Network Productivity Group
... a computer consultancy
Technical tip #63, March 14, 2005: Improved keyboard use
We are constantly disconcerted by folks we observe who tab to or click in a field, which then becomes highlighted. Those folks then start to type, causing everything in the field to disappear. They must then re-enter the entire field although some minor editing was all they needed to do.
you first encounter a highlighted field there are four keys you can use
that will not cause the field to disappear: left and right arrow and End
and Home. However, if you
forget and press some other key you can USUALLY recover by stopping and
pressing the ESC key. Once
the highlighting is gone you can use the arrow keys or mouse to move to
any place in the field that you want to edit and type, delete,
backspace, arrow, etc. to your heart’s delight.
on the subject of keyboard use, it was the intention of the Windows
designers to allow you to do anything you could do with a mouse with
only the keyboard. They
tell us that at Microsoft they even have “mouse-less days” where
everyone tries to go all day without using their mouse.
Likely story! The
objective, in any event, was to save one from having to move their hands
from the keyboard to the mouse and vice versa.
It does make you more productive but sometimes it is just so much
easier to grab that little sucker and click it!
of the magic is the “Windows” key (usually found between the CTRL
and ALT keys). It’s
counterpart is the “Context” key (usually on the on the right side
next to the Windows key). The
CONTEXT key is usually like a right click and what it does depends on
the CONTEXT of where your cursor is.
will confess to two favorites: Windows
+ L (locks the machine and takes you directly to the log on screen).
But then we are constantly changing from limited to admin user
and have to do this a lot. The
other is in WORD. We
highlight a word (hold down SHIFT and use the arrow keys), the hit the
ol’ CONTEXT key and select Synonyms from the pop up menu.
When you’ve used CONTEXT about ten times it is nice to try
“situation” or “milieu” for once.
found at least two web pages that describe the Windows and to a lesser
extent the Context key, one at Microsoft and almost useless, the other
and marvelously well done.
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