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TECH TIP: 
Keyboard Navigation Shortcuts



The idea behind keyboard shortcuts is that when your hands are on the keyboard, it is more expedient to navigate and execute commands using keyboard commands than to constantly move your hand to the mouse, orient the mouse, find what you want to click on and clicking the mouse.  Of course, that’s not everyone’s cup of tea.  For one thing, it involves memorizing hundred’s of shortcut commands.  And besides, some people just plain like to use the mouse.

OK – it you are a keyboard shortcut person, here’s yet another twist on using them.

 

Have you ever noticed those little underlined letters in the Menu Bar?

You say, “What application are you talking about?”

 

Actually, I am talking about any application.  Look at the Menu Bar in any application and notice that there are little underlined letters in the words in the Menu Bar.  There’s a line under the letter ”F” in the word “File;” there’s a line under the letter “E” in the word “Edit;” There’s a line under the “V” in the word “View,” and so on….

 

You may say…”I don’t see any underlined letters in the Menu Bar.”

Or you may say…”Yes, I do see those underline letters in the Menu Bar.”

 

If you don’t see the underlined letters in the Menu Bar, your computer is set to “Hide underlined letters for keyboard navigation until I press the Alt key.”  So… try pressing and holding the Alt key – the underlined letters in the Menu Bar will suddenly appear.

 

You can set your computer to have those underlined letters always show in the Menu Bar, or you can have them show only when you press the Alt key. 

 

Here’s how: 

  • Right-click on the Desktop and click on Properties
  • Then click on the Appearance tab
  • Then click on the Effects tab
  • Now deselect the box next to “Hide underlined letters for keyboard navigation until I press the Alt key.” 

Now they will always appear in the Menu Bar.  You can set this option any way you want – you can have them always visible or you can have them appear when you press the Alt key.

 

So now you say, “OK – so what’s the big deal about those underlined letters in the Menu Bar.”

 

Well, those underline letters are shortcut keys used for navigating through the various menus without having to use the mouse. 

 

Here’s an example: 

  • Press Alt-F.  The File menu will drop down. 
  • Now notice that there are little underline letters in the items in this drop down menu. 
  • You can press the letter “N” to get a New File.
  • You can press the letter “O” to open a file.
  • You can press the letter “S” to Save a file… and so on. 

NOTICE that I didn’t have to use the Alt key to use these options in the File Menu.  Once a drop down menu has opened, just press the letter that is underlined without using the ALT key to activate that option.

 

Using these underlined letters for navigating around the Menu Bars without having to use the mouse can be a great time-saver and make computing less labor intensive.  You won’t be constantly reaching for the mouse. And you can avoid getting mouse carpal tunnel.  (Well, you could get carpel tunnel from using the keyboard).

 

If you create and use macros in Microsoft Word, using these keyboard shortcuts is a must because you cannot create macros using a mouse.  (Read the Tech Tip, Microsoft Word Macros to learn more about macros).

 

One last thing - want more keyboard shortcut tips?  Check out these:

 

Microsoft Word Shortcuts

Microsoft Publisher Shortcuts

Internet Explorer Keyboard Shortcuts

Outlook Express Keyboard Shortcuts

Seldom Used Keyboard Shortcuts

 

Give these keyboard shortcuts a try and see how it can help with your computing.

 

 

 

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Lyon County Government Center  •  607 W. Main St.  •  Marshall, MN 56258  •  (507) 537-7046

E-Mail:    Marshall Adult Education

HOME | MISSION | SCOPE AND SEQUENCE | STAFF INFORMATION |SITE SCHEDULES | TECHNOLOGY
 WORKFORCE |
BUSINESS CONNECTIONDIRECTORY | GRANTS
| RESOURCES | STUDENTS LESSONS