This morning I was reading over my daily issue of The Hustle and one part of it that stuck out was #4 of their Friday Shower Thoughts:

Whenever you copy a huge piece of text on the computer, it feels like holding a massive, unstable power in your mouse until you paste it.

All of a sudden this reminded me of the times I’ve encouraged people to use keyboard shortcuts to do what they need to do on the computer. Over the years, I’ve spent plenty of time on the computer and reading ways to improve accuracy and efficiency. Spending my time on ProTools (audio software) to Adobe Photoshop to Microsoft Visio, I realized that once I know what I want to do, learning keyboard shortcuts make it easier to get to that destination.

In the case of The Hustle’s Friday Shower Thought #4, a quick tip that I can share if you’re not aware is you do not have to select a block of quote using just the mouse. You can use the keyboard in combination with the mouse. Here’s what I do:

  1. Put the cursor (the flashing vertical line) where you want to start by just clicking the space before the first word.
  2. Hold down the Shift key on the keyboard.
  3. Click the spot in the text where you want to end the copy. By now, you should have everything you have highlighted without a question.
  4. Let go of the Shift key
  5. Hold down the Control (for Windows/Linux) or Command (For Mac) Key and then hit the letter C on the keyboard. This should put the text on your computer’s clipboard (aka, the computer will remember it for you)
  6. Whenever you’re ready to paste it somewhere else, you can hold Control/Command and then the letter P on the keyboard.

These steps seem like overkill just to do a simple task of copy and paste but over the years the exercise has helped me complete tasks in above average speeds. These steps are pretty much universal, meaning you can do this in most programs such as Microsoft Word, Illustrator, Notepad, or even within any internet browser. Once you mastered one shortcut, you’ll want to master more. Software companies have developed these shortcuts for your use and its fully documented if you do a little searching.

What’s your favorite software? Do you love any particular shortcut? Let’s geek out and talk story. Holler @ me.

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