When a shortcut’s not a shortcut

A shortcut is only a shortcut when it’s a shortcut.  There you go, the shortest blog ever!!

Want me to expand?  My computers are set up with customized quick access tool-bars, quick launch bars and macros linked to shortcuts to help me work faster.

I frequently keyboard shortcuts (Ctrl + C to copy for example) and for along time, thought of them as the fastest way to use a computer.

shortcuts typing

This belief was shattered several years ago!  I was asked to help a ‘slow’ user by showing them ways to help speed them up.  I did, I left them with lists of shortcuts as well, but they seemed to have slowed down on the computer.

I realised why when one day they rang me because their computer froze.  I asked them to press Ctrl, Alt and Delete keys, but they couldn’t.  I called to them in person and asked them to do it again, when he did I realised what the problem was……   With his left index finger he was pressing Ctrl and with his right index finger he was pressing Alt and he had no idea how he was to reach the Delete key!

This user was more comfortable with using the mouse than the keyboard.  They were a slow typer and while they were looking for certain keys, they would have completed the task 3 times with the mouse.

This highlighted to me that a shortcut is only a shortcut if it’s a shortcut!

Now, in training I show some keyboard shortcuts if asked and I leave it to the user to decide what is quickest for them.

What’s a shortcut for me may not be a shortcut for somebody else and vice versa.



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