April 21, 2009 at 1:28 AM | Posted in Journal | Leave a comment
  I just discovered this little thing on my computer at work.  Let’s see how interesting it is.  Keep in mind, I’ve been using this computer program for four years.  For the last two, we’ve had this upgrade.  I think.  At least a year.
  Okay, I scan the docs in.  There on the screen I see a list of them, and I can scroll up and down and see the individual pages.  Within the file, I assign the pages to various documents (Order-Title-Commitment, Policy and Docs, Escrow, things like that).
  It used to be that this program used OCR–optical character recognition.  A file would have three or four "target" sheets in it, and the OCR would pick them up, and then assign the sheets after it to the appropriate doc.  It wouldn’t always work, of course, but most of the time it did.  And then for some types of files we didn’t use it at all, like if they were all one doc.
   So then we get this upgrade, and no more OCR because there is some auto-assignment of some sort in the works.  Whatever.  It’s not here yet, so I do what I do.  I scan in the doc, I scroll down until I see the next target sheet, and then go back up one.  That’s the last page of the document.  Follow me?  So I hold "Shift" and press "Home."  That selects all of those pages that I can then assign to the doc.  It used to be I would press "CTRL" and the space bar, and it would put a checkmark next to all of those pages. 
  Except the first page for some reason.  I never understood that.  So it selects almost all of them, except the first one, and then I have to hit the home key to go back to the top, and press the enter key to get a checkmark next to it, and then I can finish the assignment (which is CTRL and ENTER.)  This is a lot of extra steps.
  On a very odd, rare occasion, it would put a checkmark next to all of them.  How is that happening?  Am I hitting some different combination of keys?  Finally, today, I figure it out.  The key RIGHT next to the damn CTRL key.  The key with the Windows logo on it.  It opens up the START menu.  If I press that with space bar, it checks ALL of the highlighted items, not–I repeat–NOT all of the highlighted items minus the first one, which is a patently unuseful application.
  Now when I do all of this, it’s pretty quick.  Way quicker than my normal typing speed, that’s for sure.  I did what I could to find all of the useful keyboard shortcuts I could.  There are a few things that I can’t get a reasonable shortcut for so I have to use the mouse–and it is an incredible pain in the ass.  The less you have to take your hands off the keyboard, the faster you are.
  When I see people reach for the mouse to click "Okay" instead of just hitting the ENTER key, I want to sharpen the keyboard with a file and then stab them with it. I could be over-reacting. 
  So anyway, since I found this out, this saves me about three successive keystrokes per document, of which there are three per file, of which I do many, many per day because it’s my job.
  This is important in terms of productivity and also my general desire for efficiency.  I change every computer I work with from double-click to single-click, and over the past ten years, I estimate that has saved me almost 17 hours of my lifetime.  That’s important.
  While this is not a major thing, it is important to me, both in terms of the fact that I learned something new…
  And the correct key was right next to the wrong key that I was using this whole time, over a year.

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