Sunday, March 17, 2013

Getting to Know: Windows Shortcuts

First of all, I am an avid PC user.  I have experimented a little with Linux, but essentially my experience is in the Windows environment, so this post is focused on that.  Mac OS has their own set of keyboard shortcuts.  If you are interested, you can find a link to some of them here.

There are two different types of shortcuts - keyboard shortcuts, and the shortcut menu.  The shortcut menu is what you see when you right click with your mouse.  I am trying to get a new phrase started called WIDRC.  It means "When in Doubt, Right Click".  The meaning behind this, especially at a student level, is that many of the common features you might be looking for could be found there, so if you are lost, try right clicking and you may just find it.  When I right click this window, this is what I see:
This gives me some common options, as well as browser specific options.  I have an Evernote app, so that is where that comes in.  Different tools can add to functionality. Try it out on different areas to see what options are available.  Always be willing to play around.

The other types of shortcuts are keyboard shortcuts.  They involve a certain key combinations that can save time.  I'll list a couple of the useful ones, as well as my favorites.  Many of these involve highlighting text first.

Ctrl + X = cut
Ctrl + C = copy
Ctrl + V = paste
Windows Logo = opens start menu
Windows Logo + D = displays desktop
Alt + tab = cycles through open windows
F1 = Usually help in most programs
Home = moves insertion point to the beginning of the line 
End = moves insertion point to the end of a line

These are some of the shortcuts I use a lot of the time.  They save me time, and it some cases, allow me to do things that wouldn't work otherwise (copying and pasting in Google Docs, for example).

I hope those tips are helpful to you.  As always, comments are welcome and appreciated.

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