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Keyboard Shortcuts

Are you a keyboard person or a mouse person?

Either way, you are in luck. You can tell your computer to Save, Cut, Copy, Paste, or Print, for example, by clicking with your mouse or by using your keyboard keys. Wonderful.

Some people, especially those who began using computers before there were mice, trackballs, touch pads, and trackpads, are more keyboard-oriented. They are comfortable with the keys and prefer not to take their hands off the keyboard to find the mouse and click it.

Others, especially those whose first computer experience was with a mouse, find comfort in navigating to the menus and toolbars with the pointer.

Fortunately, either way will get the job done and you don’t have to choose between them; many people use a combination of both.

If you like using the mouse, you know how to move it around your screen, clicking and double-clicking on menus and drop-down lists to tell the computer what you want.

If you prefer keeping your hands on the keyboard, you should know about “keyboard shortcuts.”

  • Rather than clicking “Save” with the mouse to save your most recent work, try holding down the Control key (Command key on a Mac) while you hit the letter “s.” Work saved.
  • If you wish to cut a highlighted section of text, try holding down the Control key (Command key on a Mac) while you hit the letter “x.” Work copied to the computer’s clipboard.
  • To paste it elsewhere, try Control (or Command) and the letter “v.” Selection pasted.

How do you get to know the shortcuts?

Every drop-down menu lists its keyboard shortcut next to the written command. (If there is no keyboard shortcut listed, there is no shortcut for that command). Don’t try to master them all. Just focus on one or two of the commands you use most often and learn those shortcuts. You might like them.

Of course, this discussion does not apply to smartphones or tablets; as touch screen devices, these machines don’t have a mouse and all commands are communicated by tapping.

As I have reached the end of this topic, I think I’ll “Command + S” this email and schedule it to be sent.

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