ThimphuTech was the first technology blog in Bhutan. We started writing it in 2009, just as broadband and mobile internet started to take off. (Although internet in Bhutan was launched in 1999, it was either super-slow or super-expensive, and was only used by a selected few).

In the blog, we wrote about technology and food, but also about plenty of other stuff. The blog became popular and influential in Bhutan. A companion bi-weekly column -- Ask Boaz -- was published for many years in the Kuensel, Bhutan's national newspaper. (The complete Kuensel columns are available as an ebook, Blogging with Dragons).

We stopped updating the blog when we left Bhutan in 2014, but the information within the posts can still prove useful, and thus we decided to keep it online.

We thank all our readers.
Tashi Delek,
Boaz & Galit.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Using Shortcuts (K2 #32)

Question of the Week 

What are keyboard shortcuts? How do I use them?
-- K.C.

Dear K.C.,

Thanks for your question! Before we delve into the matter, let me tell you that I love keyboard shortcuts. That's because I love shortcuts. Who wants to work harder than necessary?

Suppose you are editing a document, spreadsheet or presentation and wish to save it. Most of us are familiar with the following process: grab the mouse, move the little arrow (known as the cursor) until it reaches the File menu, then click once and look for the Save option, and finally click it again. This process requires some effort: You need to move your hand between the keyboard and the mouse, to direct the cursor to the precise location on the screen, and so on. This doesn't sound like much, but when you're using a computer for several hours, the constant switching and eye-hand maneuvers are tiring. This is even more so if you're using a netbook with a small touchpad, where controlling the cursor can be a real pain.

Enter the world of keyboard shortcuts: To save a file, hold one of the large Ctrl keys (there are two, one on each side of the bottom row of keys on your keyboard), and, while holding it, click the S key. That's it - file is saved! This shortcut is designated by Ctrl+S - you hold the first key (Ctrl), and then click on the second (S). Many of these shortcuts - but not all - are designed to be easy to remember (S stands for Save).

One of the most useful keyboard shortcuts is the often-ignored Tab key (upper left on keyboard). When you have to fill a form with many fields, instead of using the mouse to move to the next field, just click Tab. To go to the previous field, use Shift+Tab (hold the Shift key, then click on Tab).

Many of the Microsoft Office applications share similar shortcuts. I've included some of the most popular actions in the box. They will work with most applications. For example, if you want to go to the end of an Excel worksheet, just use Ctrl+End.

You can find many of the shortcuts, for Windows as well as for the Mac, at Once you become a shortcut wizard, don't forget to show your mouse a bit of tender loving care, as it might start to feel a bit neglected.

Useful Keyboard Shortcuts

To apply this action...Use this shortcut
Go to next wordCtrl+→ (right arrow)
Go to previous wordCtrl+← (left arrow)
Go to start of lineHome
Go to end of lineEnd
Go to start of documentCtrl+Home
Go to end of documentCtrl+End

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