September 6th, 2011 Brian Herzog
Thanks everyone who contributed their favorite keyboard shortcuts. I picked what I thought were the most helpful for someone fairly new to computers, and put together a little handout:
It's for new users, so I stuck with, basic, simple, and common. I hope it'll be helpful, but depending on the person, it might still be overwhelmingly complicated. But if it is well-received, I'll do a second one with the more advanced helpful shortcuts that people submitted.
Feel free to use or adapt it - I made it so it was easy to change the letters on the keys, so feel free to modify and expand.
And please let me know if you see any mistakes, or thought of a way to make it clearer or more helpful - or if you have an image better that the Microsoft clipart I used.
I added a note at the bottom about how to use these shortcuts for Mac, and I wanted to show what the Command key looked like. While searching for the image online, I also came across the origin of the Infinite Loop symbol, which I had never really wondered about before. Interesting.
Thanks to Adam Van Sickle of the Teton County Library - he worked to have the handout translated to Spanish, and allowed me to post the English/Spanish version here [pptx] for anyone to use. Thanks Adam!
August 23rd, 2011 Brian Herzog
I was surprised when I read a recent article reporting that 90% of people don't know how to use CTRL+F.
I don't expect most patrons I work with to know keyboard and mouse shortcuts, but it's obviously more widespread than that. I use shortcuts a lot, and will sometimes get stopped during a meeting or presentation and asked what the heck I just did. Which might be the best way to teach shortcuts - in context and with a demonstration*.
But of course, my first impulse when reading the article was to make a list of common and helpful shortcuts to hand out to patrons - so I added that to my to-do list. There already are lists of available shortcuts, even a list of lists, but I like BoingBoing's approach - make a short-list limited to ten (or three) that can improve everyone's computer experience.
So here's what I've come up with so far (which are Windows-centric) - do you have any more to add to the list?
||Copy highlighted text
||Cut highlighted text
||Paste highlighted text
||Undo last action
||Redo last undo
||Open print window
||Find on page
||Find and replace
||With mouse; provides useful menu on just about anything
A little more advanced shortcuts...
||Go to next tab (in Firefox and other tab-based applications)
||Go to previous tab (in Firefox and other tab-based applications)
||Tab through open applications
||Tab through open applications backwards, but it's awkward (for me) to press these keys
||Open Windows Explorer File Manager (I wouldn't add this one to the list for patrons, but I didn't know about it so just wanted to share it here)
Again, these are primarily for Windows, since that's what we use in the library. I'll work on making up a handout for patrons and post it here in case anyone else would like to use it too.
It'll be handy for the library, but since most new devices don't use physical keyboards, we'll also have to learn a whole new crop of shortcuts and methods. For instance, a patron wanted to copy/paste something on her iPad, and we had to look it up on YouTube to figure it out.
*When helping patrons, I always point out the shortcut codes on the right of menus - almost everyone misses those. I tell them not to try to memorize all of them, but if they find they're going back to the same menu item often, see if using the shortcut is easier. Of course, Office 2007's ribbons don't display the shortcut codes, so that has changed things.