Mouse or keyboard shortcuts?

  Chris the Ancient 17:23 30 Oct 2006

Coz I'm old and wrinkly, when I first started using a computer, nearly everything was done using keyboard commands.

Then along came Windows based software which had just about everything available through keyboard shortcuts for those who had 'difficulty' in using a mouse (or didn't even have one). I have that sad sort of brain that remembers a lot of the shortcuts; hence I tend to use them as much as possible instead of reaching for the mouse. (Coz I'm lazy!)

I am doing a course that doesn't even mention keyboard shortcuts any more! And when I was in an office for a while, I noticed that the 'younger' generation seem to do everything (bar the typing) using a mouse. Is this because they don't know any other way?

So, how much of a mouse, or how much of a keyboard person are you? (Without giving away your age!)

  Altruist 17:36 30 Oct 2006

I'm a mouse person but only because I learnt that way and there were no keyboard shortcuts mentioned at all. That was in the mid-nineties I think. Have never used a keyboard shortcut since getting a computer four years ago.

  Chris the Ancient 18:11 30 Oct 2006

A lot can be dependent on whether you learnt or were taught!

When I used to provide IT training, and we were doing 'basic' Windows stuff, I always used to point out the shortcuts as being underlined in the menus.

Then I used to let people 'do it their way'.

But now, seemingly, it doesn't get mentioned at all! I noticed this when I worked in the office and people (who heard that I used to 'do' IT) looked completely blank when I'd just give them a keyboard shortcut. I soon got used to describing through the menus with the mouse for them.

  Sir Radfordin 18:41 30 Oct 2006

Don't know what counts as "younger" generation (I'm 24..!) but avoid using the mouse as much as I can. Partly because I used to do IT Support and it was always easier to grab the keyboard rather than lean over someone to use their mouse, but it is also a lot quicker.

Sadly where I work the desktop environment is locked down so most shortcuts don't work but it'd always be my first choice.

  anskyber 18:53 30 Oct 2006

Entirely mouse based, because I came new to computers relatively recently and the mouse seemed to be the most obvious intuitive way to find my way around. the mouse required no specific learning or memorising of commands.

I found that people who have been involved with computers either by age or profession tend to be more keyboard based which for many I put down to the early days of navigating around when keyboards were the only way.

  siouxah1 18:53 30 Oct 2006

C the A,
I cut my teeth on DOS 3 and 5. So was well used to keyboard commands.

Then I found some software that enabled one to make ones own icons and write a batch file that ran when the icon was clicked.

However, I am now almost always commited to the mouse. I think I am just lazy.


  Curio 18:55 30 Oct 2006

When my last job 'went computerised' we had no mouse. Everything was done via shortcuts. Every day use made it second nature. Started using W95 at home and the training disc introduced me to the mouse. Nowadays it is a mixture of the two. Now retired.

  Kate B 19:20 30 Oct 2006

I prefer the mouse but I've been on an InDesign course today where the instructor was very keen to teach everyone the keyboard shortcuts. Actually, I find just being told what a shortcut is quite jarring: I like to see where a command fits in the toolbars - I think it's because I'm very visual in my approach.

  GroupFC 19:31 30 Oct 2006

Interestingly and thinking about it, I seem to use a mixture of both!

I do a lot of my work in Excel and to a lesser extent Word, and I find that in those programs I use the keyboard shortcuts more than in other programs that I use less. I think it is because I am already using the keyboard and I can never find the mouse under the mass of paper on my desk, so it works out much quicker!

  Altruist 20:03 30 Oct 2006

I was taught at college, mouse only, but I am not young; just a late starter where computers are concerned.

  Chris the Ancient 20:07 30 Oct 2006

I'm a bit like you. Especially in Word and Excel, I'm very shortcut based. I suppose that applications I'm less used to, I use the mouse a bit more. But then I try and learn the shortcuts so I'm not waving all over the desk (and mouse hunting).

Kate B

I never 'forced' shortcuts. I always let people do what they felt most comfortable with. That way, hopefully, they learnt in an easier fashion. Mind you, I've never done InDesign, but I do find (if that is the case) that I tend to use the mouse a lot more when I'm doing graphics type stuff.


Neat idea! But can you use them when you're in the 'depths' of an application? I did a couple of bespoke packages in Access and Excel with plenty of buttons on them. But I made the buttons with shortcuts for those that prefer them.

Sir Radfordin...

I met a guy who was supposed to be in IT support recently - and was supposed to 'know it all'. And he wasn't particularly young. But he got lost on one computer that was running 'classic' menus in XP, did as much as he could with the mouse. And then struggled like mad when he had to do keyboard work with commands and switches!

An interesting debate, methinks :o))

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