What are keyboard shortcuts? How do I use them?
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 goo.gl/c8lyZ. 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 word||Ctrl+→ (right arrow)|
|Go to previous word||Ctrl+← (left arrow)|
|Go to start of line||Home|
|Go to end of line||End|
|Go to start of document||Ctrl+Home|
|Go to end of document||Ctrl+End|
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