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Double Stamp is an easy-to-understand guide to useful computer and internet technology. It's written to be readable by everyday computer users.

"Handy" Keyboard Shortcuts

This looks like a boring post; no new amazing Intarweb technology or service. If you give it a fair shot, however, you'll probably find it as useful as anything you have ever read on Double Stamp.

A keyboard shortcut is simply a way to do something on the keyboard that could be done using the graphical interface of a program. For example, instead of trying to save a document by going to the menu: FILE->SAVE, most programs allow to to just hold down the control button and push the key "s" (Ctrl+s). What's the point? Once you get up and running with the shortcuts, you'll realize how "handy" they are.

When learning how to use the keyboard, it is often difficult to avoid doing things the way you always have with the graphical interface. If you practice and discipline yourself, you will be amazed at how efficient and elegant the keyboard can be. To get you started, here are some examples of a few really useful keyboard shortcuts that will have you convinced if you practice them. Don't give up on these without a fair try!

(Most of these will work in other browsers as well)

  • Ctrl+L: Highlights the URL at the top of your window so that you can instantly type the next website to visit.
  • /: Just by hitting the slash key "/" you can instantly search a website for the text you are interested in. If you want to jump to the next instance of the search, hit CTL+G.
  • Ctrl+K: Jump the cursor to the search box in the upper right.
  • Ctrl+Enter: Complete a ".com" address. If you want to go to, just type "ebay" and then hit "Ctrl+Enter." Combine this with the CTL+L shortcut! (You can also do a Shift+Enter for .net, and Ctrl+Shift+Enter for .org addresses.)
(You must go into your account settings and turn on keyboard shortcuts to use them in Gmail)
  • g then i: Jumps you to your inbox.
  • /: Just like firefox, the "/" key in Gmail jumps you to the search box.
  • c: Compose a new email.
  • Read more about Gmail keyboard shortcuts here.
Almost every program has some keyboard shortcuts, and many actually allow you to create your own. To learn them, open the program's help file and read up!


Wasatch Girl said...

Very useful post! I didn't know many of these shortcuts.

However, (and perhaps this is a mac only thing) to get to the search box the shortcut (at least for me) is Ctrl+K rather than a Ctrl+J. The Ctrl+J brings up my download history. Just an FYI.

Doughy said...

Yes, you are right. CTL+K jumps to the search box. I edited this in the original post, so thanks for commenting.

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