After working on the Internet day after day
for years, you develop tricks, or you discover that something
you've done repeatedly can be done more easily. Once you discover
a new method to navigate your computer or the web, it quickly
becomes second nature.
Take the "F5" key: It's one of the most important
keys for any web designer and it's useful for surfers too.
With Internet Explorer, "F5" refreshes your web
browser, so you're seeing the most recent version of the page.
Another useful key for Internet Explorer is "F11."
Go ahead and try it. "F11" will maximize your browser,
allowing you to see as much of the web page as possible on
your monitor. When you want to shrink the window back to size,
press "F11" again.
"F1" is the universal Windows help button. Having
a problem with an application? "F1" is the first
Need to close an application fast? If it's the active window
try holding down the "alt" key and "F4"
together. If you have no applicactions open, it's a quick
way to shut down your Windows machine.
Familiar Tasks, New Tricks
Cut, Copy, and Paste are three of the most
powerful tools in any computer user's arsenal. Having them
available at a keystroke is vital. Highlight some text with
your mouse, then hold down the "control" key and
press the letter "C" at the same time -- the highlighted
text is now copied. If you wanted to cut the highlighted text,
use "control" and the letter "X" to erase
it. And finally, to paste copied text or images into another
document, hold "control" and press the letter "V."
"Control" and "A" will select everything
in your current application, which is helpful if you want
to copy and paste it later. The shift key can also be helpful
in selecting content. Click your curser in some text where
you'd like to begin selecting. Then hold shift and click again
at the end of your selection. This will select the whole block
Fun with Scrolling
Personally I would be lost without my scroll
mouse. That little wheel in the middle of the mouse completely
changes the way you use your computer. One neat trick you
can do with your scroll mouse is to change the size of text
in Microsoft applications, including Office and Internet Explorer. Hold
down the "control" key and move the scroll wheel.
Text will grow or shrink depending on which way you scroll.
This won't work on every website. Some folks design their
pages so text won't scale, but it will work on most of them,
and can be useful if you're using a monitor on the blink or
just forgot your glasses.
The Windows Key
I first got a keyboard with a windows key, I thought it was
a complete annoyance, bringing back the desktop every time
I hit the thing accidentally during a rousing game of "Quake."
Thankfully, new games don't normally work that way, and the
Windows key --hiding out down there on the left between "control"
and "alt"-- can do some neat tricks. My favorite
is holding the windows key and pressing "D." All
your windows are now minimized to give you immediate access
to the desktop. When you have three or four applications open,
this is a big time-saver.
favorite is Windows key and "E." Windows Explorer
pops open, giving you immediate access to your files.
And If you still can't find the file you're
looking for, try the Windows key and "F."
You probably already know some or most of these
keyboard shortcuts, but even if one of these is new, it can
speed up your computer time and become a habit you don't even
think about. You'll know it has become second nature the first
time someone asks, "How did you do that?"