Learn Keyboard Shortcuts

Learn Keyboard ShortcutsFor many computer users, using the keyboard instead of the mouse to perform common word processing or desktop tasks can be a huge time-saver. This is especially true for those with laptops, where the mouse may be a trackball or touchpad. With these devices, many common tasks such as dragging items to the trash, selecting a number of files, or even blocks of text can take longer.
Fortunately, almost every task that can be done with a mouse can be accomplished just as easily with a few keyboard shortcuts. The following are some of the more helpful shortcuts.
(Note: In the following examples, to execute the keyboard shortcuts, you need to hold down the modifier key (Ctrl, Alt, Cmd, Shift or the Windows key) while tapping a letter or number on the keyboard.)

Word processing keyboard shortcuts
The following are very helpful when using a word processor or other office applications. They willl allow you to perform common tasks while keeping your hands on the keyboard. All the following keyboard shortcuts work in both Microsoft Windows*, as written, or in Mac OS X*, with the Cmd/Apple key substituted for the Ctrl key:
  • Ctrl-A = Select all text in a word processor.
  • Ctrl-C = Copies all selected text to the clipboard. (The clipboard is a software element that can be used for short-term data storage and/or data transfer between documents or applications, via copy and paste operations.)
  • Ctrl-X = Cuts all selected text to the clipboard.
  • Ctrl-V = Paste text/image from the clipboard.
  • Ctrl-Z = Undo the most recent typing or action.
  • Ctrl-B = Make text bold.
  • Ctrl-U = Make text underlined.
  • Ctrl-I = Make text appear in italics.
  • Shift-Arrows = Highlight text one letter at a time.
  • Ctrl-Shift-Arrows = Highlight text one word at a time.
  • Ctrl-P = Print the open document.*
  • Ctrl-S = Save the current document.
  • Ctrl-Shift-S = Save the current document with a new name.
Note about printing: the Ctrl-P command works across almost all applications, but some programs (Adobe* Photoshop* comes to mind) use the Ctrl-P command as the Print Preview option rather than going directly to the Print dialog box.
Of the previous commands, many can also be used at the desktop or finder level:
  • Ctrl-A = Selects all files and folders.
  • Ctrl-C = Copies files, folders (and their contents) to the clipboard.*
  • Ctrl-X = Cuts files, folders (and their contents) from the desktop.*
  • Ctrl-V = Pastes files, folders (and their contents) from the clipboard.
A quick note about copying versus cutting: in a word processor, copying text and then pasting it leaves the text in two places. Likewise, copying folders from your desktop to a new location on your hard drive leaves the originals as they were, in addition to the copies at the new location. Cutting, on the other hand, is like deleting, only a copy is placed in the clipboard. In a word processor, this means you cut out the text but retain a copy so that pasting is an option. On the desktop, cutting accomplishes the same thing, except the files/folders don't actually disappear until you paste them to their intended new location.
Further keyboard shortcuts:
  • Ctrl-F = Find text in Firefox* and other Web browsers (Cmd-F in Mac OS X*).
  • Alt-Tab = Switch between running applications (Cmd-Tab in Mac OS X).
  • Ctrl-Esc = Bring up the Start Menu in Windows* (or simply hit the Windows key).
  • Cmd-Shift-3 = In Mac OS X, this takes a screenshot and saves it to your desktop.
  • Cmd-Shift-4 = In Mac OS X, this allows you to take a screenshot of a portion of your screen using crosshairs, which is then saved to your desktop.
If you're looking to get even more efficient, the installation of third-party application launchers such as Launchy* for Windows and Quicksilver* for Mac OS X can make an even bigger difference. These programs allow you to launch applications directly from the keyboard. Typically you'll hit a keyboard shortcut to bring up either Launchy or Quicksilver, and then simply start typing the name of the application you want to launch. When you see its icon appear, hit the Enter key and Launchy/Quicksilver launches that application for you. Quicksilver also offers ways of manipulating text, files, folders and more, all from the keyboard.
But even without third-party applications, you can do so much without every removing your hands from the keyboard. These keyboard shortcuts might seem like more work than mousing up to the menu, but in the long run they'll save you time. So try them out, get in the habit of using them, and enjoy the speed and efficiency.



Related Posts

No comments: