In this first issue, I’d like to talk about something we see every time we sit at a computer, we touch it, we see it, and it does a lot more for use that just make letters on the screen. That would be your keyboard. Most basic keyboards are the 104-key variety, some have less (like laptops) and others have more (for multimedia functionality). They come in black and beige and some even have lighted keys.
Most importantly, your keyboard has some hidden talents. If you look at the keys on either side of the spacebar, you’ll notice one marked “ALT” and another marked “CTRL.” The Alternate key can activate menus in the toolbar of a program. That would be the bar with the File, Edit, View, and other menus at the top of the screen are located. Notice that in those menus, a letter in each word is underlined. If you hold down the ATL key and that letter, the matching menu will open, and then you can hit another letter, or use the arrow keys to scroll down, or use your mouse to pick the entry you want to use.
The CTRL, short for Control, key has uses that are right on the keyboard. Some keyboards will mark those tasks, such as copying and pasting text, printing, changing text to bold or italics. Some keyboards with have these keys marked, like the keyboard I’m using now.
Some common keyboard shortcuts are:
There are even keyboard shortcuts that both Control and Alternate, or Shift in combination with other keys. And these can change from one program to another. The following link is from Microsoft, and has a pretty good list of keyboard shortcuts to try out. http://support.microsoft.com/kb/126449