Tag Archive: tips

Six Second Tech is a weekly series of short how-to video tutorials to help you be more productive with your time and your technology.

How-to videos on YouTube are too long

Let’s say you need to find out how to zoom in on Snapchat, how to take a screenshot on a Mac, or how to turn off Twitter notifications.  You might go straight to YouTube to search for these kinds of instructional videos. But tutorials and how-to videos on YouTube can often be anywhere from a couple of minutes to half an hour, or more!

What if you could consume this information much more quickly, in just a few seconds?

six second tech advert showing a stopwatch in an open hand on black background
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Google Maps, FourSquare, Twitter and Google Search on a map of AdelaideGet your business on the map by taking advantage of local events with Twitter.

Adelaide is a happening place this time of year. We’ve already had the Fringe Festival, Tour Down Under, the Adelaide Festival, Soundwave, Womadelaide, Adelaide Food & Wine Festival, and there are many more events to come. Such events often draw many tourists from interstate and overseas and these visitors can benefit from your goods and services, if they are aware of you.

Be a part of the conversation

Even though your business may not be directly involved in these events you can still jump in and participate on social media as a neighbourhood authority. Your own local knowledge can benefit others who are wanting to find information about the area. Mingling with others online who are talking about the event raises awareness of your goods and services with these visitors and introduces them to your business.

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iCloud logo with bandit maskHere’s another scam email that arrived in my inbox this morning, this time attempting to gain access to my Apple iCloud account.

You may recall the news sensation from August when a large number of nude photos of celebrities were taken from their iCloud accounts and posted publicly online. It turned out that these images were obtained by hackers using a targeted attack to extract account information, that is, their Apple ID and password.

As we’ve seen in similar incidents, these types of email phishing attempts are often launched from non-western countries and as such, almost always contain incorrect grammar or spelling mistakes that give the game away.
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Sometimes you need to go back to the previous page. Why use your mouse for that when you can let your fingers do the work with a little Keyboard Kung Fu.

Substitute the back button with this simple move

Holding your thumb on the key, tap the [ key with your index or middle finger.

Load previous webpage

Load previous webpage with Command-[

You can also go forward to the page you just left by using the Command key with the right bracket, ].

Not just for web browsers

The command-bracket key combination not only works in Safari, Chrome, Firefox or any modern web browser but it’s also very useful for navigating while in Finder.

Try it now – leave this page and go back to the previous page using [ and then go forward with ] to return to this page.

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This week we explore the L shortcut, useful for changing the URL in the browser’s address bar and one that can be used in conjunction with earlier Keyboard Kung Fu tips such as Cut, Copy & Paste and Switching Between Open Apps.

Address the Situation with Command L

Throughout the course of a general work day I regularly need to access a website’s URL, that is, a website’s address. Sometimes I need to copy the URL and paste it into another field or application, often into an email so that I can share the website with a colleague. Other times I want to paste a URL that I have obtained from elsewhere into the address bar of the web browser.

This is where the L combination is a very useful weapon in your repertoire of Keyboard Kung Fu moves.

Mac Keyboard showing CMD L keyboard combo

Highlight the URL ready to either paste over or copy

How to Select the URL in the Address Bar

Whenever you are using a web browser, be it Safari, Chrome, Firefox or other, simply holding down the key with your thumb and then tapping the L key highlights the URL in the address bar, ready to either paste over or copy.

Exercise: Copy & Paste a URL from one browser to another

Now that we have a few Keyboard Kung Fu lessons under our belt let’s consolidate our learning by combining some of these techniques to achieve a practical task.

Task: In this scenario you have opened a website in Firefox but the page is not displaying properly so you want to see what the same website looks like in Safari. How would you do that using as many of the keyboard shortcuts we’ve already learned?

Here’s one way we could do that:
Assuming that you already have both browsers open:
1. While in Firefox use the L technique to select the URL in the address bar.
2. Use C to copy the URL.
3. Using tab will allow you to then move from Firefox to the Safari browser.
4. The L combo is then used to select the URL in the address bar of Safari.
5. Finally, use V to paste the URL into the address bar and tap return to load the website.

All of this is achieved without ever needing to take your hands from the keyboard to touch the mouse.

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Using this keyboard combination to cut, copy & paste will increase your productivity on the Mac immensely.

Copy/Cut & Paste

Perhaps the most well known of all keyboard shortcuts is Copy & Paste, or Cut & Paste. It’s a very quick and easy way to copy or move text around from one document or field to another. It can also be used with files to duplicate them or move them from one location to another.

How to Copy & Paste

Select some text and hold down the Command key and tap on the C key. This action copies the text and puts it in memory on a virtual clipboard.

Pasting via a keyboard shortcut is one that often confuses new users. Most people intuitively assume that pasting is accomplished using the P combination but this has already been allocated to the Print function. Instead, the paste function uses the V combination.

Fingers on Mac keyboard showing Copy and Paste shortcut

Copy & Paste with Command-C and Command-V

How to Cut & Paste

Select some text and then hold down the Command key and tap on the X key. This action removes the selected text from it’s current position and copies it to the clipboard. This is a temporary location and will be forever lost if the copied text is not then pasted somewhere.

Paste the copied text to the new location with the V combination as described above.

Fingers on keyboard showing cut and paste

Cut & Paste with Command-X and Command-V

Moving Files with Copy & Paste…and Option

As stated in at the beginning of this post, files can also be moved around with these keyboard combinations. Prior to the release of the Lion operating system (OSX 10.7), however, files could only be copied from one location to another using the keyboard, which left a duplicate in the original location. The only way to move a file was to drag and drop it. With Lion, and the later operating systems, came the ability to truly cut & paste files to easily move them from one location to another. There is just one small difference to cutting and copying text and that is the need for a ‘modifier’ key to be used when pasting the file in it’s new location.

To cut and paste files from one location to another you need to add the Option key .

Copy the file: C
Paste the file: V

Note that when you copy the file it is not removed from it’s current location until it has been pasted in its new position, ensuring that the file is not lost.

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Keyboard Kung Fu: Command-Q = Quit application

You’ve probably noticed when you close an application by clicking on the little ‘x’ at the top left of the window that this doesn’t completely close the app. You can tell that the app is still running by the little arrow beneath the app’s icon in the Dock. Completely closing the app is known as ‘quitting’ the app. To quit the current application, simply hold down the Command key and tap on the ‘Q’ key: Q

Photo of keyboard showing Command-Q = Quit

Quitting an Application with Command-Q

When Lion (10.7) was released it introduced a new ‘resume’ feature that adds the ability to restore the state of files and windows of an application as they were when the program quit with Q. If, however, you don’t want the program to save and restore its last state, you can now include the Option key while quitting, eg: Q and the previous state will not be saved.

Combine Command-Q with Command-Tab

Like the Command-H move, Q can be used together with tab to quickly & easily access the app that you want to quit once.

I often tab to see what apps are still running that I am no longer using and then Q to stop them running, freeing up system resources.

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