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September 22, 2008

Keyboard shortcuts

Submitted by:
Doug Wyllie
PoliceOne, California

A friend of mine has (for years) threatened to make a T-shirt for me that says “Shift, F7” on it. This is a witticism — joke — related to the fact that she thinks of me as a “human thesaurus.”

Don’t get it? Ah, that may be because you don’t know that if you highlight any word in either Microsoft Word (word processing) or Outlook (email), hold down the “shift” key and punch the F7 key atop your keyboard, you'll get an assortment of synonyms from which you may choose. For example, I originally had “array” in that last sentence, but replaced it with “assortment” using this handy little trick.

Apple (Mac OSX) and Microsoft (MSFT Office) have different shortcuts. Check out the Microsoft support website for PC and the Apple website for Mac time- and keystroke-saving tips. Meanwhile, here is a fistful (along with Shift F7) of my most frequently used keyboard shortcuts. These can help you to write better, more descriptive reports; never lose your work to a crashed computer; surf the Internet with the prowess of a teenager; find exactly the section of a document you need to see; and "go back" to the place you were before you screwed up.

CTRL+S = Save: Save your work by hitting "Control S" every few minutes — I do so after each paragraph I type — and you’ll never again lose your efforts to the dreaded-blue-screen-of-death.
CTRL+F = Find: As a journalist/editor I often have to pore over huge documents to find just one line, phrase, etc — "Control F" will get you to where you’re going in no-time-flat.
CTRL+T = Tab: When browsing on the Internet, I use “tabs” rather than “windows” so I can easily toggle from one thing to another — "Control T" opens a new tab from which you can begin a whole new avenue of Internet “exploring.”
CTRL+Z = Undo: Make enough mistakes — in my business they’re called “edits” — and you quickly get to know about "Undo" ...I only wish that there was a “Control Z" for all of life's other little missteps.

Be well, do good, go get ‘em.
~ dw
Doug Wyllie
PoliceOne Senior Editor

BTW: What's the synonym for the word synonym?

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