Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Keyboard shortcut of the week: search and find

If you wish to bring up Windows' file search minimise all your windows and press F3. You can also search within a certain folder too: open that folder up in Windows Explorer (the name for the program that opens when you double click on 'My Documents', 'My Computer', etc) and - you guessed it - press F3.

Pressing F3 opens search dialogs in many other programs as well: in Internet Explorer it opens (and closes) the vertical search bar; in MS Outlook it opens up the 'Advanced Find' dialog. Try pressing F3 when using applications that have some sort of search facility.

In a similar vein, you can open up the find facility in many applications by holding down the Control ('Ctrl') key and pressing F. To explain the difference between search and find, consider that you will search for a web page and when you have opened it you can find text within it. In MS Word Ctrl + F opens the 'Find and Replace' dialog. As with F3, try it out in any program that has a find facility.

Of course some programmers use slightly different standards. For example in Firefox both F3 and Ctrl + F open the find word dialog at the bottom of the screen.

Happy hunting.