Thursday, 17 March 2016

Keyboard shortcut junkie

I remember reading many years ago about the indicators of competence on a computer. I don't remember the source (apologies for this - please let me know if you read the same thing), but it went something like this:

  • First use is slow and awkward, the user struggles to locate keys and movement between keyboard and mouse is slow and measured. visual checks between hands and screen are frequent.
  • As use progresses, the speed of movement from mouse and keyboard increases and visual checks are less frequent.
  • eventually the user becomes competent in both keyboard and mouse use and devices work together to complete tasks. keyboard shortcuts are used often to expedite tasks.

With this in mind, I thought I would share my keyboard shortcut obsession with you all. if you are not familiar with keyboard shortcuts or do not use them, then I would encourage you to do so. They do increase efficiency and improve integration between the mouse and keyboard.

Ctrl + Ctrl - Ctrl 0

My daughter showed me this one. Thank you Alice. Whilst working in front of a class, the text on a website is sometimes too small for everyone to see. Ctrl + increase font size of the web page. You can repeat the keystrokes to increase it over and over. Ctrl - reduces font size and Ctrl 0 returns the font size to 100%. A great teaching tool and much quicker than zoom in on your remote control of your projector or going to the menu in your browser.

Tab jumper

I frequently work with many Tabs. I need to move between tabs quickly and I am often copying text between documents in this way.  This only works if you have no more than 9 tabs. I often have more than this but remembering my shortcuts encourages me to close some tabs. I can't be working on that many anyway.  The keyboard shortcut is Ctrl followed by any number from 1 to 9. Number 9 is the last tab and not the 9th tab, so technically only 1 - 8 take you to a precise location.

Ctrl X Ctrl C Ctrl V

These are the shortcuts that are most commonly known. They are Cut, Copy and Paste and these three used in conjunction with the Tab jumper make moving text and data across documents very easy.

image of Pop Up Keyboard showing shortcuts on a Chromebook
The pop up keyboards showing all the shortcuts available.
If you have the bug now, then you need a list of all shortcuts. On a Chromebook, Ctrl Alt ? brings up an interactive display of all keyboard shortcuts. Go on, take a look and find your own favourites

Rider: I am a long time Chromebook user so I cannot guarantee these shortcuts work on any other operating system.