At my first job out of college one of my bosses, Dave Callaway, could type 160 words per minute (WPM)! He also had a very noisy keyboard. You could hear some amazing noise from his office. His fingers would fly across his keyboard. That company was eventually purchased by Novell and it was fun to see many computer engineers at Novell be blown away by how fast he could type and how much work he could get done.
All of us work on computers now. From email to blogging to recording phone reservations to analyzing reports to generating newsletters, computers are part of our day and our business. Katherin Costabel at Adobe & Pines Inn said it best: “I got all the way through college without touching a computer so here I am trying to run a bed and breakfast and computers are slammed in my face.”
I was blessed at the beginning of my career to be able to be instructed in keyboard shortcuts. It’s allowed me to get more done in less time. Below are some of the tips and tricks I learned from Dave Callaway:
KEYBOARD SHORTCUT THEORY
The more efficient we are on a computer, the more productive we become. Faster means we can get more done in a smaller amount of time. Someone who types 120 WPM can do many times the work of someone who types 40 WPM. If we can improve our speed on a computer, we can do more on and away from the computer.
I got all the way through college without touching a computer so here I am trying to run a bed and breakfast and computers are slammed in my face.
Like anything worthwhile it takes practice and commitment to improve computer speed and skill. Everyone can improve, though. Avoid negative thinking that it’s “too hard” or “impossible”. At the start breaking old habits may slow you down for a day or two but gradually you will get faster and faster.
Use the mouse only when you have to:
Example: You use web-based guest management software. You are recording a phone reservation and are entering the guest’s information. Instead of using the mouse to click the next field each time, you use TAB to do so.
Keyboard shortcuts are faster than mouse clicks. Shifting and moving a mouse can be outdone by several taps on the keyboard ivory. Keyboard shortcuts can vary from PC to Mac but most are very similar. Click on the PC and Mac links for a full list of shortcuts. Experiment with them and think of good uses for them. Memorize them.
Some things are faster with a keyboard and some are faster with a mouse. Be observant and you will learn over time. Some things like Photoshop are mouse intensive.
Faster with a keyboard:
Faster with a mouse:
Learn to copy, cut and paste:
Example: So many people right click on their mouse, select “Copy”, click on where the text should go, then right click on their mouse, select “Paste”. It is much faster to press CTRL + C, click on where the text should go (or use the keyboard if where you are pasting isn’t far from where you presently are at) and then CTRL + V.
|CTRL + C:||Copy|
|CTRL + V:||Paste|
|CTRL + X:||Cut|
Use these keyboard shortcuts to cut, copy and paste. Cut deletes the text from its present location once it is moved to the new location.
Our keyboards are laid out so that the most common letters are closer to reach. Same with some keyboard shortcuts. Notice that Cut, Copy and Paste are next to each other?
This is a paragraph that I’d like to change around. This sentence should really be the last sentence. This sentence should really be the first sentence.
1) Copy and paste the above paragraph so you have a second copy of it.
2) Cut and paste the sentences such that they are in the right order.
Learn to undo:
One of my favorite keyboard shortcuts is Undo. You hold down CTRL + Z. Each time you do it, you undo one step more.
1) Type the following: “One Two Three Four Five Six”.
2) Hit undo (CTRL + Z) until only “One” remains.
Use the delete and backspace key for their intended purpose:
I watched someone the other day. While writing a memo he was deleting words using the backspace key in order to insert a word in front of the deleted word. It’s best to use the mouse or keyboard moves to position the cursor where the new word should go instead of retyping content.
Keyboard moves for dancing around the page:
Keyboard masters use the following to fly around text when writing and editing.
|CTRL + Arrow Key:||Allows you to skip over words.|
|SHIFT + Arrow Key:||Highlights words.|
|HOME:||Takes you to the start of the line.|
|END:||Takes you to the end of the line.|
|PAGE UP:||Move the cursor up one page.|
|PAGE DOWN:||Move the cursor down one page.|
|SHIFT + HOME:||Highlights all words to the start of the line.|
|SHIFT + END:||Highlights all words to the end of the line.|
|CTRL + HOME:||Go to the start of the document.|
|CTRL + END:||Go to the end of the document.|
|CTRL + SHIFT + Left or Right Arrow:||Select one word at a time.|
|CTRL + SHIFT + Up or Down Arrow:||Select a line at a time.|
|CTRL + SHIFT + END:||Select the words from the cursor to the end.|
|CTRL + SHIFT + HOME:||Select the words from the cursor to the top.|
Copy and paste this paragraph to Word. Place you cursor at the start of this sentence. Use CTRL to navigate the paragraph and select words and lines with keyboard shortcuts.
When working with web pages most often you use the mouse to highlight content, then keyboard shortcuts to copy and paste it to another web page or document. If copying between web pages use CTRL + number to do so quickly.
|CTRL + F4:||Closes the current tab.|
|CTRL + Number:||If you have three websites up in different tabs in your browser, you can like lightning shift between them using CTRL + 1 (first tab), CTRL + 2 (second tab) or CTRL + 3 (third tab).|
|ALT + D:||Takes you to the address or URL box.|
|F5||Refresh the page.|
|CTRL + F5||Hard refresh which will reload even the pictures.|
|SPACE||View the next page down.|
|CTRL + “+”||Font size is one larger.|
|CTRL + “-“||Font size is one smaller.|
|CTRL + 0||Returns the font size to the default size.|
Core Windows shortcuts:
|ALT + F4:||Closes the current application.|
|ALT + TAB:||Switches to the next application.|
|Windows Key:||Displays the start menu.|
|Windows Key + M:||Hides all applications.|
|Windows Key + E:||Opens the file explorer.|
Common Application shortcuts:
|CTRL + F:||Brings up the find box.|
|CTRL + H:||Brings up the find and replace box.|
|CTRL + B:||Bold text.|
|CTRL + I:||Italic.|
|CTRL + U:||Underline.|
|CTRL + P:||Print.|