Essential keyboard shortcuts Use your keyboard like a pro...

I wrote about some essential keyboard shortcuts in an earlier post, but perhaps it’s time for a refresher and some additions. Some of these shortcuts won’t apply if your computer is configured to open files with one click of your mouse.

What would we do without UNDO?

  • [Ctrl] + [z] = UNDO the mistake you just made. In a program that has several levels of UNDO, repeat the shortcut to back-track.

Working with objects

Objects are files, pictures, or anything that is on your screen. When you click your mouse once in an open window you tell the computer to focus on that window and the object you clicked on. If you just want to select the window and nothing specific in it, click on the window frame.

Following are several methods to select objects in a Window. Try it  in ‘My Pictures’ or in Picasa. What? You don’t know Picasa? It’s a great, GREAT free software for organizing and editing your pictures. Get it before Google runs out!!

  • [Shift] + click = selects a consecutive range of files. Click on the first file you want to select, hold down the [Shift] key and click on the last file in the range you want to select.
  • [Ctrl] + click = selects files at random in a list. Click on any file in a folder while holding down the [Ctrl] key.
  • [Ctrl] + [a] = select everything in the window.

Usually you select objects to do something with them, either to open, delete, copy, move, or edit them. A great shortcut to find out what you can do with your selected files is to right-click on one of the selected files. A context menu pops up by the cursor that tells you what you can do with the files you’ve selected. This method also works for selected text.

Here are the most used keyboard shortcuts to copy, move and paste selected files (or text):

  • [Ctrl] + [c] = copy selection. This places the files onto the clip-board (computer memory).
  • [Ctrl] + [x] = cut selection to move the file. This places the files onto the clip-board (computer memory).
  • [Ctrl] + [v] = paste selection. This takes what is waiting on the clip-board and places it into the location you want it.

This method is very handy when you are organizing your pictures into different albums, or documents into different folders, or text snippets in a document.

Working with text

A few mouse-click tricks that really speed up your work. This works for text in an Internet Browser or in MS Word, or any text editor you are using.

  • Click once = places the cursor into a word or a paragraph. Handy for editing and correcting.
  • Click twice = selects a word. Handy to look up spelling.
  • Click three times = selects a paragraph. Handy for a quick copy/paste action. Or it also selects the complete web address in a browser address bar. Combine that with the copy/paste shortcuts and you can easily put website addresses into an email.

Here is that link to a list of shortcuts for Windows again. Start using these shortcuts, it’ll give you a lot more control over what you do.

Trying it out

  1. Go to the shortcut list.
  2. Click at the start of the list (to focus the cursor).
  3. [Shift] + click at the end of the list (this highlights the list).
  4. Click > File (top menu in your browser) and click > Print, click on the ‘Selection’ radio button in the print dialog to print only the list you have selected.