I recently viewed a video of David Pogue at the TED Talks running down 10 time saving tips from the tech world. Most I knew; some were new to me. So I gleaned the best from his talk and interspersed a few of my own.


1. Use the Spacebar to scroll down through a webpage (works on any browser). Hit Shift+Spacebar to scroll back up. (The spacebar also plays and pauses embedded videos.)

2. In Word, use F4 to repeat the last command. So if you just italicized something, and you want to italicize again, just hit F4. (FYI: F4 in Outlook is Find and Replace.)

3. When filling out an online form with a pull-down menu for your state, type the first letter of your state until you get to your state. For example, for Texas type tt; you’ll jump first to Tennessee then to Texas. Virginia may be vv (or vvv if the Virgin Islands are included).

4. To increase font size of any webpage on any browser, hold the Ctrl key and the plus (+) as many times as you need. Ctrl + minus (−) sign takes you back down. You are not actually increasing the size of the font, but the zoom. (FYI, make sure you take your browser back to 100% zoom before you try entering time on your timesheet; anything other than 100% zoom is troublesome for DelTek.)

5. For smartphone typing, if you want to end a sentence, just hit the spacebar twice, which will result in a period, space, and be ready to capitalize your next word.

6. Use your browser as a dictionary by just typing “define” (without quotes) and the word you want to know. For example, to “define solipsism” in Bing gives me
Definition of solipsism (n) [Bing Dictionary]

sol·ip·sism [ sólləp sìzzəm ]
1.belief in self as only reality: the belief that the only thing somebody can be sure of is that he or she exists, and that true knowledge of anything else is impossible
Synonyms: self-examination, contemplation, brooding, meditation, self-analysis, reflection, navel-gazing, solipsism, soul-searching

7. Use your browser for doing simple math calculations, too. Type “12/4” and hit enter, and your first entry is 12/3=4. Conversions are also simple; typing “10 miles to km” gets you 10 = 16.0934.

8. Use the tilde (~) to find related terms during a web search; use the minus sign (-) to eliminate a word or phrase from a search.

9. Use F7 to run spell check in most Microsoft programs. Shft+F7 gives you synonyms.

10. Use your web browser to look up a flight. For example, typing AA 1451 tells me that American Airlines flight 1451 is scheduled to depart tomorrow at 8:20 a.m. from National (Terminal B, gate 30) and arrive in Miami 11:00 a.m. (Terminal N, gate D26). Even works midflight and on delays.

11. There are a number of ways to highlight a chunk of text. Use Ctrl+Shift+→, ↑, ←, or ↓. That will highlight the text a word or line at a time. A double click with the mouse will highlight a word; double click + Shift will highlight a paragraph (sometimes); single click + Ctrl will highlight a full sentence.

12. When receiving emails as part of a conversation that are no longer of interest or relevant, you can ignore the conversation: Go to the Home tab; click Ignore in the Delete area (or press Ctrl+Del). To “un-ignore” open a message associated with the muted conversation from the Deleted Items folder and follow the same steps.

13. Use Shift+F3 in most Microsoft programs to scroll through your capitalization options. HELLO changes to hello, hello changes to Hello, and Hello changes to HELLO again with each Shift+F3 keystroke.

14. To select all in most programs, use Ctrl+A.

15. When giving a PowerPoint presentation (and while in Slide Show mode), either blackout or whiteout a slide temporarily by typing b or w; return to the slide with that ubiquitous Any key.

16. To update a field in Word (figure number, cross reference, or table of contents), select the field and hit F9. Ctrl+A, then F9 updates all fields in the document.

17. To review your document as an outline in Word, use either the Outline mode (bottom right) or go to the View tab and (in the Show area) select the Navigation Pane.

18. In Windows, view two documents side by side by dragging one to the far right of the screen (where it will dock), and the other to the far left. This works with pretty much everything except multiple Excel spreadsheets. To simultaneously view two spreadsheets, open both and go to the View tab and in the Window section click the View Side by Side command button.

19. A few additional keyboard shortcuts favorite for Word:

a. Remove paragraph or character formatting using CTRL+Spacebar
b. Paste text as unformatted text use CTRL+ALT+V (gives you Paste Special menu) then U twice (or arrow through menu)
c. Paste image as Enhanced Metafile CTRL+ALT+V then P

20. A few critical ASCII codes (when you want to be sure your symbol doesn’t change, no matter the platform):

a. Alt+0150 inserts an en dash (–)
b. Alt+0151 inserts and em dash (—)
c. Alt+ 0176 inserts a degree symbol (°)
d. Alt+0217 inserts a multiplication symbol (×) and Alt+0247 inserts a division symbol (÷), but Alt+247 inserts a roughly equal to symbol (≍)
e. Alt+060 inserts a less than symbol (<); Alt+062 a greater than (>); Alt+061 an equal sign (=)