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K is for Keyboard Shortcut

Before the development of the GUI (Graphical User Interface) and the accompanying mouse, the only way to communicate with your computer was by its keyboard.

Microsoft, who continue to dominate the pc market with their Windows operating system and their Office suite of software, were actually latecomers into the world of the GUI. Others, in particular Apple, were there first.

Often those who had cut their teeth on Microsoft's nerdy MS-DOS operating system with its inscrutable command-line interface were sceptical of the mouse and menu GUI. But it soon conquered the world (of computing).

Nontheless, keyboard-for-command operations did not disappear but survived as keystroke shortcuts.

So today there are often three ways of instructing your pc to do something. One, use the mouse to choose a menu from the menu bar. Two, right click on the screen and choose from a contextual pop-up menu. And, three, use a keyboard combination. Old hands usually know them off by heart. Newbies have to look in the help files or in the menus where the combination is given at the right-hand end of the menu line.

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