Thursday, January 7, 2010

Oliver's Tech Tips: Efficiency Tips Volume III

Oliver's Efficiency Tips Volume III

Twenty-Ten is here, no flying cars that we were promised 30 years ago but we are glad to be bringing our tech tips into the new decade. Seeing as we have already discussed the modifier key Ctrl in depth. It's about time we added a few tips on its keyboard neighbor sandwiching the space bar: ALT key.

The Alt-Key

The alt-key is generally used in combination with other keys as menu short-cuts. This means the function of the ALT key often depends on what programs you have open, and running. However, most windows programs follow similar conventions, and the following ALT key commands will work in almost all windows programs.

Menu Actions

ALT- "mouse less menu access" This key alone, will move your cursor up to the menu of the program you are working in. you can then use the arrow keys to move around the menu, and the enter key to select the menu item you want.

ALT-"menu letter" In most windows programs, you will notice that each of the menu items has a single letter underlined. You can hit ALT+ the underlined letter, to go to that menu item immediately. For this key combination you actually have the ability to hit the ALT key alone, THEN select the menu letter you want.

Window Navigation

ALT-Tab Holding down the alt key and then tapping the TAB key will switch between the various program you have running on your computer.

ALT-Shift-Tab Works the same way at ALT-Tab, but cycles through programs in the reverse order.

ALT-F4 Closes the current program. Acts like clicking the X to close the window.
Other Functions

ALT-PrintScrn This key combination will take a “Screen shot” of your active window, and put it in the clipboard. You can paste this image into word, or paint, or any other program that lets you paste an image. This can be very useful when you need to make a note of an error on your screen for your tech support person.

Everyone's most used Alt function, CTRL+ALT+DEL once will bring up the task manager. Enter this command twice, and you will get a system restart.

Last but not least, holding down alt and entering certain series of numbers off the right hand number pad will leave you with some interesting characters. Here are a few examples ± ╖ ◄ ▼ ƒ ♦ ♠
We encourage you to explore this less known function and post your favorite symbols!

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posted by Dataccount Inc. @ 12:14 PM   5 Comments


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Oliver's Tech Tips is a blog run by Oliver O'Brien, who shares his experiences and knowledge of technology. In this blog, he shares tips on how to use technology more efficiently and make your life easier.

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