Hi there! Islander, your 69-year-old Admin, here.
Why disclose my age? Because I’m an old fossil, but I was fortunate to be exposed to computers back in the early ‘80s. That’s why I’m so comfortable with them today.
But someone reminded me that “you don’t know what you don’t know.” Most of us find the computer’s instruction manual practically useless and just wish there was someone to show us the basics. Others assume everyone knows these shortcuts, and is surprised that what they thought was common knowledge isn’t universal. Since someone brought it up, I thought this would be a good time to share some tips and reminders. If you’re one of those folks who already has it down, you can ignore this now.
Still here? OK, here we go....
First, you don’t need a Bookmark or Favorite to access this site. If you haven't already placed it in your browser's toolbar, just start typing hawkeshealth into the address bar or URL (that long narrow white box at the top of any page). Before you get very far, the entire address will magically appear just below the bar. Click on it and the window will open to the home page immediately. (Or the address might automatically complete itself, in which case, just hit Enter). Some things work slightly differently depending on the browser, or whether you’re using a Mac or a PC.
Which reminds me: when doing any search — Google, dictionary, amazon or any search box on any site — you don’t have to use your mouse to click on the Go button. Just hit Enter (or Return) and off you go.
MORE TIPS YOU MIGHT FIND USEFUL
Double-click on any word to highlight it.
When filling out a form, hit TAB to move to the next line.
Use keystroke commands to speed your activity:
hold down Control and press s to Save copy (Command + s on a Mac)
Control + c to copy highlighted text
Control + v to paste
Control + x to delete (oh, and you can paste elsewhere what you just deleted)
Control + f to find a word (in a file or on a web page. In a file, it will highlight the word, and clicking Next will continue to find other uses of the word. On a Web page, a little search box will open in the lower left corner where you type the desired word, and again, clicking Next will find further occasions of that word, if there are any).
Control + a to select all (this highlights the entire page)
Control + z to undo
(and remember that there’s also an Undo option under the drop-down EDIT menu)
You can enlarge the text on any Web page. In Windows, press Ctrl and the + or - keys (for bigger or smaller fonts); on the Mac, it’s the Command key and + or minus. If your mouse has a scroll wheel, hold down Control and run the wheel up or down.
• Tap the space bar to scroll down on a Web page one screenful. Tap and add the Shift key to scroll back up.
Just putting something into the Trash or the Recycle Bin doesn’t actually delete it. You then have to empty the Trash or Recycle Bin.
You didn’t break it! It’s hard to do something permanently wrong on your computer. Undo, cut, copy and paste often work, even when you think they might not. You can recover files, deleted text, closed tabs, who knows what. For Windows, they are Ctrl-z, Ctrl-x, Ctrl-c, Ctrl-v — all in a row. On a Mac, it’s Command, instead of Control.
Ctrl + Left or Right arrow key while editing text jumps to the beginning of the previous (left key) word or to the beginning of the next (right key) word. Reduces the number of Left/Right button presses drastically. (On a Mac, it’s the Option key).
This is cool: You can text questions to Google. Enter a search term like “Pizza 04101″ (the zip code) to Google and Google will text back pizza restaurants in that area. This also works for sports scores, flight times, and businesses like taxi cabs. I’ll never pay for 411 again.
I love this gimmick: I google washingtonpost.com from the New York Times search box. If an ad comes up, I click it and make the Post give the Times a nickel. (You do know that when you click one of those Google ads, the site earns a few cents?)
• My final recommendation: If IE (Internet Explorer) is your browser, use it to download and install Firefox and make it your default browser. It’s what most professionals prefer. It has better tabbed browsing and many many features you’ll love!
Remember to back up your work! Accidents do happen: unexpected power outages...sudden crashes (PCs only)...virus invasions (PCs only)...etc. Use a CD, a thumb drive, or any external hard drive of your choice, but save your valuable work to a backup. Daily.
AFTERTHOUGHT: I use two browsers, Firefox and Safari. Firefox is my default, but I run anything dodgy on a separate, anonymous e-mail account on Safari. My Facebook page is linked to Safari too. At any given moment in the day I have multiple windows and tabs open. If I find an article on FB, for instance, that I want to read but don't have time now, I open it in a new window and minimize it till I can get back to it. I never shut my computer off unless I'm planning to leave town.
I’m always happy to answer questions. No question is “stupid” if you don’t know the answer. I'm no expert, but I've been fooling around in this playground for a long time. Hope this was helpful!