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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 http://na.blackberry.com/eng/support/blackberry101/tips/.

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