Saturday, June 20, 2015

Keyboard Shortcuts - Highlghting or Selecting with or without the Mouse

Pursuant to last week's tips on moving around with the keyboard, I want to add "selecting without a mouse." This can be very helpful if you are dealing with small text (and so the mouse seems like a clumsy way of selecting) or if you work on a laptop with a touchpad or if you just want to be specific in what you highlight.

Highlighting is the first step in many processes: deleting, overwriting (you don't have to actually delete what you've highlighted, you can simply begin to type and it will wipe out the highlighting in favor of your typing), moving or copying with the mouse or with cut/copy & paste, changing font or paragraph formatting, etc.

As always, I don't expect you to incorporate all of these into your daily computering... but try one or two to see if they will help you as much as they've helped me!

Using the Mouse 

Let's first look at some shortcuts to highlighting using the mouse:
  • Double-click = highlight a single word
  • Triple-click = highlight a paragraph
  • Ctrl+click = highlight one sentence
When you are highlighting a list of items (e-mails, files), then you can choose to highlight:
  • Non-adjacent (not together) items = CTRL+click, click, click, click, until you have highlighted all the items you want.
  • Adjacent items (all in a row) = Highlight the first in the series, then hold down SHIFT and click on the last in the series. Your computer will highlight everything in between, including the two that you clicked on.

Using the Keyboard

Using the 'moving around' information from last week's post, you can add SHIFT as you navigate around using the keyboard, and your computer will highlight. For instance:
  • SHIFT+RightArrow = highlight one character at a time to the right.
  • SHIFT+DownArrow = highlight one line at a time, going down.
  • SHIFT+PgDn = highlights everything on the screen.
  • SHIFT+End = highlights everything from the cursor to the end of the line.

You can also add CTRL to the SHIFT+. For instance:
  • SHIFT+CTRL+RightArrow = highlight one word at a time to the right.
  • SHIFT+CTRL+DownArrow = highlight one paragraph at a time, going down.
  • SHIFT+CTRL+PgDn = highlights everything on the page (not just the screen).
  • SHIFT+CTRL+END= highlight where the cursor was to the end of the document.
You can look back to last week's navigation tips to remind yourself of keyboard movements. Just add SHIFT to any movement to highlight instead of just moving.

Happy Computering!

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