Keyboard Command Shortcuts - Power User Tips

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I really like shortcuts. Shortcuts are quicker ways to get things done. We don't have enough hours in the day as it is, every little bit of time savings helps! Today's class I want to show you keyboard command shortcuts that you can use for common commands that you can do if you are using Windows (sorry Macs, although I have a feeling that you might have something similar if you look). This was one of the points that I demonstrated in a recent webinar, "So You Want to be a Power User". I will be recording these classes in the future, meanwhile I'll blog about some of these points.

As you probably know, in windows, the right-click on the mouse is a powerful tool. It brings up a pop-up menu, also known as a "context sensitive" menu. What that means, is depending on what you right-click ON TOP of, it will give you relevant choices. For example, if you right click on a file, you can see choices like Delete, Rename, and Copy. If you click on a blank space in a folder window, you get choices such as to create a new folder. So here is the power user tip: each command has a single key shortcut that is available ONCE THE POP UP APPEARS. The keys in the first example (delete, rename, copy) are D, M, C and in the new folder example, a press W then press F combo creates a new folder.

The shortcut keys are usually (logically) the first letter of the command (but not always!). Sometimes it is another letter of the command. Take W for new as an example. When a letter other than the first letter is used it means there are multiple commands with the same first letter, so they had to pick a different letter. However, it is extremely easy to memorize the command letters though and I don't give it a second thought now.

Can you imagine talking to your computer? With the right software and setup, it is possible to speak commands like "create a new folder" or "show thumbnails view" and your computer would respond. That would be a very quick way to work. However, in an office environment, imagine everybody doing that! It would be rather noisy and annoying. I feel like the keyboard shortcuts give you the same quick responsiveness as if you were speaking direct commands... only speaking silently with your fingers! "Create a new Folder" -> press W then press F ... "Show Thumbnails View" -> press V then press M ... ok that last one needs a little explaining - M is for 'medium sized icons' - My other favorite folder view is "Show Details View" -> press V then press D.

So how do you know what key IS the shortcut? Look for the UNDERLINED character. Windows by default turns off the underlines though. Here's how you reverse that (bad) decision and turn underlines back ON!
in XP: control panel > display > appearance tab > effects > turn OFF “hide underlined letters”
in Vista: control panel > ease of access > make keyboard easier > turn ON “underline keyboard shortcuts”

Simply watch for the underlined characters and you will have all sorts of possibilities!

So a recap: frequently used commands can be called with single key presses. You have to right-click first to get the pop-up, BUT THEN you can press a key instead of clicking on the menu item. Once you memorize the "hot keys" you don't even have to look down. It is like talking to your computer, only you are talking with your fingers! Now, this truly is a "power user" technique and I know it won't be for everybody. But now you know! And I know there are some of you out there that this will be something you will benefit from!

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Re-Blogged 3 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Mike Yeo 09/17/2011 05:12 PM
  2. Ken Anderson 09/19/2011 09:49 AM
  3. Cheryl Ritchie 09/19/2011 06:25 PM
Real Estate Technology & Tools
Tech Corner
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Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

Craig - I love shortcut commands and use them constantly.  Today I've learned a few more.  Thank you.

Sep 18, 2011 07:17 AM #40
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Thanks, Craig. I knew about a bunch of these but not all. Gotta store these in my memory banks - bookmarked just in case.


Sep 18, 2011 09:17 AM #41
Suzanne McLaughlin
Sabinske & Associates, Inc. (Albertville, St. Michael) - Saint Michael, MN
Sabinske & Associates, Realtor

Thanks, Craig.  Bookmarked for copying to a file later.  This is great information.  I love shortcuts.

Sep 18, 2011 01:57 PM #42
Kathy Opatka
Serving Ocean City, MD, & The Delaware Beaches


As usual, you simplified something into UNDERSTANDABLE language! You make it all so simple!


Sep 19, 2011 01:12 AM #43
Ed Silva
RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

Craig, I too like short cuts, and even with 2 cups of coffee already, I still need to come back to this again. Something about old dogs and tricks

Sep 19, 2011 02:16 AM #44
Beverly Femia
BlueCoast Realty Corporation - Hampstead, NC
Broker Realtor Stager - Greater Wilmington, NC Are

Thank you and ditto more coffee to make sense of it - not your fault!  The problem is me!!

Sep 19, 2011 02:45 AM #45
Ty Lacroix
Envelope Real Estate Brokerage Inc - London, ON

Hi Craig, as usual, a very good tip, especially for a one finger typist.


Sep 19, 2011 03:02 AM #46
Cara Marcelle Mancuso
Long Realty - Dove Mountain, Marana AZ - Tucson, AZ
Call a Marana neighbor, I'm THERE! LONG REALTY

Great information - saving for resource as memorization doesn't stay with me without constant use.  This is a great bunch of shortcuts - thank you.


Sep 19, 2011 04:20 AM #47
Mike McIntosh
Sierra Pacific Mortgage Company, Inc. - Granite Bay, CA
FHA VA CVL Home Loans California - 916 780-6400

Thanks Craig - I didn't know that I could turn on the underline feature to help identify the shortcuts.  I can use the time savings!

Sep 19, 2011 04:30 AM #48
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Just noticed you are back with a post. I will learn from this one for certain. Hope you're having a great Monday Craig - and as always Thank You.

Sep 19, 2011 04:46 AM #49
Kimo Jarrett
WikiWiki Realty - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

Aha! Thanks for the lessons.

Sep 19, 2011 06:07 AM #50
Jim McCormack
Nashville Short Sale Specialist - Jim McCormack - Edge Advantage Realty, LLC - 615-784-EDGE (3343) - Murfreesboro, TN
Nashville Short Sale REALTOR - Stop Foreclosure

Good information.

Sep 19, 2011 06:48 AM #51
Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®
Vision Quest Realty - Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate

Craig, 'em!

Sep 19, 2011 08:43 AM #52
Ken Anderson
Apex Results Realty Inc., Brokerage - Burlington, ON
Broker in Burlington, Ontario

Good post about shortcuts, Craig.  I've never been a great user of shortcuts, but I feel encouraged to try them again.  A good source for alternate symbols and their codes is one I bookmarked from Penn State U :  Of course in Word 2007 up there is the Insert Symbol button on the ribbon.

Thanks again, Ken.

Sep 19, 2011 09:46 AM #53
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

I think a lot of times we get into bad habits and stay with them without understanding all the tools we have.

Sep 19, 2011 01:22 PM #54
Debbie Walsh
Shahar Management - Middletown, NY
Hudson Valley NY Real Estate 845.283-3036

LOL Yes definitely was annoying!

Sep 19, 2011 02:41 PM #55
Anne M. Costello
Weidel Realtors - Yardley, PA

Craig post Craig. Thanks to Cheryl Ritchie for reblogging. I missed it the first time. Will chack these out. I love shortcuts.

Sep 19, 2011 09:59 PM #56
Don MacLean
Simolari & MacLean REMAX EXECUTIVE REALTY - Franklin, MA
Realtor - Homes For Sale - Franklin MA

Craig, always looking for new things (at least to me) to help save time on the computer while getting more accomplished.

I will have to work on some of these. Like anything else it's getting past the what the...... stage lol

Enjoy the day

Sep 20, 2011 02:09 AM #57
Ken and Leslye Huebsch
3x Individual Agent of the Year, Luxury Homes, First-Time Buyers, Residential Resales, New Construction - Harrisburg, PA
Realtors - Harrisburg Homes for Sale 717.514.1793

And I thought I was ahead of the game with Control C & V!

Sep 29, 2011 04:21 PM #58
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • Green • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

It take time to memorize most used shortcuts, but eventually it becomes almost automatic. 

Mar 24, 2017 12:54 AM #59
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