16 Apr Beginner’s Guide to Chromebook Keyboard Shortcuts Pt. 1
Prepare students and teachers for Chromebook initiatives by learning the Chrome OS keyboard shortcuts for Caps Lock, delete and other basic commands.
When school districts are ready to make a financial leap towards 1:1 technology initiatives, administrators are often swayed from purchasing tablets because the Chromebook’s built-in keyboard functionality offers more convenience, savings and productivity by comparison. True to the Chrome OS concept, the devices feature Web-optimized keyboards with shortcuts that simplify browsing and navigation.
Designing a Web-oriented layout for an ultra-compact computer also means manufacturers have to eliminate many familiar keys found on traditional PC and Mac keyboards. If you’re wondering where the “Delete” key disappeared to or can’t figure out how to take a snapshot of the screen, use the integrated Chrome OS keyboard diagram for shortcut tips. By pressing “Ctrl + Alt + ?,” you can view a handy keyboard map with color-coding and brief command descriptions that show you which key combinations to use.
So, instead of a dedicated “Delete” key, Chromebook users hold down the “Alt” and “Backspace” keys. On Chromebook models without a Caps Lock key, holding down the “Alt” key and the “Search” key turns the feature on and off.
You won’t see the standard function key labels (F1 to F12) at the top of the keyboard, but Chromebook layouts cover the commands you’ll need most when browsing the Web and managing settings. For example, the left and right arrow keys in the upper left corner let you navigate forward and back between the previous or next Web page in your browser. Volume, screen brightness and Web page reload keys are also easily accessible on the top row.
If you don’t like trackpad navigation and prefer to keep your fingers glued to the keys, be prepared to use the “Search” key frequently. This button is located in the same spot as the Caps Lock key on a traditional keyboard, and clicking it once opens the Chrome OS apps menu. From the apps menu, you can also type Google search queries directly into the search bar, automatically launching a new Google results pages. And for a hint of calculation help here and there, you can type basic math operations or unit conversions into the search bar for a quick answer.
When you become a Chromebook pro and figure out which apps are your favorites, right click on the apps menu icons and choose the option to pin specific programs to the taskbar for faster access. Chromebooks have their own style, but ultimately, they mimic the Windows and Apple user experiences to make transitioning a painless process for today’s technocentric students.