31 January 2012

More Ctrl key shortcuts

I use the Ctrl keys so frequently that I almost forgot a few good ones.  To open a new blank document in Word, press Ctrl n.  To open a document, press Ctrl o.  Ctrl F4 will close the document, Alt F4 will close the document and the program.  If you haven't saved the document, it will prompt you to Save, Don't Save or Cancel.  Or you can press Ctrl s before you close it.

Many of these Ctrl key functions will work in other Microsoft programs, but not always.  The regular formatting ones such as Ctrl b, Ctrl i, Ctrl s and Ctrl u etc. do work, but some of the others do not work in Outlook, Excel or PowerPoint.

The one we are probably most familiar with is of course Ctrl Alt Delete.  I think we all know what that one is for.

29 January 2012

Ctrl keys are a real timesaver

Someone at work was trying to paste something by right clicking and using the paste option.  There were three options to choose from with a symbol for a paint brush, an arrow and the letter 'A'.  She tried one and it wasn't the paste she wanted so she said in frustration, "I never know which one to choose."  Each of the paste options do have a purpose, but for what we were trying to do I told her to just press Ctrl v and that would do it.  I have been using Ctrl keys for years and they are so simple and easy to use.

For those not familiar with the Ctrl key, it is located in the lower left-hand corner of the keyboard. To use it you need to press the Ctrl key and while holding it down press the letter for whatever you wish to do.  For example, these are very user friendly because the letter relates to what you want to do:

Ctrl s for Save
Ctrl p for Print
Ctrl for Find
Ctrl c for Copy
Ctrl i for Italicize
Ctrl b for Bold
Ctrl u for Underline
Ctrl a to highlight all of the document

For the others that are not so intuitive, as you use them they become familiar such as Ctrl v for paste and Ctrl x for cut.

Ctrl Shift End will highlight to the end of the document and Ctrl Shift Home will highlight to the beginning of the document.  Shift End will highlight from where you have your cursor to the end of the sentence and Shift Home will highlight to the beginning of the sentence. 

If you highlight a word or title and press Shift F3 you can toggle between upper case, lower case and initial caps by continuing to hold down Shift and press F3.

If you want to change the spacing for a para or the whole document, highlight what you want (or press Ctrl a to highlight the whole document) and press Ctrl 1 for single space, Ctrl 2 for double space and Ctrl 5 for space and a half.

When you get to the end of a sentence and two words are breaking that you would prefer stay together such as Mrs. Smith.  Instead of putting a space after Mrs., press Ctrl Shift Space and you will keep Mrs. Smith together on the same line.

Ctrl End will bring you to the bottom of the document and Ctrl Home will bring you to the top.

There are many, many more, but these are the ones I use the most and are very user friendly and timesavers.  Take the time to get used to them and I guarantee you will not look back.

22 January 2012

Injuries at the desk

As many of you know, I have been in administrative work for over thirty years.  As much as I've enjoyed it, a lot of injuries come with our line of work.  Recently, I was being assessed by a personal trainer at my gym and was complaining about my weak arms and she immediately asked what profession I was in.  As soon as I told her what I did for a living she gave a knowing nod.  She then listed a number of things that office workers suffered from because of our long hours sitting at the computer.  I had experienced most of them.  I am hoping she will be able to help me get some strength back, but in the meantime someone sent me this article that I thought was important to share to avoid some of these problems.

18 Important Ergonomics Tips for Online Students &Workers. http://www.onlinecollegecourses.com/2012/01/18/18-important-ergonomics-tips-for-online-students-workers/

If you are a younger worker, please take note of the tips as it will certainly help you further down the road.  If you've been at it for awhile, there is still hope so it doesn't get worse.  I definitely agree with all of the tips, but particularly #9.  I always try to have everything at my fingertips and avoid too much reaching.  This makes sense not only ergonomically, but if you have everything at hand you will be able to find things more easily, which causes less stress.  And yes I know sometimes we just don't have the time to look after ourselves, but it's worth it to take 30 or 40 minutes to set yourself up to succeed.  It will pay off in the long run.

5 January 2012

Does it really matter if I get along with my boss?

We spend most of our time at work so it stands to reason that the relationships we have at work are very important and worth spending time making them better.  As an admin we work very closely with our bosses, but also with other admins.  I'm sure everyone has experienced a day when they feel that their boss just doesn't understand them or another assistant is being nasty, but can our reaction make a difference? 

The only person we really have any say over is ourselves.  We can choose to be bitter and angry towards our co-workers or we can choose to get along.  But they deserve it you might say and you could very well be right, but getting back at them doesn't make our work life any better and in fact makes it worse because then we are angry too. 

For my New Years resolution I have decided to look at the positive and concentrate on that, rather than the negative.  As parents we are told to encourage our children and try to find something they are doing right and praise them for it.  The same thing can apply at work.  I think our behaviour can influence those around us.  Have you ever noticed when someone is in a bad mood they seem to pass that bad feeling around to everyone they meet?  I think good feelings can be passed along too.

There is an advertisement on TV and a doctor reports on the benefits of being happy.  Being happy he tells us can prolong our life.  Whether it actually prolongs our life, I am not sure, but it sure makes it a heck of a lot more pleasant to be in.

So try it at work today!  Pass on a little positive energy to your co-workers.  I think in the long run everyone will benefit, including you.