Monday Special: A Resource for Increasing Everyone’s Basic Computer Knowledge

Have you ever discovered a new software shortcut you can use that improves your efficiency?  Or someone is working with you and shows you a faster way to do something?  What a great moment and a great feeling of success that is – it’s almost like winning a prize!

Sometimes I’ll be working with Excel and just KNOW there’s an easier way to do something, but don’t have the time, the energy, or the patience to find out what it is.  Not that going to Help is that hard or time-consuming, but it’s a mindset that I will find out some other time how to do it faster.  That “other time” never comes.

We’re getting ready to have Brown Bag Training classes (30 minutes, during lunch, staff bring their lunch, not mandatory) at my practice to bring staff up to speed on some basics.  I’m sure we’ll give them some great tips, and I’m sure we’ll learn a lot too.  The point is to get everyone together and build our group knowledge by sharing what everyone knows.

In preparing our handouts for the classes, we’ll use the great article by David Pogue, a tech writer for the NY Times.  The article has 1228 comments full of tips from readers!  Here a few to whet your appetite:

  • You can enlarge the text on almost any Web page. In Windows, press Ctrl and the plus or minus keys (for bigger or smaller fonts); on the Mac, it’s the Command key and plus or minus.
  • Instead of the painstaking task of highlighting a whole document or web page with the mouse cursor, hit Control + A to select all.
  • You can tap the Space bar to scroll down on a Web page one screenful. Add the Shift key to scroll back up.
  • If you are having a problem in Windows and need to ask somebody for advice, try this: in Windows, use the Print-Screen button on your keyboard to take a picture of what’s on your computer screen. You can then paste that (CTRL-V) into a Microsoft Word document. Double click on it in Word and you will get options to crop it and resize it. Then email it.  Showing somebody the problem you are having is a lot easier than trying to describe it.

What’s your favorite tip or trick?