They’ll save you time as you type.
Fortunately, most word-processing programs contain multiple shortcuts that let you accomplish important tasks without your fingers ever leaving the keys.
I especially missed these features a few weeks ago, while using a page-layout program to typeset a 200-page book. Multiple times on each page I needed to switch from the regular font to italic or boldface.
Had I been using a word-processing program such as Word or Open Office, that would have been easy. I wouldn’t have had to use my mouse to visit the top-screen menu and select the font variation. For italic, I’d simply have to type Control + I. And for bold, I’d just have to type Ctr + B.
It’s not that the designers of word-processing programs hide these shortcuts; they just don’t put them in plain sight. (Only a few years ago did I discover the fast way to close a document while keeping the program running. It’s Ctrl + W.)
Here are the two-key shortcuts I use most often:
Crtl + N opens new document
Ctrl + W closes document (but keep the program open)
Crtl + P prints document
Crtl + C copies selected material
Crtl + V inserts copied material
Crtl + X deletes selected material
Crtl + B makes selected item Bold
Crtl + I makes selected item Italic
Crtl + U makes selected item Underlined
Crtl + A selects all items
Crtl + S saves file
Crtl + Z “undo” previous action
Crtl + Y “redo” the undone previous action
Crtl + F find element in text
Crtl + H replace element in text (e.g.: two spaces to one space)
For a more comprehensive list, visit: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/126449 Start by using one new shortcut, then add another. Soon you’ll wonder how you ever wrote without them.