I don’t like mice.  I don’t like real live mice and I don’t like computer mice (or is it mouses as in more than one mouse?)

Since this is a blog about all things digital, I will ignore how I deal with the real version and focus on the digital kind.

Why don’t I like the digital mouse?  Because it gets in my way…. I know — the digital mouse is a proven useful computer navigation device.  But it is also a slow and cumbersome device — and I prefer things fast or at least faster…

I am not a speedy typist on the keyboard.  I couldn’t earn a living with my “typing” speed.   So it is for that very reason that I don’t like the mouse — it slows me down even more.

Think about it… You’re typing along; suddenly you have to make some move with the mouse in order to continue doing what you’re doing. You take your hands off the keyboard, grab the mouse, fidget around to position it where you need it to be on the computer screen. Then you have to decide whether you need a left mouse click or a right mouse click. And, oh, do you need to single click or double click it? Wow! I don’t know about you but that kind of time interruption puts me over the moon!

So I prefer to use keyboard shortcuts whenever I can!   Keyboard shortcuts allow me to leave my hands on the keyboard as much as possible while I’m “computering”.   Shortcuts speed up my already slow typing speed.   Shortcuts help keep me from going over the moon, and they enhance my memory capabilities.   What could be better?

So, what’s a keyboard shortcut?   It is a combination of keyboard key strokes, that when pressed at the same time, perform an intended operation.

For instance, consider the common functions of copy, paste, cut, print.  If I’m on a Windows operating system computer and I want to quickly COPY a selection and PASTE it into another location, I highlight the selection I want to copy, press the “Ctrl” key and the “C” key at the same time to copy it; to paste the copied selection, I position the cursor at the insertion point, then press the “Ctrl” key and the “V” key. Voila! My copied selection is now pasted in the selected location.

If I want to PRINT something, I just press the “Ctrl” key and the “P” key at the same time, and my PRINT menu appears.

If I want to CUT some selection, I highlight that selection, then press “Ctrl” and the “X” key at the same time and my highlighted selection disappears. If I want to PASTE the “CUT” selection, I position the cursor at the insertion point and use my PASTE shortcut (Ctrl + V) and my selection appears (is “pasted”) at the insertion point.

Ctrl + C to Copy
Ctrl + V to Paste
Ctrl + X to Cut   
Ctrl + P to Print
Ctrl + A to Select All
Quick and easy to do and to remember!

Better yet, when I perform these shortcuts enough times, I don’t have to think about them. They become muscle memory for my fingers… Less mouse, more speed. I like that…

There are so many keyboard shortcuts that it would take a few pages to list them on this blog. You’d lose interest and not finish reading the post. But there are a lot of places to find lists of shortcuts for both Windows and Mac operating systems.

One place is on drop down menu lists. These menus display a function and its corresponding keyboard shortcut (if one exists). Open a drop down menu and see for yourself… Probably never even noticed it did you?

There are also many good websites that provide information about keyboard shortcuts.  Two good sites with printable lists for Windows keyboard shortcuts are:
•    http://shortcutmania.com/Windows-7-Keyboard-Shortcuts-printable-cheatsheet.htm
•    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/126449

A great site for Mac keyboard shortcuts and other tips is:
•    http://www.danrodney.com/mac/index.html

And a great table of keyboard shortcuts for Windows, Macs and other operating systems, believe it or not, is provided by Wikipedia.  Check out their comprehensive list:
•    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Table_of_keyboard_shortcuts

Think of keyboard shortcuts as a passing gear to get around those slow turtles on the cyber highway. There will always be turtles, but you don’t have to always drive in the slow lane…