Tame your computer: take a shortcut!


Software training expert Karen Roem offers handy tips to help you 'Tame your computer'in a weekly series for Cambridge Network members.

This week she explains how to take a shortcut ...

Do you love keyboard shortcuts? I do, especially those that are easy to remember, such as Save (CTRL+S), Copy (CTRL+C), Print (CTRL+P) and Find (CTRL+F).

But have you ever used CTRL+F in Microsoft Outlook* in order to find text in an email message? Exactly! Extremely annoying! Why? It assumes you want to forward the message.

So how do you find text in an email message? Well, you can of course choose the Edit, Find command. But there is a nice keyboard shortcut with a neat 'repeat find' feature.

Here's how:

1. Open the email message you want to find text in.

2. Press F4.

3. In the Find what box, type the text you want to find.

4. Press ENTER (or click the Find Next button)

5. (I love this bit ...) Press Shift+F4 to find the next occurrence of the same text.

So if you like this, how are you going to remember it? Well, I often use mnemonics or memory aids. Mnemonics work extremely well in helping us to remember things, because they include an associated rhythm, sound or picture. Just think of what you do when someone asks you how many days in the month of April. '30 days hath September ...' Or perhaps you count your knuckles?! (I do!)

Anyway, back to the tip. At some point during my hands-off seminars (typically after lunch to raise energy levels and so I'm not just an information hose) I split course participants in groups and ask them to develop some type of memory aid about any of the topics learned.

On one occasion a group chose F4. 'Fish for' they said. (They even drew a fisherman with an F4 hanging on the end of his fishing rod.) And to prove this makes sense ... a quick 'google' gives 'Search for something' as the definition for 'Fish for' ! (Remember one of my about using Google as a dictionary?)

By the way, isn't it ironic that the very word describing the technique intended to assist the memory, is almost impossible to remember?!

* Unless stated otherwise, these tips were written for Microsoft Office 2000. Most of what is covered however will also apply to earlier and later versions.

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12 May 2005

Karen Roem offers software training and support through her company Roem Ltd. Contact her by email Karen@roem.co.uk or visit her website at www.roem.co.uk.


Karen Roem
Microsoft Office-ionado

Roem Ltd – software training and support