Monthly PC Tips

Navigate With Your Keyboard

December 2017 – by Per Christensson

As a blatant proponent of the PC (implicit in the domain name PC.net), I am a strong believer in the keyboard and mouse. For many tasks, there is simply no more efficient interface. Touchscreens are great, but ask any power user or gamer, and they'll chose to control their computer with a keyboard and mouse every time.

That being said, it is common to overuse the mouse and underuse the keyboard. Why? Because the cursor is almost always visible and you can simply click your way to whatever you want to do. But clicking is for noobs. There is a lot of underutilized power under those keys.

For example, when you're viewing your desktop, you can use the arrow keys to navigate through the icons. Hold Shift while pressing the arrow keys to select multiple files at once. Looking for a file on your desktop? On a Mac, you can simply start typing the filename to select a file. In Windows 10, you can use the search box to simply type the name of whatever you're searching for on your computer or the web. The Windows 10 search box provides a fast way to open applications without having to navigate to the (directory) where the app is stored.

Lots of programs also support keyboard navigation. For instance, you can use the arrow keys to scroll through a document. Want to skip a page? In a web browser window, Space Bar usually does the trick. If you're in a word processing document, you can make use of the underused Page Up, and Page Down, Home, and End keys to quickly navigate through the document.

Your keyboard provides many other keyboard shortcuts of which you might not be aware. Once you discover them, your mouse might get a break since your keyboard is saving you so much time.

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