Do It Yourself Training, Part 1

We’ve gotten a lot of great feedback regarding the editing exercises.  Some of you would like to see more of them, which we are thrilled about and will definitely keep them coming.  For those of you who would like even more practice, this post will help you begin to create your own training program. 

What Tool Will You Use
Creating your training program without a formal training tool can seem daunting, but a little creativity can go a long way.  Think about what you do have available to you.  Do you have any training software?  If not, you can create a program using word processing software.  For this post, I am going to assume everyone is going to use Microsoft Word.

The Shortcuts
Next, compare your application’s keyboard shortcuts to shortcuts available in Word.  These should be the navigation and editing shortcuts.   Good shortcuts to start with are:

CTRL+Right Arrow
CTRL+Left Arrow
CTRL+Down Arrow
CTRL+Up Arrow
CTRL+Shift+Right Arrow
CTRL+Shift+Left Arrow
CTRL+Shift+Down Arrow
CTRL+Shift+Up Arrow

The Exercises
The first thing you want to learn are the basic keyboard shortcuts.  Repetition is key.  In these exercises, you want to perform the same shortcut over and over.  The more you repeat the hand movements, the more comfortable you will be with them.

Find a few sample documents.  Websites such as and are good resources for sample reports.  Remember not to use any reports that have not been de-identified.  Since the focus here is on the keyboard shortcuts, do not worry about report type. You can even use the same report for multiple jobs.  We are not going to focus on the content itself in these exercises.  Our sole focus is the keyboard shortcuts.   After you have selected your reports, copy  and paste the text into a blank Word document.

When creating your exercises, think about real world examples for each shortcut. What is it’s purpose? Let’s use copy and paste as an example.  Manipulate your report so that text is out of order.  Use CTRL+X to cut text and CTRL+V to paste it where it belongs.  Next you can use the CTRL+Z shortcut to undo everything and repeat the exercise.  For more ideas, use the exercises under the Editing  Fun tab as a guide.

There are a lot of keyboard shortcuts available in the editor. In the beginning it can be overwhelming. Remember to start slow.   Try to create a new exercise for each shortcut.  Commit to practicing a few shortcuts each day and then incorporate those shortcuts into your daily work. The next day, add-on a new shortcut.   The shortcuts above can also be used in most applications.  Next time you’re using IM or typing an email, don’t use backspace to undo a mistake.  Instead use CTRL+Z.  Before you know it, you will be a shortcut pro!

If you would like to share any exercises you have created, leave us a comment.  In the meantime, stay tuned for Part 2…


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