One of life's unexpected pleasures is discovering a shortcut that knocks time and miles off a trip. It's the same when using your computer. Keyboard shortcuts can allow you to be more efficient without having to search menus for the right command.
The tips below may vary depending on your operating system, software and even the computer brand, but should hold true. Mac commands are included where available.
• F1 (CMD-? and CMD-Shift-?) to find help on the desktop or in an open program.
• F8 (Shift) to start in safe mode when the computer first boots. • Delete (CMD-Delete) removes items to the Recycle Bin, or Shift-Delete to delete immediately.
• CTRL-Z (CMD-Z) to undo your last action in a program, or moved or deleted file.
• CTRL-A (CMD-A) to select all.
• CTRL-F (CMD-F) to find.
• Windows Key-E (CMD-space) to search.
• Windows Key-M (Option-CMD-M) minimizes all windows. Use Shift-Windows Key-M to undo.
• Alt-F4 (CMD-Q) to quit a program.
• Hold down CTRL key while moving files to only copy them from one place to another.
• F7 (CMD-:) for spelling and grammar check, or Shift-F7 for a thesaurus.
• Shift-(arrow keys) (Mac or Windows) highlights text. CTRL-C (CMD-C) copies selected text; CTRL-V (CMD-V) places copied text at the cursor's location; CTRL-X (CMD-X) deletes it. Select text and then use the appropriate command.
• Shift-F3 to toggle case of selected text.
• Alt-Shift-D pastes the date, Alt-Shift-T the time.
• When in a long document, Shift-F5 will return your cursor to where you were. And CTRL-Alt-S will open a split-screen view of your current document.
• CTRL-Enter forces a page break.
• Though not a keyboard shortcut, use Format Painter (on the standard toolbar) to "paint" any formatting in your document to another block of text.
• F12 (Shift-CMD-S) opens a Save As box.
• CTRL-+ enlarges text (minus key reduces).
• In the navigation line, type a word. CTRL-Enter adds the beginning and end of a .com URL. Use CTRL-Shift-Enter for .org and Shift-Enter for .net.
The left Shift and Alt keys held down with the PrntScrn key toggles high contrast mode. Windows Key-U turns on the Utility Manager, which offers read-aloud text, magnifier and an on-screen keyboard. Find more at microsoft.com/enable/products or for Macs, apple.com/accessibility/macosx/vision.html.
Take note of other shortcut items listed next to icons and commands. Find more shortcuts for Windows at support.microsoft.com/kb/126449/; for Office 2003 at tinyurl.com/SCOffice2003; for Office 2007 at tinyurl.com/SCOffice2007; and for Macs at support.apple.com/kb/ht1343.
Ken Satterfield is advertising and marketing coordinator for Word&Way.