Chapter 9. Keyboard Commands and Special Characters

When you’re using the keyboard, you want to keep your hands on the keyboard. A trip to the mouse or a hunt for a special character can really slow you down. The good news is that Snow Leopard has both a great many key commands and a great many special characters built-in. The bad news is that unless you’re one of those people who remember the digits of Pi to a thousand places for fun, you won’t remember them all.

The most important key commands and special characters vary from user to user. For example, if you’re writing about Exposé, knowing how to type é really helps, but knowing how to type ¬ isn’t of much use. Everyone uses their Mac a little differently, so this chapter features a large selection of keyboard commands and ways to type different characters. Pick the ones you’ll use, remember them, and you’ll save a lot of time and effort.

Key Commands

Imagine you’re working on the next great novel. You’ve just written the key opening sentence of a paragraph that will redefine literature for centuries to come and you naturally want to save the document for posterity. You reach for the mouse, slide it up to the menu bar and select Save from the application menu. Your document is committed to the hard drive but your train of thought has been interrupted; what could have been the seminal paragraph of literature is now just a nifty opening sentence.

That example is extreme but illustrative—the less time you mouse, the more you produce ...

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