Saving Time With Keyboard Shortcuts

In the 1980s, as programmers began packing more features into PC software, they also developed ways for users to issue an ever-increasing number of commands. Software packages came with long lists of commands, all of which had to be entered at the keyboard. (This was before the mouse came into common use.) As a result, the computer keyboard rapidly became a valuable tool.
Programmers began devising keyboard shortcuts that allow users to issue commands quickly by typing a short combination of keystrokes. Keyboard shortcuts involve using a modifier key (such as
) along with one or more alphanumeric or function keys. To print a document in many applications, for example the user can press ctrl+p.
Function keys also became important The
key, for example, became the universal way to access online help. IBM compatible computer keyboards originally had 10 function keys; eventually the number of function keys was expanded to 12.
Another common type of keyboard shortcut involves pressing the
key to access a program's menu system. When running any Windows program, you can press alt to activate the menu bar, and then press a highlighted letter in a menu's name to open that menu.
Still a keyboard can hold only so many keys, and the lists of keyboard shortcuts became unmanageable. A single program could use dozens of "hotkeys” as these shortcuts were called. If you used several programs, you had to learn different shortcuts for each program. Finally, the Common User Access (CUA) standard led to the standardization of many commonly used hotkeys across different programs and environments. With this standard for commonly used hotkeys, users have fewer hotkeys to remember.
Despite such standards, pointing devices (such as the mouse) came along none too soon for hotkey-weary computer users. Microsoft Windows and the Macintosh operating system gained popularity because of their easy-to-use, mouse-oriented graphical interfaces. By operating the mouse, users could make selections visually from menus and dialog boxes. Emphasis rapidly began shifting away from the keyboard to the screen; today, many users do not know the purpose of their function keys!
, however, can slow you down. As menus and dialog boxes become increasingly crowded, commands can be hard to find and their locations can be as difficult to remember as keyboard shortcuts. Many computer users overcome these problems by using a combination of keyboard shortcuts and a pointing device. You use one hand to issue many basic shortcuts (such as
and ctrl+s
) or to launch macros. A macro is a series of commands that a program memorizes for you. Macros enable you to issue an entire set ot commands in just a few keystrokes. Using these techniques minimizes keystrokes and leaves a hand free to use a pointing device.
The following table lists some of the shortcut keys available in Microsoft Word.
Table. 1: Keyboard shortcuts
CTRL+BToggle bold character formatting on or off for the selected or inserted text; make letters bold or unbold.
CTRL+IToggle italic character formatting on or off for the selected or inserted text; make letters italic.
CTRL+UToggle underline character formatting on or off for the selected or inserted text; underline letters
CTRL+CCopy the selected text or object
CTRL+VPaste text or an object
CTRL+ZUndo the last action
CTRL+YRedo the last action
CTRL+XCut the selected text or object
CTRL+SPACEBARRemove character formatting for the selected text
CTRL+ORemove paragraph formatting for the selected paragraph or paragraphs
CTRL+SHIFT+<Decrease font size for the selected or inserted text
CTRL+SHIFT+>Increase font size for the selected or inserted text

Do you want to say or ask something?

Only 250 characters are allowed. Remaining: 250
Please login to enter your comments. Login or Signup .
Be the first to comment here!
Terms and Condition
Copyright © 2011 - 2024
Privacy Policy