Little-Known Keyboard Tricks

Working with computers can be more frustrating for some than it is for others. Any kind of tip or trick that saves time or makes life easier is something they welcome.

Using keyboard shortcuts like Alt plus a number to insert a particular language symbol, like “Alt 0233” inserts an “é,” is almost common knowledge. Transcribers who use Express Scribe are familiar with hotkeys. For example, pressing F9 will start a recording, while pressing F4 will stop it. But your computer keyboard has other time-saving, frustration-preventing treasures of which few are aware.

One such treasure pertains to moving Excel documents. If you have an Excel window that is up too high on your screen and you can’t move it, try pressing Alt and the minus sign on your keypad (Alt -). Click on the word “Move” in the drop-down box that appears, then use your down arrow key to move the window down to where you can use your mouse to grab it normally.

Sometimes the keys on your keyboard will get stuck. This is particularly common with old keyboards. Instead of getting frustrated and banging on the keyboard, try this little trick:

Hold down both Ctrl keys at the same time, then press both shift keys at the same time, then both alt keys and then both Windows keys. Press each set of keys twice.

Some other handy keyboard tricks come courtesy of ComputerShopper.com. There are some jobs, like data entry, where the keyboard is your whole world, so anything that allows you to navigate your desktop without having to use your mouse is good thing. For example, if you have Windows Vista, XP or 7 and you need to open the My Computer window, just press the Windows key and the letter E simultaneously. Voilà! You can navigate the My Computer window with the arrow keys.

These next tricks are great if you’re playing Farmville when you should be working, but it’s also handy for anyone who wants to quickly move back and forth between his desktop and any document or Internet windows he has open. When you want to quickly reduce all windows and have only your desktop showing, press the Windows key and the letter M simultaneously. To reopen all windows, press the Windows key, the shift key and the letter M simultaneously. Another key combination that does the same thing is to press the Windows key and the letter D simultaneously. Repeat the process to reopen all windows.

This final trick is for people who have several windows open at once. It allows you to scroll from one window to the next to easily find what you want. To use it, press the Alt key, then press the Tab key. Each time you press the Tab key, a different window will be highlighted. When you release the Alt key, whatever window you had highlighted appears and you can begin working, reading or whatever you need to do.

Working with computers can be frustrating at times, but when you have a few time-saving tricks at your disposal, it can be downright fun.

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