Know how to use the 'Find' function? Most people don't.

It's easy for the less tech-savvy among us to be bewildered by devices such as smart phones and tablet PCs. But nearly 90 percent of computer users don't even know how to use the "Find" function, The Atlantic reports.

Dan Russell, a search anthropologist with Google, told The Atlantic that nine out of 10 people don't know how to use something as basic as the Control/Command-F function to locate a word or phrase in a document or on a Web page.

Russell often does field studies and watches people read through long documents to find exactly what they're searching for. "At the end I'll say to them 'Let me show you one little trick here,' and very often people will say 'I can't believe I've been wasting my life!' " Russell told The Atlantic.

Know any other keybopard shortcuts people should know but don't? Feel free to help out your fellow users in the comments section below.


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Reader Comments

Thu, Aug 25, 2011 Bill

Hit the start task bar icon and 'm'. This will minimize all your windows and take you out to the desktop instantly.

Thu, Aug 25, 2011

Well, if they don't know Find, then they probably don't know Replace - Ctrl H - to find and replace all instances of a word, letter, number, punctuation mark, etc. Or Shift+F7 for the Thesaurus.

Thu, Aug 25, 2011

MOST current computer users started in the MS-dominated GUI era, and have never used any other apps. Of COURSE they don't know hot-key shortcuts. This study sounds like it was done from a geek-centric viewpoint. If would be the same as a professional musician expressing shock and disdain that most people can't read musical notes, or understand guitar or piano finger positioning to do chords.

Wed, Aug 24, 2011 Pete Martin Denver, CO

This is not a new discovery. In 2008, New York Times blogger David Pogue wrote a piece about how many people didn't know these common, everyday shortcuts that he thought "everyone knew." He offered a couple dozen choice examples and then got more than 1400 responses from readers, many of whom shared their own favorite "shortcuts." That is at

Wed, Aug 24, 2011 Russ

Ctrl-Alt-PrntScreen. Copies the current window or screen to the clipboard, which then can be pasted into word documents, Paint, etc., as an image. Paste in Paint, then crop, manipulate, move sections around to get rid of all the extra stuff like ads, empty space, pop-ups to make a nice small image with the info you want.

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