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Work with the keyboard

Menu bar, toolbar, and a keyboard shortcut

Callout 1 The menu bar
Callout 2 A toolbar
Callout 3 A keyboard shortcut

There are three ways of using the keyboard in Office programs. You can use it to select commands on menus, to "press" buttons on toolbars, and to execute certain actions by using a combination of keystrokes, known as a keyboard shortcut.

Menu     Gain access to the menu bar with a simple keystroke, and then move around the menus using the TAB key or the arrow keys. This method is simple to use because the screen shows all the details. It is, however, slightly lengthier than knowing the exact shortcut.

Toolbars     You can get to the toolbars by using keystrokes and then, similar to the menus, you can move around by using the TAB and arrow keys. This method allows you to use all the functionality of the toolbars for things which can be very difficult to achieve in other ways, for example, indenting.

Keyboard shortcuts     Many procedures that are available on menus and toolbars are achievable by a combination of keystrokes. This is the quickest way to work.

Most people will start by using the keyboard to access the menus, and as they become familiar with individual shortcuts, will use them, reserving the toolbars for occasions when they can't perform the action in other ways. A lot of actions can be achieved by any of the three methods, but not everything.

We will discuss each of these methods in greater detail in the lessons that follow.

You can also use keystrokes to navigate around the various features of an Office program, including dialog boxes, task panes, and the document itself. We will investigate these methods throughout the course.

Note     You can also move the pointer around the screen without the mouse by using the MouseKeys. These enable the arrows on the numeric keypad on your keyboard to move the pointer around. For further information on MouseKeys, see Microsoft® Windows® Help.

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