Saturday, April 4, 2009

Keyboard Shortcuts

I love keyboard shortcuts. There's no better way to do things quickly than by using a keyboard. If you think about it, using all fingers instead of moving your hand/arm and clicking with one finger must be faster. But first you need to know the shortcuts. Here's a list of some good resources for keyboard shortcuts in various programs:
  1. Windows XP
  2. Windows Vista (Remote Desktop)
  3. Firefox
  4. Microsoft Excel (Others)
  5. Microsoft Outlook
  6. SAS
Here are some of my favorite shortcuts--ones that people don't usually know about. These are based in Microsoft Windows XP.
  1. Alt+Tab for switching programs. Ctrl+Tab for switching tabs in Firefox or other tabbed programs. Alt+Page Up or Page Down is incredibly useful on remote desktops for switching between programs just like Alt+Tab.
  2. Ctrl+Shift+Esc brings up Windows Task Manager. Similarly, Windows+Break brings up the System Properties. The usual Windows combinations are good, too, especially Windows+L, which locks the computer, Windows+D, which shows the desktop, and Windows+E, which opens Explorer.
  3. Alt+F4 terminates a program. In some programs Ctrl+F4 terminates a window, submenu, or other child program within a program. I like to use that in SAS quite a bit. Ctrl+Shift+T opens a new tab in Firefox, and Ctrl+W closes tabs in Firefox.
  4. Keyboard shortcuts can be assigned to shortcut icons. At home and work, I use the Ctrl+Alt+Shift combination for typical programs. I usually assign Ctrl+Alt+Shift+W for Microsoft Word, Ctrl+Alt+Shift+X for Excel, Ctrl+Alt+Shift+N for Notepad, and Ctrl+Alt+Shift+C for Calculator.
  5. At work, I use the Ctrl+Alt combination for connecting to various programs that allow me access to something, for example, Ctrl+Alt+S for connecting to SAS, Ctrl+Alt+R for connecting to remote desktops, and Ctrl+Alt+Q for Rapid SQL.
  6. In Excel, Ctrl+; enters the current date and Ctrl+: enters the current time. Ctrl+" copies the cell above to the selected cell and Ctrl+' copies a formula in the same manner. Alt+Enter inserts a line break within a cell, allowing the user to break text across more than one line. Ctrl+Home, Ctrl+End, Ctrl+Page Up, and Ctrl+Page Down are useful navigational keyboard shortcuts in Excel, too. Try them out!
  7. In Microsoft Office, Ctrl+K creates a hyperlink on the selected text.
  8. In Microsoft Outlook, Ctrl+D deletes highlighted or currently viewed mail. Ctrl+Shift+V brings up a menu to move currently highlighted/viewed mail to a folder. Alt+F4, like above, terminates the current open message (I thought Ctrl+F4 would make more sense).
  9. In SAS, the best one to know is F9. Then you can read about all of them! Otherwise, F8 for submitting programs, F6 for viewing the log, F7 for viewing output, and F5 for viewing programs. Keep pressing F5 to toggle between multiple programs.
  10. If the Language Bar toolbar is on in Windows, don't hit Alt+Shift. It switches the language! That one gets me all the time, since my wife uses Chinese on our computer on occasion. And for some reason I bump it quite often.
That's about all I can think of right now. I like learning new keyboard shortcuts, and I know there are a lot more to learn. What are your favorites?

1 comment:

  1. We wouldn't want complicated tasks, of course. We will always find ways to simplify things. Using keyboard shortcuts is such a help. I always use alt+tab to switch from one program to another. With my job, shortcuts are really useful, they make my reports easier to get done. With articles on different programs, MS word on one and another one for excel, using shortcuts makes it easier for me to finish my research or report.

    Natalie Loopbaanadvies


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