Keyboard shortcuts are just about the quickest route to efficiency for anyone who works with words. (I dare say, they’re a step toward efficiency for anyone working on a computer. My colleagues in the art and production departments sure know how to use them!) Many keyboard shortcuts are universal — they work in most programs, and across platforms (Mac/PC).
These are they keystrokes I use constantly, but have never seen on a list of shortcuts. The Mac OS instructions are provided. For Windows, try the ctrl key instead of command (⌘) and alt instead of opt (option).
- Jump ahead or back one word.
opt + → opt + ←
That’s right arrow and left arrow, in case the symbols get snafu’d by your browser.
- Jump ahead/back one paragraph.
opt + ↓ opt + ↑
- That’s down arrow and up arrow.
Select the word/paragraph ahead/back. Pair each of the above shortcuts with the shift key (i.e., hold down shift while you press opt).
e.g., shift + opt + →
- Delete the next word, or previous word (back).
⌘ + del ⌘ + backspace
- Copy selection to new location.
opt + click-and-drag
There are some great lists of shortcuts out there. Just Google “keyboard shortcut” and either your operating system or the program you are curious about. Or, look in the help files on your computer. Here are some good shortcut lists I found recently:
- Mac OS X keyboard shortcuts by Apple
- Tip of the Week: Commanding the keys by CopyEditing.com
- Master the Basics and Feel the Power by the Subversive Copy Editor
Bonus shortcut tip: If you’ve ever had to undo a whole raft of funky capping, or worse yet, an entire chapter set in all caps (Holla! Cat London), you will sell your first born for knowledge of shift + F3. It toggles through the cap settings. You’re welcome.
[This is a cross-post from the original blog location to help ease the transition to this new home for the blog.]