One of the best ways to increase your computing productivity doesn’t cost a cent: learn the keyboard shortcuts for your most-used commands.
To help you stop mousing around and become a keyboard maestro, I rounded up the best resources for finding, using, and creating shortcuts.
Lincoln Spector struck a nerve with his Jan. 13 column, “Twenty-six ways to work faster in Windows 7.” Many of those tips involved keyboard shortcuts. After all, almost any time you can use the keyboard instead of the mouse, you work faster. But there are lots more shortcuts where those came from. This article aims to show you where to find the ones that can speed up your workflow. In case you can’t find the shortcuts you need, I’ll show you how to create your own.
You probably already know that you can invoke many menu and dialog-box items via the keyboard by pressing the Control or Alt key plus an underlined letter. For example, pressing Alt + F in most apps opens the File menu; then pressing the underlined letter N opens a new document. You might also know that when you press Alt + A, you apply dialog-box changes.
Direct keyboard shortcuts to menu commands (such as Ctrl + C for Copy) are typically shown next to the command in the menu itself. For a great introduction to using keyboard shortcuts, check out Gizmo’s Dec. 3, 2009, column. For general strategies and more tips, see Scott Dunn’s Feb. 25, 2010, column.
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