Each year, the average person spends nearly 1,100 hours typing on a keyboard. In today’s fast-paced world, every second counts, and optimizing your keyboard usage can make a significant difference in your productivity and save you precious time. Fortunately, there are a wide range of shortcuts and macros that keyboard users can utilize to streamline daily tasks and make computer usage more efficient. Whether you use your keyboard for work or play, here are some tips to unlock the true power of your keyboard.
1. System Navigation
Most keyboard users limit their use to simply plugging characters into various programs. Throughout the day, they constantly switch to their mouse to navigate through their system. However, there are numerous shortcuts that can be implemented on a keyboard to help you navigate your computer system without taking your hands off your keyboard.
- App or Website Launchers – Keyboard shortcuts can be set up to open frequently used applications or websites, making it quicker to access them. For example, you can set up a shortcut like “Ctrl + Alt + W” to open your favorite web browser.
- Window Management – There are a wide range of shortcuts to help manage open windows on your desktop, such as minimizing, maximizing, or snapping them to the sides of the screen. Windows users can use “Win + Arrow keys” to snap windows or “Alt + Tab” to switch between open applications.
- Quick System Commands – Commonly used system commands like locking your computer, opening the task manager, or toggling the display settings can be streamlined with shortcut keys. For instance, use “Win + L” to lock your computer quickly or “Ctrl + Shift + Esc” to open the task manager.
2. Program Shortcuts
Within applications, there are lots of special macros and shortcuts that you can use to help you manage the tools and programs faster and more efficiently. The types of shortcuts that are available will vary depending on the program that you are using, but many of the most common programs have similar features.
- Text Expansion Shortcuts – If there are certain phrases or long words that you use frequently, you can set up custom abbreviations to type them faster. For example, create a shortcut like “btw” that automatically expands to “by the way”. This can help both save time and reduce typing errors.
- Document Navigation – Shortcuts can also be used to navigate within documents, such as jumping to headings, finding specific words or phrases, or moving between pages. In Microsoft Word, you can use “Ctrl + F” to find text or “Ctrl + G” to jump to a specific page.
- Clipboard Management – You can enhance your clipboard functionality with macros that allow you to store multiple items, paste without formatting, or convert text to different cases.
Automating easy and repetitive tasks can reduce the amount of time you spend working. These automations can be set up to be triggered by a series of keystrokes or shortcuts.
- Email Templates – For common email responses, you can create automations that insert pre-written texts or customized signatures, which can speed up your email correspondence. For instance, you can create a shortcut like “Ctrl + Alt + R” to insert a pre-written response to a frequently asked question.
- Task Automation – Macros can be used to automate repetitive tasks, such as copying and pasting information between documents, formatting text, or resizing images. Software like AutoHotkey or Keyboard Maestro can help you create customized automation scripts to perform these tasks with a single keystroke. For example, you can set up a macro to format text in a specific way or create a script to batch resize multiple images at once.
Gamers know that the speed at which they react can mean the difference between success and failure. Many games require complex combinations of buttons to perform certain in-game actions. Macros can be particularly useful in massively multiplayer online games (MMOs) or real-time strategy (RTS) games where you are up against quick thinking human opponents.
Many gaming keyboards come with dedicated macro keys and software to easily set up and manage these macros. It’s important to note that some games may prohibit the use of macros and could result in getting banned or penalized.
Get the Most Out of Your Akko Keyboard
At Akko, we provide our customers with some of the best keyboarding products on the market. Our keyboards are built for performance and durability. By using these tips with your Akko keyboard, you’ll transform your keyboarding experience and discover amazing time savings and other benefits to improve your overall computing experience. Put Akko’s keyboards to the test today!
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