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Lawyers: Shortcuts Keys Can Make You More Efficient

By Cristina Yu, Esq. | Last updated on

Can a few shortcut keys make you a more efficient lawyer? It's frustrating to watch a lawyer wasting time schlepping that cursor around with a mouse when he could be blazing like a wizard using shortcut keys. Using the mouse too much also sets you up for repetitive strain injuries.

And for us of course, time is money. So be a wizard. Avoid the mouse with the easy and quick shortcuts below. They have been tested on a Windows system, but many of them work on Macs, too.

Make Pop-Up Windows Go Away Faster

  • Hit Esc to exit. Instead of mousing over to the "Cancel" button on the screen and left clicking, you can usually hit the Escape key to exit a window.
  • Hit Enter to agree. When you have a popup window, usually one button will be highlighted. Hitting the Enter key will have the same effect as mousing over to that button and clicking the left mouse button.

Use Shifts and Arrows to Select (Highlight) Text Faster and With Greater Precision

  • Select text one character at a time: Move the cursor to the text you want to highlight, then hold the Shift key down while you use the Right Arrow key to select your text.
  • Select one word at a time: Hold down the Shift key and the Control key. Keep them both down. Then use the Right Arrow key to select word by word.
  • Select to the end of the line: Hold down the Shift key and hit the End key.
  • Select to the bottom of the page: Hold down the Shift key and hit the Page Down key.

Best Tip Ever: Alt-Tab to Switch Between Programs

  • Hold down the Alt key and press Tab. This brings up a list of open programs and lets you choose which one to go to. To go through the list backwards, hold down the Alt key, then hold down the Shift key (keep them both down), then press Tab.

They Don't Call It the Control Key for Nothing

Hold down the Control key, and, while keeping it down, press various letters as shown below. (This is just a sampling of the most useful and easy shortcuts involving the Control Key. There are many more.)

  • Ctrl-a will select an entire document or an entire field.
  • Ctrl-c will copy. That is, the computer will remember whatever is selected and will be ready to paste when you do a Ctrl-v.
  • Ctrl-v will paste what you have copied.
  • Ctrl-x will delete the selected text.
  • Ctrl-z will (in some cases) undo whatever you just did.
  • Ctrl-y will (in some cases) redo what you just did.

There are many, many more keyboard shortcuts, but these are the ones we, as lawyers, have managed to remember found the most useful.

Do you have any tricks that make you more efficient on the keyboard? Please share them on our Facebook page.

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