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Move that mouse... and just leave it alone

Move that mouse. Okay, I realize this is often easier said than done. If you struggle with the mouse, using it to move the keyboard cursor or using it to highlight text can be a real challenge. There are times when you would love to forget the mouse altogether.

So, let’s do that.

Last article, I talked about using the arrow keys to navigate your text instead. The problem with this solution is that arrow keys only move the cursor one character at a time, left or right, or one line at a time, up or down. If you are dealing with a small amount of text, this works great. However, with large amounts of text, this technique may drive you up a wall.

There are other keys available to you which will allow you to “motor” through your text much faster. If you look at a standard keyboard, it is arranged in three sets of keys. Between the “typewriter keys” on the left and the “10-key pad” on the right is a middle set of keys arranged in two groups. The top group of six keys “sits” above the bottom group of four arrow keys.

You can use Home, End, Page Up, and Page Down in the top group of keys to jump sections of text. These keys can also be used in combination with the Control key (Ctrl) to make even greater keyboard cursor movements. Adding the Control key to the arrow keys will also speed things up.

Whenever you add more than one key in combination with another, be sure that you depress and hold the first mentioned key or keys, then merely strike the last key. Then, and only then, do you release the first key(s) you were holding.

For example, depress the Control key with your left hand…keep holding it down, as you strike the left arrow key with your right hand. This will move the keyboard cursor one word to the left. Now release the Control key.

Once you get comfortable with using the keyboard to move your cursor, try adding the Shift key to any of the combinations listed in the table. Adding Shift will highlight the text as you move the cursor.

So, as in the previous example, depress the Control key… keep holding it down, as you depress the Shift key… keep holding both the Control key AND the Shift key down, as you strike the left arrow key. Not only will the cursor move one word to the left, but the word will also be highlighted. Now release both the Control key and the Shift key.

Melody Martz is a Microsoft Certified Office User Specialist. She owns Computer Help and has conducted individual and group computer training since 1984. You can reach her at 208.290.2924

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Melody Martz

Tagged as:

technology, keyboard shortcuts

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