Friday, November 18, 2011

Keyboard Shortcut for Shutdown

I talked a few blogs back about how to use a keyboard shortcut to put your computer to sleep. Well, similarly, today we're going to go over how to shutdown your computer.

If you're using a Windows computer, all you have to do is press the Windows key, right arrow once, and then Enter. Once you do this, your computer will automatically shutdown. That's all there is to it!

To restart your computer is almost as easy. Press the Windows key, right arrow twice, and the up arrow once and then press Enter. It's just as easy to switch users, log off, or lock the computer, as well.

To shutdown the computer on a Mac, just press Ctrl, Opt, Cmd, and Eject and it will shut down immediately. To restart, press Ctrl, Cmd, Eject and your computer will restart itself automatically.

So those are just a few tips to quickly restart or shut down your computer.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Keyboard Shortcut for Checkmark

The easiest way to create a checkmark with Windows is by actually creating the square root symbol. This is quite easy to do, and looks just like a regular check mark (√). See?

To do this in Windows, simply hold down "Alt" and press the numbers 2-5-1 and the check mark will appear. This is handy for any number of things that you may be doing. If you have a task list open in a Word document and want to check off what you do as you go, simply put in that symbol and you'll know that you're done with that task.

The Mac computers work similarly, where the easiest way to produce a check mark is by using the square root symbol. Just hold "option" and press "v" and it should appear.

For both of these, that's the simple way to use a keyboard shortcut to produce something like looks like a checkmark. There is a way to produce an ACTUAL checkmark, but to my knowledge, there isn't a keyboard shortcut assigned for it.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Keyboard Shortcut to Rotate Screen

The keyboard shortcut to rotate your screen can be a little bit tricky. 

If you're using Windows, first thing you need to do is make sure that your hot keys are enabled. This is really easy to do. Go to your desktop, right click, go to Graphic Options, Hot Keys, then click enable. If this is already done, then it's easy to do. It's making sure those hot keys are enable before this shortcut works that makes it tricky. So once those are enabled, hold "Ctrl, "Alt," and press one of the directional arrows, and your screen will flip towards whichever arrow you press. If your screen is in normal view, and you press the up arrow, it will flip it upside down, and vise-versa. If your screen is in normal view and you click the arrow left or right, it will flip the screen sideways. 

Based on my research, there is no automatic screen rotation for Mac, it has to be downloaded. You can rotate specific windows by holding "command," "shift," and then dragging the handle, but there is no keyboard shortcut to rotate the entire screen. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong. I'm not a Mac user and was unable to find anything on this.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Keyboard Shortcut for Running a Program (Windows only)

Keyboard shortcuts, as you may have realized by now, are real time-savers. They make things so easy to do and get you where you want to go quickly and easily. So here's another one for you! There is a shortcut to run a program on Windows.

I attempted to look up how to do this on Mac but was unable to find any results, so this blog is strictly going to be for Windows users only.

To run a program, just press the Window key (don't hold, just press), press the letter "R" and then type in the name of the program you wish to run. You typically only have to type in the first few letters of it and it will pop up. Once the program that you want shows on the list, then you just select it and that program will open.

It's as easy and simple as that. This is a convenient tool to use if you're unsure of the exact name of the program because a list will show as you begin typing in what it is you're looking for. So even if you don't know the full or exact name, Windows will be able to find it for you.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Keyboard Shortcut for Degree Symbol

There are so many symbols out there that are good to know and easy to use, if you know where to find the shortcuts. Using these shortcuts may even be less frustrating then trying to find them in your word processor to insert into whatever it is you're writing.

If using a computer with Windows, all you have to do to insert a degree symbol is hold "Alt" and press "0-1-7-6" and it should pop right up. ° <-- I just did it. There are a number of other symbols that are just as easy, like to insert the "¡" you hold down "Alt" and press "0-1-6-1."

For Mac users, you just have to hold "shift" and "option" and press "8" and it will show up on whatever it is you're working with. To make a copyright symbol with Mac ©, all you have to do is hold the "option" key and press "6" and that's it.

There are SO many more symbols out there that are actually a lot of fun to use once you know how to. Follow this link and you'll be directed to a whole page of keyboard shortcuts for different symbols that you can use!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Keyboard Shortcut to Show Desktop

To show or hide your desktop is just as easy, if not easier, than some of the other keyboard shortcuts we've discussed  up to this point.

If you have all sorts of windows up and you want to just see the desktop, whether it is to quickly hide all of the current windows or if you need to open a file or program that is set on your desktop, then this is a good tool for you to have.

If you have Windows, all you need to do to show the desktop is hold the Windows icon button and press D (for desktop). This will automatically minimize everything and your desktop will be the only thing you see on screen. To pull your other windows back up, you would do the very same thing, and all of them would open to where they were before you minimized them.

It's just as simple for Mac users. All you have to do as a Mac user to show your desktop is press F11. This will send all of your windows to the task bar and you will be able to see your desktop background. To bring those windows back up and hide your desktop, simply hit the F11 button again, and everything will reappear.

This is a quick and handy trick to know that can save you a lot time and energy. Practice it and see for yourself how simple it is. After doing it a few times, you'll never forget how to and you'll be able to do it in an instant.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Safari Keyboard Shortcuts

I know I've mentioned in the past few blogs how to work with Macs, not just PCs. This blog, however, will be specifically dedicated to shortcuts that you can use for Safari. Now, Safari is an apple product, but you do not need an apple product to run this web browser. Even if you have Windows, you are able to download Safari to your computer and in that case, this blog would be applicable to you, as well.

Most of you probably already know how to use your keyboard to scroll page up and down and left and right - you do this but simply pressing on the arrow key in the direction you want to move the page. You can click the delete key to go to the previous page and shift-delete to go forward. If you press command then click a link, it will open in a new window. If you press command and shift and then click a link it will open a new window behind your current window. Hold option and click a link to download a file. Then if you double click that icon, it will reveal the downloaded file.

Once you have a window open, there are plenty of shortcuts to use. Rather then saying it repeatedly, all of the following commands require you to hold the command button: Command-Awill select all. Command-B will show or hide your favorites bar. Command-C is copy. Command-D adds a bookmark. Command-E use a selection for find. Command-F is to find. Command-G finds next. Command-H hides Safari. Command-J jumps to selection. Command-L opens location. Command-M minimizes window. Command-N opens a new window. Command-O opens a file. Command-P prints. Command-Q quits Safari. Command-R reloads the page. Command-S is to save-as. Command-T shows or hides address toolbar. Command-V pastes. Command-W closes. Command-X cuts. And Command-Z is to undo.

Some common shortcuts that are beneficial include: Command-Option-F which does a Google search. Command-Option-L downloads. And Command-? gets Safari help.

There are, of course, other shortcuts out there that would probably help you out on a day-to-day basis if you are a Safari user, but these are some of the basics that you can use all of the time. Pretty much using the Command button with almost any letter of the alphabet will do something to your Safari browser. So play around and memorize the important ones that you know you'd use pretty commonly.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Keyboard Shortcut to Maximize/Minimize Windows

We have gone over a lot of shortcuts before this blog. Many are useful for everyday tasks that make working with computers easier and quicker and more efficient. One shortcut we haven't gone over yet is how maximize and minimize a window you are currently on.

If you're using a computer that has the Windows system, all you have to do to maximize a current window is hold "alt" and the space bar, and press "X." This will make the window you have open currently blow up to take over the entire screen. Now to minimize it and put it the task bar, you can simply, again hold "alt" and the space bar, and press "N." This will cause the primary window you have open to shrink to your task bar.

To  minimize a window with Macs, you just need to hold the command button and press H. Then your window will automatically shrink away from the desktop. However, to maximize the windows, you actually have to set up a shortcut on your computer, which is pretty simple. Go to system  preferences --> Keyboard & Mouse --> Keyboard Shortcuts --> click the plus sign (+) --> Make sure it says "All Applications" in the drop down --> In the menu title type "ZOOM" --> click in the keyboard shortcut area and set the shortcut you want (like command, opt, ctrl Z).

This function is good for weaving in and out of web pages. If you have multiple windows open, you can use the shortcut keys to focus on one particular window, then blow it up to take over your entire computer screen, and once you're done, you can minimize it with ease.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Keyboard Shortcut to Copy and Paste

I've already discussed with you how to do some of the more complicated keyboard shortcuts, so what I'm going to go over today is some of the basic shortcuts that you can use every day to help make things a little bit easier.

Copy and paste. Personally this is something I do every day as part of my job. I'm constantly transferring information from e-mails to spreadsheets and vise-versa. The use of keyboard shortcuts make tasks quicker and easier. They save me a lot of time and a lot of mouse usage. I can save my fingers some overtime clicking by simply using these shortcuts.

To copy, simply hold "ctrl" and press "c." You want to make sure you have what you're wanting to copy highlighted, otherwise the keys won't do anything. Once you push those keys on your keyboard, the wording or picture you had highlighted is now in your computer's memory. It knows that when you go to another page and attempt to paste something, it will paste the image or wording that you copied.

To paste the words or image that you have just copied, you want to go to the program in which you want to put said image or words and pick the desired area to put it, and simply hold "ctrl" and press "v." This will automatically take whatever you copied and paste it onto the program you have open.

It's as simple as that. Two keys for both functions, very easy to do. Some other simple functions that you might want to know are how to cut. This is similar to copying only instead of the words you highlight staying there, if you "cut" them, you remove them and paste them somewhere else. To cut, you hold "ctrl" and press the "x" key.

If you have a page open and you need to search for something specific within that page, hit "ctrl" "f" and a search screen will pop up. Simply type in what it is you're looking for on that page, and it will take you directly to it if it's on there.

You can also use similar keying for word processing. You can make things bold, italicized, or underlined. To do those is just as simple. "Ctrl" "b" will make a word bold, "ctrl" "i" will make a word italicized, and "ctrl" "u" will underline a word.

Those are some very basic functions that all work very similarly. Simply hold "ctrl" and the letter associated and it will do that command. It's very easy to work with and once you do it a few times, it's hard to forget. This will help your job go by much quicker if it's something that you use pretty regularly. I know it saves me a lot of time in my day-to-day work to get everything done.