Saturday, May 17, 2008

A word about short cut keys

I must admit I'm obsessive when it comes to short-cut keys, normals, expanders, whatever you want to call them. I read Saving Keystrokes by Diana Rolland ($31.98 and up at and it was a really good and informative book, but I am so much more obsessive about using my shortcuts than even this book taught me.
I never had anyone teach me what to do, it's just not something they generally teach newcomers, I just started and took off running. I can't imagine typing without them, the only problem I run across is the fact that I have a hard time typing without them, like for emails, I end up typing my short cuts and so my friends and family tend to have to decipher whatever I send them. My emails end up looking something like this... Hey, whts up, im dng grt tdy. Cn u hlp me w smth. blah blah blah. It annoys the hell out of everyone I'm sure but I can't help it, it's ingrained in my brain.
The only real advice I have for anyone wanting to expand their expanders is to find something that works for you and do what comes natural. If you go to type something and it's not in your expander list, add it. I don't care if it only saves you one or two letters, use it because chances are if you tried to use it once then you will try and use it again. I figure we all have our own ways of doing things, which is why a book can help you with some suggestions, but you really have to find your own ways of doing things. I don't have any set-in-stone rules that I use I just do whatever feels most comfortable (comfl).
Usually it seems I will use the first letter or two of a word and then the last couple. For example, blogger would be blgr, people would be ppl, school is schl. Like I said if you only save one letter or keystroke, that's one less you have to type, it all counts in the end.
Like I said if I try and use an expander that I don't have in my expander list, I add it. What I end up with (w) is a lot of expanders for one word. For example cholecystectomy. I find that I can't always remember what expander I tried to use and I will inevitably try and use the wrong one, that's why I add it if I've tried to use it because if I've tried to use it once I will try and use it again. So for cholecystectomy I know I have chole, choly, cholcy, and cholec, I probably have a couple (cpl) of other combinations (combos) that I can't think of. It probably (proby) seems ridiculous to have so many, but in the long run saves me time because (bec) I don't actually (acty) have to memorize (memz) anything (anyth), I just type whatever seems natural (nat).
Another shortcut I use is I put an expander for words (wrds) I commonly mispell. Some of the words I mispell often are "and" which I commonly spell "nad" so I have an expander for nad that corrects it to and, "ot" changes to "to," "teh" corrects to the, and so on. If I find I'm mispelling a word a lot then I make an expander, it saves time in the long run.
Anyway, that's a start to how I do expanders. I have a lot of rules I follow that are pretty much just mine. They may not make sense to anyone else but me, but that's the whole point, coming up with something that works for you and just doing it.

No comments: