Randy Dean's Timely Tips

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Friday, March 02, 2007

Timely Tips© Volume 2, Issue 8; August 2005 -- One of the Best Little Tips I’ve Seen: Stumping the “Jump”

Dear Friends,

This month’s Timely Tips is short and sweet, and yet may be one of those crazy little tips that truly saves you both time and, more importantly, aggravation!! The tip is related to the increasing speed and power of most computers and their CPU’s (central processing units). Usually, this extra speed and power saves you time because it makes programs run faster. But occasionally, an old “relic” behavior pops up in very popular and heavily used programs that can cause this extra speed and power to actually slow you way down. Perhaps the most frustrating of these “relics” is what most people call “jump”.

“Jump” is when you are using a program like Microsoft Word or Excel, and you are trying to select text or data into your clipboard, and as you start to scroll through the data, the cursor suddenly “jumps” much further into your document than you intended. Suppose, for example, that you are trying to select data from rows 30 to 240 in an Excel spreadsheet, and as you start to scroll down from row 30 you suddenly find yourself on row 2754 – this is “jump”! It all happens because most computer programs, including most word processing, spreadsheet, and web editing programs were built way back in the days of the 25 Mhz IBM 386 processor. Back then, the scroll feature worked pretty well due to the slow speed and power of the processor. But, as the speed and power of the processors have increased, these programs have unfortunately not been updated to keep up, and thus “jump” can become a real problem and aggravation for many heavy users.

Recently, I became aware of a little keystroke trick that helps with the problem of “jump”. Here is how you can “stump the jump”:

1. Very simply, go to the beginning of the text or data that you want to select.

2. Do a single left click on your mouse.

3. Then, hold down your “shift” key while you locate the end of the text or data that you want to select.

4. With the “shift” key still held down, left click again. All of your desired text or data should now be selected (and, more importantly, nothing more than you desired to be selected!)

Try this out right now. I’ve tested it in MS Word, MS Excel, and my web editing program, Namo Web Editor 5.5. It works in all of them, and I assume it will work on most PC-based programs on most computers. It is such a great tip that I just couldn’t wait to share it with you. Hopefully, you’ll see your productivity “jump” a bit (excuse the pun) and your aggravation drop a bit by this one simple tip – of course, please feel free to share this tip with other heavy computer users! They’ll jump for joy. (Sorry, I can’t help myself.) Until next time, Stay Timely!


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