Back to the Basics: ALT

So many of you loved ALT + tab that I decided to do another Back to the Basics post.  Here is a helpful starter lesson on learning your own shortcuts.  This will be the basics for endless shortcut keystrokes!  Seriously, the possibilities seem endless!  ALT: the magic key!

Did you ever notice in older versions of Microsoft Office underlined letters in each drop-down menu option (File, Edit, etc.)?  Whether your answer is “yes”, “no”, or “Umm… what is a drop-down menu?”, let me let you in on a secret: those letters were a “secret” pathway to shortcut key strokes!  I can hear some of you thinking, “Oh great!  I missed the boat in learning more shortcuts!”

Have no fear!  They are still there but hidden (sneaky, sneaky) with the new ribbon menu design (below is the ribbon for Microsoft Word).

Okay, so let’s get started learning some new shortcuts!  Open up a new Office Word document.  See the ribbon at the top?  Watch what happens when you click ALT.  Does your ribbon look like the one below?


Hopefully, your answer is yes; if not, please message me!  Those are your shortcut letters… ta-da!  Each ribbon tab has an assigned letter.  File – F;  Home – H; etc.  For now, type H.  Do you now have a ribbon that looks similar to the one below?  Hooray!  You are now on your way to a more efficient you!  Each option under the home tab has its own unique letter.  So if you click ALT + H + B + B, you will add a bottom border to your current line in Word.  Now is your chance to play around with the different letter combinations; just give it a try!  Ribbon2

Fun fact, most other programs use ALT combinations as well!  Welcome to the secret ALT club!  Seriously, open a couple of different programs on your computer and hit ALT.  Sometimes nothing happens, but it feels like magic when shortcuts just appear on your screen!

What if you decide you do not want any ALT options and want to get out of the current shortcut keys?  Just hit ALT again.  Presto!

Now, you might be thinking, “Wow, this is not faster AT ALL!”  You are partly right, it takes time to learn shortcuts.  So here is how I learn shortcuts: I pick one or two that I will use on a consistent basis and write them on a sticky note (the physical, old school, sticky notes not the program).  I literally stick them to the top of my screen (so high tech, right?) and use it daily for a while.  Sometimes, I find that the shortcut wasn’t so useful and remove the sticky (this happens more often than you would think).  The biggest thing though is continuing to try and find new shortcut keystrokes and you will gain efficiency.  Good luck out there!


Back to the Basics: ALT + tab

Have you ever watched someone who is extremely computer savvy and felt envious as they effortlessly navigated their computer before you even knew what they were doing?  Yeah, me neither…  Okay, maybe it has happened a couple of times!  These people are so efficient with technology that they are capable of navigating the computer without a mouse in absolutely no time at all.  I dream of being able to do this but am not quite there… my mouse will lives another day 🙂  The first step to going mouse-free is to learn a few shortcut key stokes; let’s start with one of my most used shortcut key strokes: ALT + tab (see below).  Mac users: Command + tab  altIf you have never used this shortcut, then prepare to have your mind blown!  This bad boy switches between programs/windows opened on your computer.  So let’s say you have Microsoft Excel and Internet Explorer open, you can quickly jump from one program to the other by holding down ALT and pressing tab.  If you quickly release ALT after hitting tab, you will be taken back to the last active program you were using, very convenient if you need to work in several programs at once.  OR another amazing way to use this shortcut is by continuing to hold the ALT button after hitting tab; a little window will appear with ALL of your current active programs on your computer.  From here, you can either use the arrows, while continuing to hold the ALT button, to select the program you would like to work in, or you can press tab over and over, while continuing to hold the ALT button, to toggle through the programs until you find the one you want.  Once you have the program you would like active, release the ALT button.  Such a simple and yet powerful shortcut for working more efficiently!  And remember, all computer geeks started somewhere, and now you are one step closer to being like them!  Please comment below or send me a message if you have any questions.  I value your feedback.

Technically, a Journey

This will be a journey…  A journey to read through technology books, starting with Excel 2016 Bible.  Exciting, right?  I guess that depends on who you ask!  I love learning technology but have HORRIBLE motivation to continue once I start.  Anyone else out there thinking, “Yep, that’s me!”?  I want to blog about my journey to help hold me accountable, to hopefully inspire others, and at the end of the day, to achieve a new skill.  Basically, I think we can all call this a win-win situation.

The goal behind this blog is to read one chapter from the same technology book per week until I complete the book.  Throughout the week, I will have several different topics I will blog about (see list below) along with a YouTube tutorial video based off the material read.  I may find that I can be my perfectionist self and do all the topics listed or I may pick only a couple.  Remember, I am human and will definitely need my grace moments!  Get pumped because here are the topics!

  • Personal Journey – These posts will be about the personal journey of reading what is essentially a textbook.  These posts will not be technical but just personal.  So if the idea of learning excel makes you sick, these are the posts for you!  These are my “grit and grace” posts.
  • Technical Journey – These posts will center around what exciting topics I am reading about this week.  Believe me, I will be pretty excited so forgive the enthusiasm if this is not your cup of tea!  I will also be including a summary/preview of my YouTube tutorial video for the week.  This is another way to make sure that I am not just reading BUT am actually learning.  Raise your hand if you know what I mean!  I want to keep myself accountable for learning the skill.
  • Did You Know? – These posts will be a quick technology-related item that maybe you knew or maybe you didn’t.  Example, did you know there is a formula in Excel called EOMONTH?  If you did, gold star to you!  If not, guess what?  I didn’t know it either until a few days ago.  EOMONTH returns the last day of the month provided in the formula.  May not seem that novel but can be pretty powerful.  These are the items I will discuss in this section.  I will also give examples and ideas of how to use the information.
  • Technically Puzzles! – Want to test your technology wit?  These will be your posts: technology puzzles!  I know, pretty fun, am I right?  All other geeky gals out there, raise your hands!
  • Inspiration Corner – These posts will be all about real people who inspire me.  I want to share other people’s journeys, especially in the technology world.  I cannot wait to see where these posts go because I would not be starting this journey without some other amazing people inspiring me along the way.

So in a nutshell, this is Technically Denise!

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Believe you can and you’re halfway there. — Theodore Roosevelt

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