Computer Tips

Computer Tips3/04
Windows shortcut tips

 ... keyboard short cuts

by Bob Ross


For Windows users, there are a number of keyboard shortcuts that will save you a lot of mouse movement. Here are some of our favorites:

ALT + TAB -- If you have not used this one yet, get ready! If you have more than one application open at any given time, you can press the ALT key, and at the same time, the TAB key to move from one application to another quickly.

This is very useful, for example, for coding pages and then jumping to a browser to preview. This shortcut will jump through all your open applications, but defaults to a quick hop to the last used program. Play with ALT + TAB and you'll be flying through Windows in no time.

WINDOW + M -- Have you ever wanted to get to your Desktop screen fast, but found yourself closing applications with your mouse? Try this shortcut, which instantly minimizes all open windows and returns you to the desktop in one quick jump. (The WINDOW key is the one between CTRL and ALT.)

WINDOW + E -- This launches an instance of Windows Explorer, a very handy program for file management. Use this shortcut instead of running through the Start > Programs > Accessories > Windows Explorer route.

CTRL + C -- This command copies highlighted text.

CTRL + X -- This command cuts the highlighted text and puts in memory.

CTRL + V -- This command pastes highlighted text.

SHIFT + CTRL + ARROWS -- This shortcut is very handy for selecting text in HTML or text editors. Rather than highlighting with a mouse, this will quickly grab text one word at a time from the cursor position.

Make Sure to Clean that Mouse!

If you have noticed that your mouse is acting a bit strange lately, try cleaning it, before you throw it away for a new one.

There are several methods and tools available to clean the basic mouse, but we find that the easiest is always the best. You will need the cap from a disposable pen. You can employ pretty much anything small and plastic with a small edge with do.

The first step in the cleaning process is to get the mouse ball out. Turn the mouse over and you will see a small plastic ring that holds the mouse ball in place. This ring can be turned to be removed and the mouse ball can then be removed from the mouse itself. Once the ball is out, clean it gently with a cloth that is slightly damp. There is no need to go to the trouble of using soap and water.

The next thing that needs attention is inside the mouse itself. Look into the hole that the mouse ball was sitting in. You will notice three rollers around the edge of the hole. All three of these rollers will need to be cleaned. Again, this process is rather simple, requiring only the use of the cap from a disposable pen. These rollers are made of plastic, which is the reason for recommending the plastic disposable pen cap to clean. There is less chance of your damaging the rollers during the process.

You will notice that each of the rollers appears to have fine threads of dust and dirt wrapped around them. Take the cap and gently scrape all those little threads of dust and such off the rollers until none of it remains.

That is all that is required to clean your mouse. Now you can put the mouse ball back in, and secure the mouse ball holder ring to the bottom of the mouse. The pads on the bottom of the mouse can be cleaned at this point as well if necessary. Your mouse should now be acting like new again.

March 5, 2004

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