Operational Excellence with Technology

Keyboard Shortcuts Speed Things Up

When I was in high school, Dad suggested I take a typing class. The reward for the class was a manual typewriter, what we used in first year typing. Then I decided that a second year of “college prep typing” wouldn’t hurt and of course for that class we switched to electric typewriters. So it cost Dad an electric at the end of that year.

I’m glad I took typing. Not only did I learn the proper format for formal school reports, I learned the various letter formats (since there were only 3 college prep typing students we were stuck in with the pre-secretary typists). I never broke the habit of looking at my hands, but I did get up to roughly 40 words per minute.

My wife was typing 100+ wpm when we got married.

It takes 3-5 seconds to take your hands off the keyboard and use a mouse to do a command. That’s the time it takes a typist to type 3-7 characters.

There are a half dozen commands you should learn that will really save you time that are common to virtually every program.

Of course that assumes you can type. If you can’t, it’s never too late to take a keyboarding class (what they call typing now). You are destined to spend more and more time typing.

What commands? I suggest a couple of formatting commands, one selection command, and three copy and paste commands:

Ctrl-B to start or end bold

Ctrl-U to start or end underline

Ctrl-A to select all everything in a document

Ctrl-C to copy the selected text/file to the clipboard

Ctrl-X to cut (copy the selected text/file to the clipboard then delete it)

Ctrl-V to paste the clipboard where the cursor is

Learn to type (you will be doing more and more with your computer) and a few commands. You’ll have more time for advanced productivity software like solitaire (where I don’t use any keyboard commands).

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