Shortcuts for office speedy staff

Is it just me or does seeing someone use the mouse to flip between applications gives you a nervous twitch? Does saving a file by clicking on “File > Save” make you die a little inside? If so I won’t even ask what you do when someone does this, “Right click, Copy. Move the mouse. Right click, Paste”…

The amount of time you save by knowing keyboard shortcuts may seem tiny, but when you’re working at the computer all day it adds up. Imagine every time you switch applications you reach for the mouse, point and click and then come back to the keyboard takes 5 seconds for the average muggle. If you use shortcuts it’s just `Alt + Tab` and takes half a second. For copy and paste with a mouse (frequently) that’s 9 seconds a pop compared to 3 seconds with shortcuts. It’s not even just the time difference, when you know your shortcuts the whole experience seems to glide a lot better.

It’s definitely the programmer in me that wants to see people working well and I’ve printed out and studied pages of documentation for shortcut keys in apps I use. However, the teacher in me knows that shortcuts aren’t always seen as a game-changer and people probably never thought they’d need them. But, shortcuts on your computer are super easy and they save mega amounts of time when you’re not grabbing the mouse every 10 seconds and slowly gliding the tiny pointer to a tiny visual screen option. They keep your sweaty mitts stuck on the keyboard as you begin to notice your computer time becoming less “stop & start” and more, like I said, gliding. An extra bonus for learning them too is you’ll notice that certain sites like Facebook and imgur use keyboard shortcuts to let you see more piccies easier… (try the left and right arrow keys next time you’re browsing images)

Here’s some basics to start you off.

Simples

[table caption=”Shortcuts – Open any App or file without a mouse” colalign=”left|left|center|left|right”]
Action, Keys
Open Spotlight, Cmd + Space (then start typing the app name)
Navigate the Finder and Spotlight for what you want, < ^ > v (the arrow keys!)
Open it, Return OR Cmd + v (Down arrow)
Flip to an already open app, Cmd + Tab
[/table]

[table caption=”Shortcuts – The most used!” colalign=”left|left|center|left|right”]
Action, Keys
Select a word, Alt + Shift + > (right or left arrow key)
Copy, Cmd + C
Paste, Cmd + V
Cut, Cmd + X
[/table]

[table caption=”Shortcuts – Faster working gets you to lunch sooner” colalign=”left|left|center|left|right”]
Action, Keys
Save it, Cmd + S
Minimise the window (hide it from your boss quick!), Cmd + M
Close the window, Cmd + W
Navigate to the end of the line, Cmd + > (right or left arrow)
Navigate 1 word, Alt + > (right or left arrow)
Skip to the end!, Cmd + v (up or down arrow)
[/table]

Copy and paste with the mouse...
Copy and paste with the mouse…

Author: Dan Course

Dan Course, E-Learning Development at Warwick University (WMG). Agile Scrum trained and full-stack development. Interested in E-learning, Democracy, Politics and Tech. All thoughts are mine and not of my employer.

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