Here’s the scenario. You’re working on a document with a co-worker. Or your computer support engineer is showing you something on your computer. They’re at the keyboard typing in an important sentence and then, POP, the phrase he was typing is suddenly switched to a bold, italicized font. A few seconds later, they rolled through a few menus, and inserted a clip art. And they didn’t touch their mouse once!
On your computer, there are at least 3 different ways to get everything done. Some people love their mouse, but others do a lot of typing, and having to switch to their mouse occasionally slows them down. Windows has added keyboard commands to duplicate the function of most things you can do with a mouse. The biggest trick is learning them, and then memorizing them.
Here’s some good news. Clues to many of them can be found right in the menus of the software you are using. In software most shortcuts are a combination of the CTRL key and a letter. In Office 2010 products, hovering with your mouse over a menu item will show you the shortcut. With older versions, the menu items will have an underlined letter. Pushing the CTRL key and that underlined letter will be the shortcut for that menu. For example, pushing CTRL-C would be the same as Clicking on the Edit menu and then selecting Copy. A few of the more common shortcuts included in almost all software are listed below:
CTRL – S Save
CTRL – X Cut
CTRL – C Copy
CTRL – V Paste
CTRL – B Bold
CTRL – I Italics
CTRL – U Underline
For a more comprehensive list of Keyboard shortcuts for most Microsoft products surf over to http://www.microsoft.com/enable/products/keyboard.aspx. On that page, just click the link for your software and view the options! Shortcuts for everything from Microsoft Windows, to Microsoft Office, to Internet Explorer can be found over there.
Although the shortcuts listed there are specific to Microsoft products, many other software manufacturers will re-use the same shortcuts to make things easier for us users. If you can’t find a shortcut listed in your software, you can check out what other software is using and try it out.
For people who use both hands on the keyboard, this speeds things up tremendously as they no longer have to switch to a mouse to perform common, basic functions while working.