Know your keyboard shortcuts
The great thing about computers is that they can work much faster than you can. I'm talking about keyboard shortcuts. To perform a keyboard shortcut, you press two, three or sometimes four keyboard keys at once. A single, quick shortcut can accomplish the same thing as moving your mouse across the screen and clicking through several menus or hunting down buttons.
There are dozens of them, from pressing Ctrl+A to select everything in a window to pressing Ctrl+B to make selected text bold. Press Ctrl+F to find a word in a document or web page. When you want to print something, press Ctrl+P. (Most of the shortcuts are the same on a Mac, except you use the CMD key instead of the CTRL key.)
These shortcuts below are the most essential to know, however. Get in the habit of using them, and your mouse will soon start collecting dust!
• CTRL+S (Save)
The first thing I stress to anyone learning to use a computer is save your work often. You never know when the program you're using, or your entire computer, is going to crash.
For the last decade, many programs have included auto-save features that save your work every 5 to 10 minutes. That's fine as a last resort, but I still prefer to make a habit of manual saving. It comes in handy when you use programs that don't have auto-save.
• CTRL+Z (Undo)
One of the best things about using a computer for content creation is the Undo feature. With a typewriter, handwriting or traditional photo manipulation, undoing a mistake is a major process.
With a computer, the Undo button gives you the freedom to experiment and make mistakes, and then change things back if you don't like it. I use it all the time when editing photos. If you go too far back, hit CTRL+Y to Redo.
• CTRL+C (Copy), CTRL+V (Paste)
Another joy of using a computer is copying and pasting. It makes moving text, photos, files, folders and everything else a breeze.
Every program has copy and paste icons, and if you right-click on files and folders in Windows, you'll see copy and paste as options. For those who do a lot of copying and pasting, however, the keyboard shortcuts are a big time-saver.
Just use the mouse to select what you want to copy, hit CTRL+C, click the mouse where you want to paste, and hit CTRL+V. You're done!
• CTRL++(Zoom in)
Thanks to larger, high-resolution monitors for laptops and desktops, many websites and programs are hard to read. The text just looks too small.
Instead of moving closer to the screen and squinting, hit CTRL++ a few times. This will increase the zoom level in most browsers and some programs. To zoom out again, just hit CTRL+- (that's a minus sign). To reset the zoom level to 100 percent, hit CTRL+0 (that's a zero).
• CTRL+ALT+DEL (also known as “the 3-finger salute”)
Years ago, this was the first keyboard shortcut most people learned. In the olden days of computers, it rebooted your computer if it was acting up.
In modern computers, CTRL+ALT+DEL either brings up Windows Task Manager, or a list of options including Task Manager. Task Manager is useful for killing programs that are acting up or unresponsive. Plus, you can see what is slowing down your system.
Email Kim Komando at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Donora-Webster Bridge plunges into Mon River after 107 years
- Pirates grind out extra-inning win against testy Tigers
- Union to work while ATI talks continue
- Shopping season starts up for Penguins amid onset of free agency
- In historic vote, Legislature approves bill selling state liquor stores
- Pa. could ease restrictions on fireworks, reaping big bang in taxes
- Penguins notebook: Sheary hoping to return to organization
- 1 killed, 4 hurt as police chase ends in Oakland crash
- ‘We are’ chant now a permanent fixture on Penn State campus
- Shareholders approve Heinz, Kraft merger
- Pittsburgh police solve fewer homicides