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Keyboard shortcuts, capital letters in text

Riches Communications Newsletter

Issue 10, October 2003

In this issue:

- Keyboard shortcuts
- Capital letters in text
- Other web sites of interest

Keyboard shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts can save a lot of time when typing, even though the mouse is currently the selection device of choice for most of us.

Many keyboard shortcuts are common across a wide range of software packages, so committing a few to memory can be a worthwhile exercise. Three essential shortcuts to begin with:

Ctrl and X to cut (remove) the selected text to the clipboard

Ctrl and C to copy the selected text to the clipboard

Ctrl and V to paste from the clipboard to the insertion point

On Macintosh systems the Command key substitutes for Ctrl (Control key).

These are all conveniently located close to the left hand Ctrl key. They are particularly useful keyboard shortcuts that work with text-based tools such as word processing software (e.g. Word), page layout programs (e.g. InDesign) or web page editors (e.g. Dreamweaver).

Some more keyboard shortcuts:

Ctrl and Y to repeat the last action

Ctrl and Z to undo the last action

Ctrl and A to select all

Ctrl and F to find a word or string in text

A lot of these key combinations are standardised across different programs and operating systems, so a few memorised shortcuts can be useful in nearly every application you use on your computer.

Capital letters in text

Capital letters are often used incorrectly in writing. The first word in a sentence should be capitalised, and proper names and nouns usually follow suit. Other rules for their usage are less clear.

Some specific examples:

- 'the' is not usually capitalised when it precedes a capitalised title e.g. the Prime Minister, the University of Adelaide.

- capitals are not usually required for generic geographic regions e.g. southern Australia (not 'Southern'). Use capitals for regions that are officially designated e.g. South Pacific, Western Europe.

- common names of animals and plants are not capitalised unless they contain a proper noun e.g. Scotch thistle, wild oats, Indian elephant.

- seasons are mostly designated without capitals e.g. spring break, summer rainfall.

Finally, 'Internet' or 'internet' are both acceptable although with the widespread adoption of this technology the capitalised version now looks a bit out of place (as would 'Television'' or 'Radio'!).

This is only a brief summary of capital letter usage, more information can be found in the AGPS Style Manual: for Authors, Editors and Printers.

Other web sites of interest

CSS Zen Garden - web design examples demonstrating the use of Cascading Style Sheets

GeoURL ICBM Address Server - a directory of web sites, organised by physical location



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