Many MTEs see a big boost in their productivity when they use the keyboard shortcuts instead of the mouse. The keyboard shortcuts you will use when working with the editor are divided into four categories:
Navigational – Lets you move through the document quickly.
Editing – Allows you to make edits efficiently with minimal keystrokes.
Structural – You can easily create structured items like section headings and lists.
Audio – Control playback and playback speed.
Keyboard shortcuts can make you more efficient at editing by keeping your fingers on the keyboard. Each time we take our hand from the keyboard and reach for that mouse, we are losing seconds that can add up to many minutes by the end of the day! Mastering these shortcuts is the key to becoming a successful editor and increasing your productivity.
To help break you of the mouse habit, move your mouse out of easy reach. Every time you reach for your mouse and it is not there, it will remind you to use your shortcuts to perform the same function.
Try to get in the habit of keeping your fingers over your new ‘home keys’ which are the CTRL, SHIFT, and Arrow keys. Keeping your fingers close to these keys will help you to quickly navigate throughout your draft document.
Break it down to help you learn! Begin with incorporating just a few of the shortcuts into your daily work. Work on mastering those few and then each day you can add another one or two shortcuts. This will help you to feel confident in really mastering these shortcuts and will keep you from feeling overwhelmed!
At first, keyboard shortcuts may feel very awkward, but with consistent practice, they will become your new habit and you will wonder how you got along without them! Try to practice as much as possible. This will help to commit the shortcuts to memory and train your fingers to easily perform them. Many of the keyboard shortcuts can be used in Word and other applications so try to use them as much as possible even when you aren’t working.
If you have other tips that have helped you to “let go of your mouse” and embrace the keyboard shortcuts, we would love to hear about them! Please go to our Let’s Talk page and post your comments.