Shortcuts for your Blackberry PDA

Following up on a short article we presented last month from P1 Technology Helpdesk columnist John Rivera on handheld mobile devices (PDAs), we've found an excellent list of “popular tips and tricks” for those of us who rely on Blackberry devices made by Research In Motion (RIM), one of the most popular manufacturers of PDAs. For example, to switch to another program on most Blackberry devices, RIM says to simply “hold the Alt key and press the Escape button. Continue to hold the Alt key and select a program. Release the Alt key to switch to that program.”

Another excellent tip: all you need to do to insert a period at the end of a sentence is simply press the “Space” key twice. Another helpful outcome of this trick is that it also makes the next letter you type (starting the new sentence) capitalized. To capitalize a letter mid-sentence, just press and hold the letter key until the capitalized letter appears — it takes just about one and a half seconds for this to happen. Lots of people discover this little trick by accident. Here are five other great ideas:

• To type an accent or other “special character” all you need to do is hold the letter key and roll the trackball/trackwheel
• To select a whole line of text, just press the “Shift” key and roll the trackball/trackwheel over the text you want to select
• To move down a screen, press the “Space” key; to move up a screen, press the “Shift” and the “Space” key simultaneously
• To switch between headset/handset and speakerphone during a call, simply press the $ key to turn speakerphone on or off
• To save power and prevent “pocket-dialing” someone, just hold the mute key (on top of the phone) for three seconds

These are just a handful of the tips we at PoliceOne find most helpful for our own Blackberry handhelds. Check out the entire list of tips on RIM’s Web site at

About the author

Doug Wyllie is Editor in Chief of PoliceOne, responsible for setting the editorial direction of the website and managing the planned editorial features by our roster of expert writers. An award-winning columnist — he is the 2014 Western Publishing Association "Maggie Award" winner in the category of Best Regularly Featured Digital Edition Column — Doug has authored more than 900 feature articles and tactical tips on a wide range of topics and trends that affect the law enforcement community. Doug is a member of International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA), an Associate Member of the California Peace Officers' Association (CPOA), and a member of the Public Safety Writers Association (PSWA). Doug is active in his support for the law enforcement community, contributing his time and talents toward police-related charitable events as well as participating in force-on-force training, search-and-rescue training, and other scenario-based training designed to prepare cops for the fight they face every day on the street.

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