Category Archives: keyboard

Word Processing: 10 Cool Keyboard Tricks


While editing a manuscript, I found a need to make the process faster with the use of hotkey (keyboard shortcuts), wildcards, and some keyboard tricks to get things done.

These work only in MS Word.

Doing this

Does this

Pressing the dash key 3x will create a horizontal line in your document

== =

Pressing the equal key 3x creates a double line in your document

Ctrl   H

Opens the Find/Replace feature.

Ctrl  E

Aligns text and graphics to center


Type this in your document creates random text if you ever need to add random text.



Using Find/Replace, put ^p^p in Find and ^p and this removes manual spaces between paragraphs

Ctrl  SHIFT  m

Inserts a comment where you put your cursor in the document.


Pressing these two keys open the built in Thesaurus. You can often find synonyms by RIGHT-CLICKING over a word. You will choices of words to use.


The mouse

Clicking a word twice will highlight the word. Click three times, and you select the entire paragraph.


Find these useful? Share with your friends, subscribe, or leave a comment to let me know. If you have any questions or ideas you’d like me to post a blog about, leave me a note.


10 Amazing Window Shortcuts You Aren’t Using (video)


I use many keyboard short cuts, otherwise known as hotkeys, to do things on the computer. It helps to know the shortcuts to speed things up, but also it cuts down on the switching the mouse-clicking.

Some main hotkeys I use..

Hotkeys What it does
Ctrl + S Saves your file
Ctrl + P Prints document
Ctrl + X Cuts selected text or graphic to clipboard
Ctrl + V Pastes what you’ve cut to clipboard to another window or file.
Ctrl + O Opens new file
Alt + F4 Closes the open window

What do the F1-F12 keys do?


Ever wondered about the F1-F12 keys? Here’s what they do:

F1   I like to think of this as the ‘panic button’. It opens the help menu to anything that is open. If nothing is open, F1 opens your operating system help menu. The Windows button + F1 opens the help menu as well.

F2   Highlight the file or folder and click this button, and you can rename it. If you’re in MS Word, click Ctrl + F2 and you get print preview.

F3   Opens a ‘find’ feature in many programs that you want to look up text. This includes browsers and word processors. In MS Word, SHIFT + F3 changes the first letter of a word lower or upper case.

F4   This opens the address bar in Windows and Internet Explorer. Alt + F4 also closes the window/program that is open.

F5   This button refreshes a browser window. (Reloads). This also open the Find/Replace and Go To window in MS Word. F5 also starts a slideshow in Powerpoint.

F6   This button moves the cursor to the address bar in Internet Explorer. This works in other browsers as well.

F7   This button opens the spellcheck function in MS Word. In some laptops it increases volume.

F8   This important key is often used during computer start ups to start in Safe Mode. When the computer is starting, tap the F8 key. It should prompt you to enter Safe Mode.

F9   This button refreshes a MS Word document.

F10   This buttons activates the menu bar in open applications. Also used to enter CMOS Setup.

F11   This button enables you to enter and exit full screen mode of browsers.

F12   This button opens the debug function in browsers, and opens the Save window in MS Word.

There are other functions these keys can do, even on Macs. Some laptops use the F function keys for specific things like entering a partitions or startup features. It depends on the make/model.

Handy Tip: Hotkey to switch between browser tabs


Working with the computer can get tedious with switching back and forth with the keyboard and mouse. I prefer using hotkeys, also known as keyboard shortcuts, to speed up work. I found this tip to share;

When you browse the Internet with your browser, and if you open a number of tabs, you can click the Ctrl + Tab keys will switch between open tabs.



Top Ten Windows 8 Tips

Windows 8 can take some getting used to when you’re only family with previous versions of the Personal Computer (PC) system. So here are my top ten tips:

  1. start_keyboard_windows_keyRemember to use the Windows key on the keyboard. This key, by itself, switches you between the Desktop and the Charms menus. If you use the windows key with other keys, you can do some neat things; WinLogo + C will open the side bar menu, where you will find settings and search. WinLogo + X opens the Windows 8 ‘start menu’ (such as it is). WinLogo + I opens Settings. WinLogo + W opens the Search function. WinLogo + R opens the RUN or Open window.
  2. To change the Charms menu (charms are those blocky icons), right-click the mouse on any charm app, and it will highlight. You can then see a popup menu to select ‘resize’ or ‘unpin’. You can also click and drag to another spot. If you select ‘unpin’, this doesn’t delete the program but removes it from the Charm screen.
  3. Resize the Charms screen to see all charms. If you have a touch screen, by ‘squeezing’ the Charms screen. Using two fingers, spread apart the fingers to enlarge and squeeze together to make small. Use the Ctrl button and the mouse scroll button for the same effect.
  4. How to close apps/programs. This is tricky in Windows 8 because the Title bar, although its there, you move the mouse cursor to the top of the screen in order to find it. Otherwise, you click near the top of the screen, ‘grab’ with the mouse and drag to the bottom of the screen. ALT + F4 also shuts down apps and windows.
  5. Start in Safe Mode.(for repair, maintenance, etc) Although most people don’t use this, I feel its important to mention due to Safe Mode’s function to help remove issues and to use the computer without drivers and certain programs. It used to be clicking the F8 key on start, but Windows 8 needs SHIFT + F8 to reach Safe Mode.
  6. Windows 8 has ‘hot corners’. The hot corners bring up menus, such as right-click the LEFT hand corner opens the power user menu. Top LEFT corner opens displays apps running.
  7. Disable the Lock Screen. Some people hate this lock screen, since its an extra screen to click through. To disable, type netplwhiz into the start screen. It will automatically search and list this function.  With the window that opens, uncheck ‘Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer’. You’ll be prompted to enter your password. If you want the lock screen, do this again, but check the box.
  8. To Add Apps to the Charms Screen– Go to the Charms screen (click Windows Logo key), and move the cursor near the bottom of the screen. You should notice a small down arrow. Click on this and it will open all the charm apps available. Use Search to find the app you want to add. RIGHT-CLICK the mouse while hovering over the charm app, and select ‘pin to start’. You could also choose ‘pin to taskbar’.
  9. Snap Apps side by side. To Snap Apps means to use two apps side by side. For instance, you can surf with the Internet Explorer, while MS Word is running right next to it. To use this function. click RIGHT-CLICK at the top of the app when the program is open and running, and drag to the left or right of the screen. Click the other program or app to the other side.
  10. Start, Shut Down, Restart Windows. The power button is located in the Charms menu, near the upper right hand of the screen. Its also in the Settings menu (Windows Logo button + I button), and click the power button near the bottom. You can select Sleep, Shut Down, and Restart there.

If you have any questions, post in comments or send me an email.