February 19, 2013
You don’t need to be a geek for these simple keyboard hints
I grew up when computers were first becoming available to people on a wide scale. My dad was working as an electronics technician at Picker, and he decided to build his own personal computer, a Heathkit.
There was a series of nights of soldering seemingly endless transistors to computer boards and then finally, the moment everything was all assembled and he turned the computer on.
We saw a C:\ prompt on a green screen. That’s it. Just C:\.
“Great,” we thought. “What do we do now?”
Learning to compute
The household quickly became adept at learning what to do with that DOS shell – running word processing programs, playing games, exploring the world of bulletin boards. (Remember those?)
The era of hearing my mom pound on the mechanical typewriter ended (as did the wadded up pieces of paper on the floor from her edits) and was replaced with the softer patter of plastic keys. And Dad bought me a book on the BASIC programming language and I started my lifelong programming passion.
My use of computers from a very young age both as a programmer and end-user has given me an advantage. There are so many concepts that one can learn to which I was exposed in a kind of organic way – I swim in this stuff.
I notice during orientation sessions how many people do not have comparable experience, and it’s a bit of a juggling act sometimes to understand what exposure the person I’m training has, and where to start.
This is, in fact, a major impetus for this blog. There are so many concepts that can be useful to our customers and there’s quite a valid educational mission to this. So I wish to cover not only the ins and outs of various website marketing concepts, but also basic personal computer use concepts.
Easy keyboard tips
One of my favorite concepts is keyboard shortcuts for commonly used functions. Quite often, a person needs to copy and paste information from one program or part of a screen to another program.
For instance, perhaps you have a password stored in a document and it’s difficult to type the password in because it’s so cryptic.
Instead of typing it in, did you know that you can highlight the word in the document with your mouse, and then press the “CTRL” and “C” keys at the same time (CTRL+C), and it will copy the password? And then click the area you want to paste the password into, and press “CTRL” and “V” (CTRL+V) and it will paste the password there.
This is useful not only for passwords but large selections of text. If you want to select all of the information in a document, you can use CTRL+A and it will select all the info, and then click the area that you want to paste into, and again, do CTRL+V.
My favorite of all time is CTRL+Z. CTRL+Z is the “undo” command. So if I have done a sequence of operations in a program such as Microsoft Word, I can undo what I’ve done, one command at a time, by using CTRL+Z. And I can redo in most programs by using CTRL+SHIFT+Z.
Please note that these instructions are for PCs. If you have a Mac, instead of the “CTRL” key, use the Mac “Command” key.
There you have it – some of the simplest yet most valuable keyboard commands to add to your toolbox.
Kathy Smith has developed more than 200 websites – everything from n-tier enabled applications to ecommerce to your friendly brochure-style website. She is senior developer at Lakenetwork.net, a website development company in Eastlake, Ohio.
Lakenetwork is a family-owned business providing website design and development for companies, professionals and organizations in the Cleveland, Ohio area and beyond. We specialize in providing the most cost-effective and appropriate solutions for clients’ online needs. We are located in Eastlake, Ohio.