Speed Keys


Although Windows gained its fame through the use of graphics and the mouse, which was to make the keyboard redundant, users rapidly found they wanted quicker methods of performing operations.  This resulted in the development "Speed Keys".  This wondrous "new" facility consisted of pressing down multiple keys, on the keyboard, at the same time.  The fact that this had been done for years in "old fashioned" programs was neither here nor there.  Cynical??  Never!!

So you will find most mouse operations can be performed by depressing and holding down one or more special keys, then (usually) pressing a standard character key to initiate the action.  The special keys are typically the Control key, usually shown as Ctl or Ctrl on the keycaps and the Alternate key, usually shown as Alt.  These two may be used singly or together in conjunction with another key, usually a character key as in Ctl + C to copy or Ctl + Alt + Del to reboot your PC.  The shorthand for speed key usage is to join the speed key combination together (usually) with a plus sign.  Thus, if you see Ctl + V,  it means press and hold down the control key then press the V key.

Speed keys are simpler to explain than trying to lead you through the many mouse operations to paste something to and from the clipboard.  If you love your mouse you may of course use it instead.  It may need the exercise.  Another set of keys used as special keys are the "function" keys.  On most keyboards they are labelled F1, F2, etc.

These speed key functions are "windows-wide" and not just limited to the Aspect Property Manager, so have a go at the exercise below if you want to learn how to make use of these speed key functions to improve your relationship with your computer.  There is no special prize other than personal satisfaction.

This exercise works through the use of the Ctl, Shift and Arrow keys to quickly Copy or Cut and Paste text in "Windows" documents.  This functionality actually precedes Bill Gates by quite some years and is applicable within many applications, not just the Aspect Property Manager, and is useful particularly but not only, when text is being manipulated.

Its purpose is to encourage you to make use of the Memos throughout the Aspect Property Manager without having to re-key substantially the same text in two or more places.  Why use Memos?  Simply because we don't all have total recall and when one property manager leaves or is run over by the big red bus the new one can't recall what the old one knows about this tenant or whatever, can they?  As the Memos can optionally be printed on some reports they can aid in understanding why the entry has been made.  For example printed memos on the Tenancy Tribunal Report can assist the adjudicator to understand why the tenant is such an %$#*** and should pay up.

Where there are two transactions which relate to each other it is often desirable to place a Memo on both transactions.  For example an entry in the Unidentified Items account which has now been identified as belonging to Tenant Bloggs should have a Memo entry in both transactions in the Unidentified Items account i.e. the inwards Receipt and the outwards negative Receipt.  Sometimes it may also be worth having it in the Tenant Bloggs Receipt memo too.  You only need to enter the Memo once and then use Copy and Paste to fill the other memo(s).

As part of the Copy/Cut and Paste exercise below you will learn how to select portions of text and this also leads to being able to enhance selected text by making it bold or underlined or changing the font style  and colour.  None of the text enhancement features are covered in the exercise but you can learn more be referring to the Word Processing topic Text Enhancement section once you have Copy/Cut and Paste under control.

Finally this is not the only way to achieve the same results, merely one way.

Copy the numbered lines below to your word processor or, if you are unfamiliar with it, I suggest you use the venerable and ancient Wordpad because of it's relative simplicity.  Wordpad will normally be found on the Windows Start button > Programs > Accessories menu.

To copy the exercise from this help display to WordPad you will need to use your mouse to select the text.  Follow these instructions:-
  • Leave this help running and start Wordpad then return here.
  • Place the mouse pointer at the start of the line "Cut and paste exercise".
  • Depress and hold the left mouse button.
  • Move the mouse pointer off the bottom of the screen until the row of asterisks appears.
  • Release the left mouse button.
  • All the text from  "Cut.. " down should be highlighted.
  • Press and hold down the Ctl key and "dab" the "C" key.
  • Change back to Wordpad by clicking it on the task bar at the bottom of the screen.
  • Press and hold down the Ctl key and "dab" the "V" key.
  • The text should appear in the Wordpad document.
  • Maximise the Wordpad screen.
  • Try and get each numbered lines to appear on a single line but if you can't then read "line" in the exercise to mean a numbered line.
    If the text is too wide for the screen after opening choose View > Options > Wrap to Window.
  • If you can't manage the copy get someone to help you.
  • If you get into strife copy the lines a second time then start again.
  • If you copied the red line "Only copy to the line of asterisks above" simply delete it.

    I used "dab" above meaning to briefly press the "C" and "V" key.  All the keyboard character keys are "typomatic" or "repeat" keys which means they will, after a short delay, repeat the character as long as the key is held down.  So the Ctl+C function will continuously keep copying the selected text from the screen if the "C" key is held down too long.  That doesn't matter because it overwrites the previous copy action.  However, doing the same with Ctl+V will keep pasting multiple copies into "wherever" as long as the key is held down.  Adjust the typomatic delay from Start > Settings > Control Panel > Keyboard.

    Cut and paste exercise

    1. The text lines up to the row of asterisks should remain intact throughout this exercise.
    2. At the end all rows should be duplicated below the row of asterisks.
    3. I have used the colour Blue because that is the Windows default in many programs.
    4. In this WordPad exercise the colour will actually be black.

    5. Position the cursor at the beginning of this row, the press Shift+ End and the whole row should turn Blue.
    6. Still holding the Shift key down press the down arrow and both line 5 and 6 should now be Blue.

    7. Press Ctl+C.  Notice nothing appears to happen but the two lines have been copied to the "clipboard
    8. Read line 9 then move the cursor to the line immediately below the asterisks line below then press Ctl+V
    9. Lines 5 and 6 should now appear.  If not press Ctl+Z then repeat rows 5 to 8.  Then return to line 10.

    10. That's Copy and Paste.

    11. Now place the cursor in the empty line below line 13
    12. Hold the shift key down and press the up arrow twice.
    13. Lines 12 and 13 should now be Blue.

    14. Press Ctl+C
    15. Read to line 19 then press Ctl+End.  
    16. This will move the cursor to the end of the document and should place you on the line below the copied line 6.
    17. If not repeat lines 11 to 15
    18. Press Ctl+V
    19. Lines 12 and 13 should now appear below lines 5 and 6.  If not press Ctl+Z repeat rows 11 to 18.

    20. Position the cursor at the right hand end of copied line 12.
    21. Press and keep holding the left mouse button down.
    22. Move the mouse pointer to the beginning of copied line 6. and release the mouse button
    23. Copied lines 6 and 11 should be Blue.  If not press Ctl+Z then repeat rows 20 to 22.
    24. Press Ctl + X.  Copied lines 6 and 11 should disappear.  They have been "Cut" from the document to the clipboard.
    25. Move the cursor to the blank line below copied line 12 and press Ctl+V
    26. Lines 6 and 12 should appear.

    27. That's Cut and Paste.

    28. Read to line 31 before doing the exercise.
    29. Position the cursor in the empty line below line and press Ctl+Shift+ Home.
    30. You will be positioned at the top of the document and all the text you can see will be Blue.
    31. Press Ctl+C, then Ctl+End then follow the instruction from line 32 on.

    32. You should now see the four copied lines.
    33. Highlight these lines using Ctl and Shift and arrow keys in combination.
    34. Ctl+Left-Arrow moves left a word at a time.
    35. Ctl+Right-Arrow moves right a word at a time.
    36. Ctl+Shift+Left-Arrow selects a word to the left.
    37. Ctl+Shift+Right-Arrow selects a word to the right.
    38. Using the Up and Down Arrows selects or moves a line at a time
    39. When all copied lines are highlighted Press Ctl+V.
    40. The highlighted lines should now be replaced with everything above the asterisk line.
    41. The Ctl+Z combination is the "Oh Bugger!" combo.  It reverses your last action.
    42. Try selecting some text, hit Delete, then Ctl+Z.  Hit Ctl+Z again.  Now hit Ctl+Z again.


    Only copy to the line of asterisks above