Turning Text into Structured Headings


(Please Note:  Please check with your account manager to be sure your accounts utilize section and subsection headings.  Also, we use the standard M*Modal keyboard shortcuts throughout this blog post.  However, your company may have set up customized keyboard shortcuts.  Please contact your account manager to obtain the list of keyboard shortcuts utilized by your company.)

 The automatic formatting of structured items in the final document is probably my favorite feature in the editor!  It saves you so much time because you no longer have to worry about bolding and capitalizing your section headings or indenting and numbering lists.  This is even more helpful when you jump back and forth between several accounts that might format these things differently.  You no longer have to remember that account A capitalizes and bolds their headings while account B uses a regular case with a colon at the end.  As long as the text is in the proper structure in the draft, it will be formatted correctly in the final document according to the specifications for that account.  You can focus on verifying the accuracy of the text and using your medical knowledge.   This is the same whether you’re using the editor in the transcribing or editing environment.

 In this post, we will be focusing on structured section and subsection headings.  Sometimes you will find in the draft that due to misrecognition of the text, something that should have been a section heading is in plain text.  Did you know that there is no need for you to type over any of the text just because it didn’t appear in the draft correctly structured?  Using a few simple shortcuts, you can easily turn the text that is there into a section heading or subsection heading! 

 Let’s take the following text as an example:

 Physical exam general is a 23-year-old Hispanic male in no acute distress.

 All of the text in this example is correct, but not in the proper structure of a section heading, subsection heading, and section content.  By using the keyboard shortcuts discussed earlier combined with a few new ones, we can easily edit this so that it is correct. 

  •  We can move our cursor to the beginning of the sentence and by using ctrl+shift+right arrow, your cursor will move over one word at a time, highlighting each word.  Use this technique to highlight “physical exam”. 
  • With the text highlighted, you can use the keyboard shortcut ctrl+N  (please remember to refer to the customized shortcut list for your company for the correct section heading keyboard shortcut as this shortcut may differ from what I am using such as ctrl+H, etc).  This will turn all of the highlighted text into a structured section heading and will even allow you to use the drop down list if your company uses this feature. 
  • Next, move your cursor to “general” and by pressing ctrl+shift+right arrow one time, it will highlight the word. 
  • You can then press the shortcut for a subsection, ctrl+shift+N  (please remember to refer to the customized shortcut list for your company for the correct subsection heading keyboard shortcut as this shortcut may differ from what I am using such as ctrl+shift+H)
  • Your section heading and subsection heading are correctly structured with just a few shortcuts and now you’re ready to move on to your next edit.

 Please refer to this screenshot to see a properly structured draft that utilizes structured sections and subsections. 

In an earlier post titled “Using the Draft as a Tool”, we talked about doing a quick preview of the draft before you start the audio.  This would be the perfect time to identify and correct an edit such as this.   It is often an edit you can make without even hearing the audio.   

 In a future post, we will talk about taking text already in the draft and quickly turning it into a structured list.  

I presented you with a lot of information in this post, but learning how to turn plain text into structured text is a very important concept that you will want to master.  If you have any questions or comments regarding this concept or any of our previous posts, we would love to hear from you, so Let’s Talk!


2 thoughts on “Turning Text into Structured Headings

  1. I am an MT and have been using Mmodal for over 2 yrs now, and my biggest complaint about the platform remains the Cntrl + N function to create a header. It is so cumbersome and rhythm intrusive. Just my thoughts. Thanks!

  2. Hello Howard,

    Thank you for your comment and we welcome your opinions because your feedback is very valuable to us. Since you are working with the editor every day, do you have a suggestion for a shortcut that you feel would flow easier for you and not feel so uncomfortable? Transcription companies do have the ability to customize their shortcut keys to whatever keystroke combination they feel would be most beneficial for them or they may use our standard keyboard shortcuts. Ctrl+N to create a section heading and Ctrl+Shift+N to create a subsection heading are two of our standard shortcuts.

    I feel most comfortable executing these shortcuts in different ways depending on whether I am typing a report from scratch or editing a draft. When I am typing a report from scratch, my fingers are on the usual home row keys of “asdf” and “jkl;”. Therefore, I find it comfortable and efficient to use my left pinky finger to hold down the Ctrl key while I press the N button with my right index finger. To make a subsection heading, I use my left pinky finger to hold down both the Ctrl and Shift keys at the same time while again pressing the N key with my right index finger. If your company utilizes the drop down list of allowable section titles feature, you can then easily move your right hand to the arrow keys to highlight the appropriate heading and your left pinky up to the TAB key to choose this heading.

    If I am editing a draft, I keep my left hand hovered over the ctrl and shift key area and my right hand over the arrow keys as my “home row” and I find it more comfortable to use my left index finger to press down the Ctrl key or the Ctrl +Shift keys while still using my right index finger to press the N key. If your company uses the drop down list of allowable section titles feature in the editor, you can still easily use your right hand on the arrow keys to highlight the correct heading and your left hand to hit the TAB key to chose the heading.

    Howard, this is what feels most comfortable to me to create sections and subsections and helps me to perform these keyboard shortcuts easily and without interruption to either my typing or editing. If this isn’t the finger placement you are currently using, perhaps try this way and see if this flows more easily for you. If you are already performing these shortcuts in this manner, think about what would feel more comfortable to you and please let me know.

    Thanks, Bethany

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