Cycrest's Time-Saving Tricks and Tips 2

Cycrest has some important tips to save you and your organization time and improve productivity.


  • Double-click word to highlight it. (You do not have to drag the mouse across it, in other words.) Double-click and drag your mouse to highlight in one-word segments. Triple click to highlight a whole paragraph.
  • When deleting, if a selection is highlighted, you do not have to delete it first. Just start typing and it will automatically be replaced.
  • AutoFormatting: this is when Word automatically creates clickable links, bold type, indented bulleted or numbered lists, and other formatting as you type. Tired of it?
    • You can turn on and off these features. In Word 2010 and newer (Windows), open the File menu; click Options, Proofing, AutoCorrect Options, and then AutoFormat Options.
    • On a Mac (Word 2011 and newer), open the Tools menu; click AutoCorrect, then AutoFormat As You Type.
  • On your keyboard, there is a difference between the Backspace and Delete keys. Press Backspace to delete the typed character to the left of the blinking insertion-point cursor. Pressing Delete, however, removes the character to its right. (On Macs however, the Backspace key is labeled as Delete and deletes characters to the left of the cursor.)
  • In Microsoft Word, when you paste in text from another document, you may not want all the boldface, colors, fonts and other formatting retained. Instead of using the Paste command, open the Edit menu and click Paste Special. Click Unformatted Text. You will get just the text, without all the fancy formatting.


  • You can hide all windows, revealing only what is on the computer desktop, with one keystroke: hit the Windows key and "D" simultaneously in Windows, or press F11 on Macs (on recent Mac laptops, Command+F3: Command is the key with the cloverleaf logo). This is perfect to use when you want to look at, or delete something, you have just downloaded to the desktop. Press the same keys again to go back to where you were.
  • If you cannot find an obvious command, try clicking using the right-side mouse button. (On the Macs with single-button mice, you can Control-click instead.)
  • Moving a file into the Trash or the Recycle Bin does not actually delete it. You have to empty the Trash or Recycle Bin. (Once a year, I hear about somebody whose hard drive is full, despite having practically no files. It is because over the years they have put so many gigabytes' worth of stuff in the Recycle Bin and never emptied it.)
  • Especially if you are a beginner (or an expert), it is frequently useful to capture the image of what is on the screen -- an error message or diagram, for example.
    • In Windows, PrintScreen key copies the whole screen image, as a graphic, onto your invisible clipboard, so you can paste into an e-mail message or any other program. If you add the Alt key, you copy only the front window.
    • On the Mac, press Command-Shift-3. (Command is the key with the propeller on it, next to the Space Bar.)
    • If you press Command-Shift-4 instead, you get a cross-hair cursor; you can draw across just one portion of the screen. Or, if you now tap the Space Bar, you turn the cursor into a little camera icon. You can now click on just one window or toolbar that you want to copy.
    • In both cases, you can hold down the Control key to copy the image to the Clipboard instead of leaving a file on the hard drive.
  • The Esc key (top left of the keyboard) means, "close this" or "cancel this." It can close a menu or dialog box, for example.
  • You can duplicate a file icon (instead of moving it) if you press the Alt key as you drag it out of its window.
  • You can switch among open programs by pressing Alt+Tab (or Command-Tab on the Mac). On the Mac, the much less known Command-tilde (the ~ key, upper left corner) switches among windows in a single program.
  • In Windows, you can click and hold a window on the window bar then shake it left and right. The other windows will minimize.


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