tab: with this combination of keys, we can move through the program windows that we have open.
Ctrl + Shift + T: with them, we open the last closed tab.
Shift + Del: We delete the files without them going through the recyclable bin.
Ctrl + Shift + Esc: in Windows, open the Task Manager.
Ctrl + Shift + B: What it does is hide the browser bookmarks bar.
Ctrl + Shift + Del: clears the browsing data.
Shift + desired key: access special characters. There are special characters near the Enter key. They can be activated with this key combination. Some of these characters will not be activated by just using this key. The Alt Gr key must be used.
Ctrl + Shift + desired key: Accesses secondary keys. Some keys have 3 symbols that can be accessed either with the Shift key or simply by pressing on it. However, the third symbol is selected by pressing the Alt Gr key, which all keyboards have. We can simulate it with the key combination Ctrl + Shift.
Ctrl + Shift + N: with them, we can quickly create folders if we are in any Windows directory and immediately assign a name to the folder. If we press the Enter key and use the same combination of keys, we will obtain another new folder, and so on until we achieve the ones we want.
Shift + F10: with these keys, we access the contextual menu. For this, we must have an element selected: file, icon, etc. Then on the element, we press Shift + F10 to display the contextual menu of that element.
Ctrl + Insert and Shift + Insert: These key combinations are alternatives to Ctrl + C (Copy) and Ctrl + V (Paste).
The Shift key provides us with many useful functionalities that make it easier for us to make certain activities easier and faster. Programmers and designers take advantage of this key and others such as Ctrl and TAB. With them, they speed up work and make certain activities easier.