Some Less Familiar Mouse and Keyboard Shortcuts Worth Knowing


A few months back, Gizmo wrote an article about three under-utilized shortcuts for text operations. In this tip, I am going to add a few more to the under-utilized list.

Select text quickly with mouse clicks

One of the more common computer tasks that we do is manipulate text. There are various ways of selecting text but two quick methods use the mouse. Double-click a word in some text and the entire word will be highlighted. Triple-click within a paragraph and the whole paragraph will be selected.

These two methods work in a wide variety of applications but I found some places where the triple-click doesn’t apply. Although it works in several  other text editors that I tried, the triple-click fails in Notepad. However, the double-click to select an individual word works fine there.

Although other websites gave me no trouble with the triple-click, it didn’t always work at New York Times pages. This was the same with all three browsers that I tried—IE8, Firefox 3.6.13, and Chrome 9. The success of the triple-click on web pages will depend on the formatting and scripting used in the site.

Format text quickly with keyboard shortcuts

Use the Control key plus a letter to format text that you have highlighted:

  • Ctrl + B  Formats bold
  • Ctrl + U  Formats underlined
  • Ctrl + I  Formats italic

Don’t like the result? Use the “undo” combination Ctrl + Z.

This trick works in a number of applications that I have tried but, of course, they have to have the ability to do this kind of formatting already.

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This tips section is maintained by Vic Laurie. Vic runs a Windows blog called The PC Informant and also operates a computer education website.

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