Making better use of your PC

Which key is which?Do you get frustrated by you workflow on your PC? Wish you could do more or perhaps produce work faster? Well there are a number of quick ways you can improve your workflow and how you could be making better use of your PC without buying a newer, faster PC. With this handy tutorial we explain how to make better use of your keyboard for tasks you are probably still using your mouse for, or at least using menu’s to do certain tasks which can be for filled without your hands even leaving the keyboard. This tutorial concentrates mainly on the Windows Operating system.

Please note: the image above shows the location of the keys mentioned in this article. Red denotes Control Keys, Green denotes Windows Keys, Yellow denotes ALT keys, Cyan denotes TAB key

Keyboard Shortcuts
Using certain key combinations means simple tasks can be completed without the need to move you hands over to the mouse. Below is our top productivity keyboard shortcuts.All of the following can be achieved by pressing and holding the Control Key + the appropriate shortcut key. On most keyboards the Control key is labelled “Ctrl”.

Copy text (Press the Control Key + C)
When you need to move text from one place in a document or program then copying text is one of the easiest ways, especially if there is a lot of information to copy.

Cut text (Press the Control Key + X)
As with copy this will allow you to move text from one place to another.

Paste text (Press the Control Key + V)
Once you have copied or cut your text this can be pasted back into your document by using the paste shortcut.

Undo (Press the Control Key + Z)
The Undo function will Undo the last command applied to the program you are working on. For example you paste a block of text into a document in the wrong place. Pressing Undo will remove this text, thus undoing the last command. Some programs allow multiple Undo’s, so you can go back to previous incarnations of your document. If you wish to Redo an Undo then press (Control + Y) and this will re-apply the command you undid.

Select All (Press Control Key + A)
This will select all the text in the document you are currently working on.

Save a document (Press Control Key + S)
This will save the document you are working on. If this is an existing document it will save and overwrite the previous incarnation of your document, if it is a new document then the Save As wizard will pop up and ask you to give your document a name.

Print a document (Press Control Key + P)
This shortcut will automatically take you to the print wizard and ask you which printer (if more than one installed) number of copies you require, etc….

Open an existing document (Press Control Key + O)
This shortcut will invoke the open a document wizard

Open a new document (Press Control Key + N)
This will create a new document

Close a document (Press Control Key + W)
This will close the current document but not the program, this applies more to Microsoft Office environments.

Text formatting shortcuts
Make text Bold (Control +B)
Make text Italics (Control + I)
Make text Underlined (Control + U)

Moving around the desktop environment quickly
With most Graphical User Interface operating system you can run multiple bits of software and switching between these can be slow and cumbersome as typically you have to use the taskbar at the bottom of the screen to switch between your applications.

With the shortcuts below you can move between applications quickly and without using the mouse.

Press and hold the ALT key and then press and release the Tab key. This will bring up a box in the middle of the screen showing all the applications you have open at this time. While holding the ALT key and pressing Tab you can switch between applications. Once ALT is released then the application selected will be brought to the forefront for you to view. Pressing Shift while holding ALT and pressing will go backwards through the list as oppose to ALT + Tab going forward.

On Windows 7 you can hold down the Windows Key and press Tab to get a much larger view of your applications. Again holding Shift will proceed backwards through the list of applications.

Other useful shortcuts
Move to Start of Line – Press Home Key
Move to Start of Document – Press Control + Home
Move to End of Line – Press End Key
Move to End of Document – Press Control + End
Bring up start menu – Press Windows Key (press twice to close again)