no denying that pocket-sized devices and easy-to-hold tablets are
convenient and useful, but when it comes to the detailed production of
day-to-day documents, one needs a computer and keyboard.|
brochures, letters, spreadsheets, and book-length manuscripts require
the time-tested behemoth that includes a screen, software, data storage,
a mouse, and a keyboard. All-in-one, touch screen devices may be poised
to take over the future, but for now, if you want to create a big
project, you need a big machine.
Laptops and desktops, in
addition to being larger and less mobile, have the unfortunate flaw of
requiring you to move one hand away from the keyboard onto the mouse,
over and over again. It's very inefficient. Instead of the long journey
to mouse, cursor, scroll bar, selection click, drag, release click and
back to keyboard, one can take a shortcut.
Now, mouse clicks ARE
useful when learning a new program; point-and-click's main intent is
user friendliness. But powerhouse users keep their hands on the board.
Literally called keyboard shortcuts they are your key to speed. You probably know the three of the most popular examples:
Copy something (Command + C)
Paste it (Command + V)
Undo last action (Command + Z)
examples are for a Mac system, but the concept is the same on all:
achieve as many tasks as you can without touching the mouse.
do learn about these secret keys? The easiest is to look in the menus.
You can find keyboard equivalents next to the commands in the drop-down
menus at the top of the screen. They are the seemingly Greek symbols,
letters, and numbers noted in the right-hand column of the list. If a
command is not followed by a shortcut combination, then a shortcut is
not available or you have to explore the next option.
and most thorough way to find available shortcuts is to search the help
menu of each software program you use, including the system. Search on
the keyword "shortcut." Not only will you find a chart that divulges the
key combinations for common tasks, most programs will allow you to
build your own shortcuts in order to customize your routine.
I once worked at a company that
produced product catalogs. We would lay out hundreds of pages of content
and photos. The object was speed, otherwise the prices would change
before the catalog got printed. The boss demanded we use keyboard
shortcuts. At first I hated her for it, because it went against my
reflexes, but once I retrained my brain, I could fly through a page at
Years later, I became keenly aware of how
tediously long it was taking me to produce just about anything. That's
when I realized I had been back to my bad clicking habits. Although
systems, software, and documents changed, the importance of shortcuts
remained. I needed to retrain my brain once again.
Now, you will
rarely hear this advice from me, whether I'm talking about hiking,
working, or doing household chores. But today I say, "When doing the
hefty work, take shortcuts."
by Ruth Heil
Lyme disease is a horrific problem for folks who love the
outdoors. I'd written about the issue in the past, such as when I
informed the readers of Lehigh Valley Marketplace
about ways to stay safe back in spring of 2014.
Today I am excited to announce that the New Haven Review
has published my essay on the topic in its Winter 2015 Issue 017, this
time allowing me to dig deeper into the emotional aspect of the current
status of this growing epidemic.
Issue 017 has not yet been posted on the Review's
website. Email me
to request a scanned copy.
Don't be afraid to go outside. Learn the facts about Lyme and demand funding for further research.
This Month's Resource
Do you wish you had a Website or blog? Do you hate promoting the long URL your free service requires?
I recently changed the host of www.thewritebeat.com
to a service that is incorporated as a Benefit Corporation
a company that matches my people-planet-profit philosophy AND provides
secure and reliable service. In order to achieve my needs at the best
possible cost, I purchased a reseller package. What that means is I can
resell some of my hosting space.
Space is limited to three sites, and I reserve the right to choose who gets to use the space. Contact me
if your mission of helping people or planet needs an online presence.
I'll even take you through the steps required to secure a domain name,
develop a simple website, and get your material online in hopes that you
also make a profit. Email me
or call (215-234-0447) today.
"The greater our knowledge increases, the more
our ignorance unfolds." --John F. Kennedy, Sept. 1962
|Ruth Heil, Author and Freelance Writer
The Write Beat | 215-234-0447 | Ruth@TheWriteBeat.com | TheWriteBeat.com