With the Thanksgiving holiday upon us here in the United States the team at PTJ HQ can’t thank you all enough for supporting us so passionately over these last few years. Both J.D. and I don’t have plans of stopping any time soon since we continue to have a wonderful time doing the show. We promise to keep serving up our special brand of insight and shenanigans—along with the occasional surprise—if you promise to keep coming back for more.
A very special thanks to the BROS!
When we say we wouldn’t be here without them that is a 100% accurate statement. They convinced us to make the leap to doing the show on our own and have supported us every step of the way. A heartfelt bushel of gratitude from all of us at HeadStepper Media and Pop Tech Jam!
This week on the show, J.D. is thinking of linking and shares a slew of helpful keyboard shortcuts with us. In the news the FCC reaches an agreement with T-Mobile about their throttling practices; the Federal Aviation Administration is prepares a set of new rules for commercial drones; the European Union is expected to vote on breaking up Google’s business; Apple sees (RED); the United States and the United Kingdom are suspects behind a sophisticated series of cyber attacks against the European Union; Barbie (and Mattel) **** it up again; and the first teaser trailer of Star Wars: The Force Awakens hits theaters this weekend.
Tablets and smartphones may be making a lot of our productivity mobile, but for some people, getting work done means sitting down in front of a real physical keyboard and pounding those keys until the job is done. (And yes, this counts even if you add a Bluetooth keyboard to your tablet or phone.)
To make things even faster for repetitive tasks like formatting or navigation, many programs include keyboard shortcuts that save you the mousework and move things along. Some programs even let you add your own custom shortcuts, which can be handy, say, if you’re a southpaw and find the defaults awkward — or there’s an obscure menu command that has no built-in shortcut.
Sure, you can look in the Windows or OS X menus to see the shortcuts listed, but that can be time-consuming until you start remembering them. If you don’t know a lot of the commands off the top of your head, here’s the Pop Tech Jam roundup of keyboard quickies for common operating systems and popular programs.
Print ’em out and go.
Music & Multimedia
Adobe Creative Software
Want to see the all the shortcuts at once? Printable crib sheets listing Windows shortcuts can be found around the web with a quick search. Mac utilities like CheatSheet (free) and Dashkards stick with the stock shortcuts, but display them in an easy-to-read format on screen, KeyCue does the same thing with more customization options, but charges 20 euros for the full version.
If mere keyboard shortcuts aren’t enough, programs that let you use hotkeys to create and run your own macros can give your productivity an even bigger boost. Check out Hotkey Utility for Windows or AutoHotKey (also for Windows). Similar programs for Mac users include the $30 QuicKeys or iKey (also $30).
Siri, Cortana and OK Google aside, computing is still mostly a hands-on activity on one form or another. So until we get the next great input system in place, speeding up your clicks with the keys is one way to make the most of your time.
Want to make Webmail feel more like desktop mail when you’re checking your personal account at work or on a different computer? Sure, you can format messages in rich text and make folders in most services now, but here are a few other tips for managing your mail more efficiently through your Web browser.
1. Use keyboard shortcuts.
- Gmail. Google’s mail program comes with one level of shortcuts that work automatically and another level that you have to turn on within the Gmail settings. The automatic ones are things like navigational controls for jumping around between messages with the arrow keys, that sort of thing. To turn on the second level of shortcuts, go into your Gmail settings by clicking on the gear-shaped menu icon, selecting Settings and tuning on the option for keyboard shortcuts. Once you save the changes, you get a couple dozen more shortcuts for composing mail, moving through conversations, archiving mail and so forth. Press the keyboard’s ? key to see a list of all the shortcuts.
- Yahoo. Yahoo has all kinds of shortcuts for using Yahoo Mail, including those for composing messages, working with message lists and navigating. Press the keyboard’s ? key to see a list of all the shortcuts.
- Outlook.com. In Microsoft’s Webmail service, which used to be Hotmail, you can use the built-in shortcuts, or if you’re coming from Gmail or Yahoo, you can use those instead. When you’re in Outlook.com, Press the keyboard’s ? key to see the shortcuts and get to the settings.
2. Drag and drop those attachments.
Most Webmail programs now let you do it this way instead of clicking the attach button and navigating through your hard drive to find the file you want to send. Gmail has more information here and Yahoo’s mail-attachment tips are here. Outlook.com still uses the Insert button, but you can choose to stick them on as “Files as attachments,” Pictures inline” or “Share from SkyDrive.”
3. Use integrated online storage for big attachments.
Speaking of the “Share with SkyDrive” option — got a 30-megabyte file that’s too big to attach to a normal message? The big three Webmail service all have integration with other cloud services. Microsoft’s SkyDrive can do the heavy lifting for mail attachments with Outlook.com and other mail programs. If you have Gmail, you can insert that big attachment that lives on your Google Drive to your Gmail message. Yahoo Mail recently linked up with Dropbox for similar big attachment handing.
Some things about doing mail on the Web will always be different than managing your messages with a dedicated desktop program, but Webmail does give you a lot of freedom and perks of its own. And just think how far it’s come since the original HoTMaiL’s official launch back on July 4, 1996, with its free two megabytes of storage.
Got Windows 8 on a regular ol’ mouse-and-keyboard computer? Although some manufacturers have included a Start menu with their Windows 8 machines, many don’t have it and that can make the new system can seem hard to navigate if you’re not used to using the tiles on the Start screen. (Yes, there’s the Charms menu, but really, doesn’t the word charms bring to mind bracelets, leprechauns, or witches and NOT hidden menu icons for devices, settings, start, share and search?)
But while you can always download a Start menu alternative (like Classic Shell, Pokki or Win8StartButton), keyboard combos might make it easier to get things done without extra software. For long-time Windows users, these four shortcuts may help the most at first:
- Windows Key + X: Press this shortcut and you get a menu that pops up from the bottom left corner that’s full of system options, including Windows Control Panel, Command Prompt, Task Manager and File Explorer.
- Windows Key + Q: Tap these keys to get a menu that lets you search through a list of installed programs on the computer.
- Windows Key + D: Press these and you jump into the desktop mode, where the scenery looks a bit more familiar.
- Windows Key + C: Pressing Win+C displays Charms menu, which once you get used to it, isn’t so bad. Except for the name.
Microsoft has a full list of Windows 8 and Windows RT shortcuts here and some handy shortcuts for those using a mouse and keyboard here. These moves may take a little more human memory at first than just swiping and tapping the screen — but they still let you get around Windows 8 on finger power.