Half the world won't use keyboard shortcuts

KeyboardI've long been a passionate advocate of keyboard shortcuts, and they're a core part of the Lifehacker ethos; if you want to make your time in front of a computer more productive, then learning the keyboard shortcuts for your commonly used apps can save considerable time. But it seems that lots of people don't see it that way. An in-depth analysis of user habits by Microsoft during its development phase for Office 2007 found that keyboard shortcuts are often sadly neglected. (Microsoft revealed the data during its Tech Ed Developer conference in Sydney.) A particularly telling statistic: when it came to pasting, the market was almost exactly divided between people who used the keyboard shortcut (Ctrl-V) and people who preferred right-clicking with their mouse and selecting Paste from the drop down. (Selecting Edit-Paste didn't seem to happen much.) I can understand why people might not want to go Alt-T-O to get to the Options dialog, but Ctrl-V for Paste has been in Windows more or less from the beginning, and virtually every application supports it. Why resist? (Perhaps people think it's easier to use the mouse if they've already selected text with it, in which case I'd remind them that various combinations of shift, control and the arrow keys will get that job done faster and more accurately). Of course, there's no reason people can't be offered a choice of mouse or keyboard options, though sadly that wasn't the lesson that Microsoft drew from the data. Instead, it built the controversial Ribbon feature to replace its existing interface in Office 2007, on the grounds that a more visual system was better for all those mouse junkies. Outside of the true cross-application options (Open, Save, and the clipboard stuff), keyboard shortcuts were added on again as an afterthought and involved more (and different) keys than in previous releases. For a keyboard productivity hound like me, that was a major misstep, and when I use Office 2007 products, I keep the Ribbon minimised to maintain lower blood pressure. And while I'm still annoyed, I might just have to accept that the data could be read either way. Are you a keyboard shortcut junkie, or would you rather do everything with a mouse? Share your thoughts -- and your best shortcuts -- in the comments.


    I use a mix of both but most of the time I use keyboard shortcuts, just recently I installed total commander, once you get used to the keyboard shortcuts in it you can really smash file system operations and navigation.

    It really frustrates me when someone is trying to do something and they start clicking around and missing menu items.. you just feel like screaming “god dam learn keyboard shortcuts”.
    Move mouse to start button...click....move mouse over my computer....click|Total Time:10 Seconds,
    Win+E|Total Time 0.05 Seconds

    I use a mix of both as well. I would completely if someone could tell me a way to move between links and textboxes much faster than using TAB in web browsers.

    What I really miss are the keyboard shortcuts in Wordperfect 5.1, which relied less on simultaneous key combinations and more on successive keystrokes like Home+Home+Up etc to navigate. This system kept your hands in the same place when writing. This was a time before mice, but it represented a vast improvement over the awkward key combinations used in other applications.

    One of the reasons that I will never buy office 2007 is that they killed the possibility of customizing the ribbon and thus the creation of your own keyboard shortcuts. Right click on a word in order to copy or paste is something that you do if you spend 1 hour a week in front of a computer and thus you do not care if it takes faster with keyboard shortcut.

    I think it is better to use shortcuts in laptop, but in desktop I still prefer the mouse, or both.

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