Friday, August 19, 2011

Let Go of the Mouse

Want to look like a computer expert? Of course you do! (disclaimer – not sure how these work on a Mac) Learn some handy, speedy, keyboard shortcuts.

I use eight keyboard shortcuts all the time. They all involve using the control key (CTRL) on the keyboard along with other keys to minimize having to remove my hands from the keyboard. They also let me accomplish tasks that the screens I’m using seem to hide in some convoluted arcane menu structure.

The CTRL key was so vital to early computer keyboards that the designers put two of them on the keyboard. They reside to the far left and far right of the space bar on a standard keyboard.  You can be certain that if these keys were not important they would never have spent the extra money to have two of them!

Here are some of the commands that I use most often. There are so many more but these seem to serve most of my needs. I posted them based on how often I use them. Some days, though, I use the CTRL+z more than the others. If you hear yourself say “drat, shouldn’t have done that” or “what happened, NOW” try the escape (esc) key first and then if that doesn’t fix things, try CTRL+z.

Make sure you hold the CTRL key down first and while it’s down press the letter key and RELEASE both of them fairly quickly so you don’t accidentally cause the keys to repeat. If you’ve not used these before, you may want to try them on a website or document that is not important until you become more comfortable with them.

When using the copy, paste, and cut commands, remember to highlight the text first before activating the shortcut keys. The bold, italics, and underline shortcuts are used either before you type the text that you want to have with these attributes or can be used after the text is typed with the highlighting function. If you use the CTRL+b, I, or u before typing then you have to use the same commands at the end of the typing to turn the function off. It’s really much easier than it sounds.

Select All (really handy right before copying everything)
Use the Home key to go to the beginning
Use the End key to to the end

 I used many of these just in creating this post. I wrote the text in Word, saved it quickly (CTRL+s), Selected all of the text (CTRL+a), copied it (CTRL+c),
Then opened the blog post and pasted it (CTRL+p) into the window then used (CTRL+home) to go to the beginning of the post and (CTRL+end) to go the the end and add a few lines and make sure the table was not messed up.

So - the next time you find a great website and want to record the URL (address) into an e-mail or document, try highlighting the address, press CTRL+c to copy it, then click on the document and press CTRL+v to paste the information. No more typos.

So - you, too can look like a computer expert with a few keystrokes.

Happy Hunting!

1 comment:

  1. I use these all the time (except the Control-z, which I didn't know about). I always thought they were "old-fashioned" because so few people use them. I learned them when computers first came to offices. They make typing so much easier! Thanks for sharing.