10 Awesome Chrome OS Keyboard shortcuts that you need to know about

Chromebook keyboards are heavily customized for the Chrome browser experience. Google also didn’t miss out on heavily loading Chrome OS with keyboard shortcuts for a whole range of functions. Once you get used to these shortcuts, work will get done a lot faster and you will wonder how you ever lived without them. Here a list of 10 keyboard shortcuts that every Chromebook owner should know :-

1) Caps Lock Toggle

Keyboards on Chromebooks don’t usually have the Caps Lock key. However, you can still toggle the Caps Lock mode by pressing alt and Google’s dedicated search button together.

Caps Lock On/Off : alt + 123

2) Page-Up/Page-Down

Chromebooks don’t have dedicated keys for moving through the page. In case you miss the page toggle keys on the traditional Windows machine, they do have keyboard shortcuts. Simply press and hold the search or alt button, and press the up/down arrow keys to perform the page up/ page down function. The left and right arrow keys mimic the home and end keys as well.

Page Up : alt + up arrow or 13 + up arrow

Page Down : alt + down arrow or  13 + down arrow

Home :  13 + left arrow

End :  13 + right arrow

3) Task Manager

Does your Chromebook feel slower than it was when it was new? One way to speed up a Chromebook would be to open the task manager and see what’s slowing it down. The Task manager can be opened by pressing the search and esc key at the same time.

Open Task Manager :  13 + esc

4) Reopen Closed Tab

Have you ever accidentally closed a tab that you didn’t intend on closing? Google has your back because Chrome always remembers the last 10 tabs you closed. You can reopen a closed tab by pressing Ctrl, Shift and T together.

Reopen Closed Tab : Ctrl + Shift + T

5) Split Screen/ Docking Windows

One of the most useful features for multitaskers is to be able to see multiple apps on the same screen. On Chromebooks, you can dock your window to the left or right of the screen by pressing alt and [ or ] together.

Dock window left : alt + [

Dock window right : alt + ]

6) Zoom In / Zoom Out

The Chrome OS touchpad supports gestures, but unfortunately does not support pinch and zoom on pages. To zoom in and out of pages, you will have to press Ctrl + ‘+’ or Ctrl + – respectively.

Zoom In : Ctrl + +(Plus sign)

Zoom out : Ctrl + -(Minus sign)

7) Find on Page

This is one of the most useful shortcuts in my user experience. Very often, we need to find some specific piece of text on a webpage, and Chrome’s Find feature does that for us instantly. To access the Find bar, press Ctrl and F key together and just type in whatever text you want to find.

Find : Ctrl + F

8) Paste as Plain Text

Most of us know how to Copy and Paste using Ctrl + C and Ctrl + V. However, an additional pasting feature that might come in handy while preparing documents is the ability to paste text copied to the clipboard without any formatting. To paste as plain text, just add Shift to your Ctrl + V combination.

Paste as Plain Text : Ctrl + Shift + V

9) Taking a Screenshot

To take a screenshot of the entire screen, you have to press the ctrl key and the window switcher key together.

Screenshot of whole page : Ctrl + 1231

For Non Chrome OS keyboards : Ctrl + F5

To take a screenshot of only a specific area of the screen, press ctrl + shift + Window Switcher Key. The cursor turns into a crosshair pointer. You can selected a rectangular area on the screen by clicking and dragging the cursor on the area that you want a screenshot of. After selecting the area, release your mouse or trackpad button.

Screenshot of Selected Area : Ctrl + Shift + 1231 , then click, drag and release.

For Non Chrome OS keyboards : Ctrl + Shift + F5, then click, drag and release.

10) Use F1 to F11 keys

Some programs and functions might require you to use the F1 to F11 keys, which, unlike traditional laptop keyboards, aren’t available on Chromebooks. You can, however, perform the actions of the function keys by pressing the Search button with the number keys (1-0).

1 will correspond to the F1 key, 2 to F2 and so on.

Using Function Keys : 13  + (1 to 10)

These are the most useful keyboard shortcuts to make your Chrome OS experience smoother. If you want to go further and explore even more keyboard shortcuts, there’s a shortcut for that. Pressing Ctrl, Alt and ? together brings up a cheat sheet that lists all keyboard shortcuts.



Nishant Kauntia

Nishant is a tech-enthusiast, and keeps experimenting with new apps and tweaks on his Chromebook and Android smartphone. Innovative user-experience developments fascinate him. Apart from keeping a keen eye out for updates in the tech industry, Nishant is interested in Philosophy and Creative Writing.