Under-used Keyboard Shortcuts for Text Editing

Most people know about the basic windows shortcuts for Cut, Copy and Paste (right? Smile with tongue out), but there are a few more shortcuts that I consider are invaluable when writing text. And I was surprised that most people don’t really use them. I am talking about the Home and End keys and their respective combinations with Ctrl and/or Shift keys.

  • Home: Takes the cursor to the beginning of the current line.
  • End: Takes the cursor to the end of the current line (after the last character in the line).
  • Ctrl + Home: Takes the cursor to the very beginning of the active text field/document.
  • Ctrl + End: Takes the cursor to the very end of the active text field/document.
  • Shift + Home/End/Right/Left/Up/Down: Selects all the text between the initial cursor position and the final cursor position.
  • Ctrl + A: Selects everything in the active text field.

All coders and pretty much everyone who types a lot of text in your everyday life, for the love of God, drill these shortcuts into your minds! I promise your productivity will increase at least by 30%.  Here are a few examples of usages:

  1. Example 1 (Ctrl + A): Say you want to post a rather long status update in Facebook and twitter. Type out your message, hit Ctrl + A, then Ctrl + C. Then hit the post button in Facebook, go to Twitter, click on the “What’s New” text box, press Ctrl + V and post it.
  2. Example 2 (Shift + Home): Say you’ve written a complex printf() statement in C to display some information and you have to repeat the same output with a few changes about 5 times. Here’s what you do: Type out the first printf() statement. Your cursor will be at the end of the line right. Now press Shift + Home. The cursor will move to the beginning of the line because of the Home key, but it will also select all the text along the way because of the Shift key. Now copy and paste it as many times as you want. You have thus successfully avoided moving your hand to the mouse, moving the cursor and selecting the text by mouse movement. You’ve achieved all that in just 2 keystrokes: Shift + Home, without taking your hand off the keyboard. Note that you can use Shift with the arrow keys to select text letter by letter.

Aside from these shortcuts, I implore you to familiarize yourself with the keyboard shortcuts of the programs you use the most. It will drastically reduce the time needed to perform simple but repetitive actions. Just use Google, because as they say, Google is your friend! And if you don’t listen, then this Smile with tongue out

Ciao!

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2 thoughts on “Under-used Keyboard Shortcuts for Text Editing

  1. hey gautham, i am really interested in gaming n game designing but i dunno even a single thng about game designing, i’m in the tenth grade n would really love to learn anythng about game designing……..pls help

    • Hey, thanks for the comment bro 😀
      First I gotta ask: how did you find my blog?

      There are many aspects to game design, but my little experience in game design is programming, so I’ll try and help you with that. Read up on these links to decide if you REALLY want to be a game programmer:
      http://gamesfromwithin.com/so-you-want-to-be-a-game-programmer
      http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/2004/11/so-you-want-to-be-a-game-developer.html
      The gist of it is, game programming is not easy, but it can be rewarding.

      Another thing you’ll want to decide on is WHY you’ll be making games. For fun, for experimenting with the concept or for creating a viable game on your own either for sharing or selling. If you just want to get a feel of game development, I suggest you start easy with Game Maker, where you don’t need to use any direct programming. There is a free version available. You’ll also get an idea of many basics of game development (game objects, sprites, timing, collisions, etc.). That’s where I started way back. 🙂

      If you want to actually develop a game for online distribution or selling, then be aware that it’s not very easy, especially if you want to sell it. I suggest for now you focus on learning the tools of the trade without thinking about selling your game. Trust me when I say you’re a long ways off to reaching that point. In the meanwhile, make a few games for fun and gain experience along the way.
      But if you’re serious, after you get some idea of the basics, you will want to learn a programming language. A standard place top start would be C++. There are other easier options even for large projects, like Python for example, but if you learn C++, you’ll be able to handle pretty much any other language. Besides, many commercial games are made using C++ due to the amazing performance it offers. And while you’re at it, try taking a C/C++ course, so that you’ll have a certificate of some sort, which might help you later on. You can read tutorials online and learn from books, and you should do that, but formal coaching has its advantages. So learn a programming language in your holidays 😉

      From there, well, all I can say is Google is your friend 😀 Find tutorials on the internet and read articles. Google something like “learn to make games” or “game making for beginners” and you you can find some good starting tips for beginners. Gamedev.net is a good resource, among many others. Finally, be prepared to spend a lot of frustrating hours reading and experimenting, and the thrills of seeing your efforts realize into something tangible. Good luck 🙂

      PS: Here’s one of the many tutorials on the web for developing a basic 2D game:
      http://fixbyproximity.com/

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