Decorative Flower
Her Realm, Personal website and blog of Cole
Jun 03

60+ Keyboard Shortcuts All Bloggers Need to Know

 

keyboard shortcuts for bloggers

I’m pretty proficient at using keyboard shortcuts. In fact, if programs and browsers would let me, I probably wouldn’t even need a mouse or trackpad. Of course, this shaves of a large amount of time from surfing the Internet, but it also makes blogging so much easier. Here are over 60 keyboard shortcuts that will make you a more efficient blogger.

Copy and Paste

As a blogger, I do a ton of copying and pasting – into my blog posts, into word documents, into Facebook group and email among other locations. I save so much time by relying on my keyboard rather than my mouse. Here’s how.

  • Copy selected text/data – Ctrl+C
  • Copy all text/data in an area or on a page – Ctrl+A
  • Undo – Ctrl+Z
  • Paste – Ctrl+V
  • Paste without formatting – Ctrl+Shift+V

Text Editing

These are Windows shortcuts that will work in WordPress, Google Drive and word processing programs. I do not know that they work with Blogger, but I imagine they do.

  • Make selected text bold — Ctrl+B
  • Make selected text italic – Ctrl+I
  • Make selected text underlined – Ctrl+U
  • Use heading 1 – Ctrl+1
  • Use heading 2 – Ctrl+2
  • Use heading 3 – Ctrl+3

WordPress Shortcuts

I keep forgetting about these keyboard shortcuts even though the are amazing. These work in the visual editor.

  • Navigate through comments – j (next) and k (previous).
  • Approve selected comment – a
  • Send comment to spam – s
  • Delete comment – d
  • Undo comment action – z
  • Reply to comment – r
  • Quick edit comment – q
  • Move to comment edit screen – e
  • Add blockquote — Ctrl+Q

Press “Shift” with any of these keys to perform the action on multiple comments.

If you’re using the HTML editor, shortcuts are a little different.

  • Bold — Alt+SHIFT+b
  • Italic — Alt+SHIFT+i
  • Blockquote — Alt+SHIFT+q
  • Strikethrough — Alt+SHIFT+d
  • Code —  Alt+SHIFT+c
  • Link — Alt+SHIFT+a
  • Unordered List (ul) —  Alt+SHIFT+u
  • Ordered List (ol) — Alt+SHIFT+o
  • Insert date/time — Alt+SHIFT+s
  • Insert IMG URL —  ALT-SHIFT-m
  • Line Break —  SHIFT+Enter
  • List Item (li) — Alt+SHIFT+l
  • Add “Read More” — Alt+SHIFT+t
  • Publish  —  Alt+SHIFT+p

Modify the elements within your posts with these shortcuts:

  • Insert link on selected text – Ctrl+K
  • Add address to selected text – Ctrl+9
  • Increase width of editor in full-screen mode – Ctrl +
  • Decrease width in full-screen mode – Ctrl – (minus)
  • Reset editor in full-screen mode – Ctrl 0

Blogger Shortcuts

All the copy and paste and text edit keyboard shortcuts should work for Blogger. You can also easily add a blockquote in HTML edit mode by pressing Ctrl+l.

  • Save post – Ctrl+S
  • Publish post – Ctrl+P
  • Preview post – Ctrl+Shift+P
  • Add link – Ctrl+Shift+A

Browser Shortcuts

It doesn’t matter whether you use Chrome or Firefox – we all hope you’re just not using Internet Explorer! – there are shortcuts that will save you tons of time.

  • Open a new tab – Ctrl + T
  • Close a tab – Ctrl + W
  • Reopen last closed tab – Ctrl, Shift, T
  • Switch to tab on right – Ctrl + Tab or Ctrl Page Dn
  • Switch to tab on left – Ctrl + Page Up
  • Open a new window – Ctrl+N
  • Open a link in a new window – Click+Shift
  • Open link in new tab – Click+Ctrl
  • Go back in history – Backspace
  • Go forward in hiastory – Shift+Backspace
  • Search in address/search bar – Ctrl+E
  • Add bookmark – Ctrl+D
  • Bookmark all open tabs — Ctrl+Shift+D
  • Open page source code – Ctrl+U
  • Add .com to a domain name and go to that domain — Ctrl+Enter
  • Add .net to complete domain name and go to domain — Shift+Enter
  • Complete and go to .org domain — Ctrl+Shift+Enter

Facebook Shortcuts

Let’s face it, you probably spend a lot of time on Facebook if you’re a blogger. On a daily basis, I update my Facebook page and communicate in almost a dozen different groups. These shortcuts are a life-saver!

When browsing Facebook in Firefox, press Shift+Alt+ the corresponding number to move to these common pages. In Chrome for Windows, just press Alt+ the number. Ctrl+Opt+ the # in Mac will work in either browser.

  • 0 – Help
  • 1 – Home
  • 2 – Timeline
  • 3 – Friends
  • 4 – Inbox
  • 5 – Notifications
  • 6 – Settings
  • 7 – Activity Log
  • 8 – About
  • 9 – Terms
  • m – New Message

In your news feed, use the following shortcuts to perform common actions:

  • Post a new status – p
  • Like a post – l
  • Comment on a status – c
  • Share a post – s
  • Search using the search bar – /e
  • Open all shortcuts – ?

Gmail Keyboard Shortcuts

Many bloggers rely on Gmail to check their email from their PC, tablet or phone. If I didn’t use Thunderbird, I would rely on Gmail to check my email via IMAP or POP3. Of course, all Android users have a Google account, so plenty of people rely on Gmail for personal reasons, too. These keyboard shortcuts will help you get around.

  • Send message from “Compose” screen – Ctrl+Enter
  • Change “From” in Compose screen – Ctrl+Shift+F
  • Expand or collapse a message – Enter
  • Move between messages in a thread – n (Next), p (previous)
  • Move through message list – Up and Down arrows, Enter to open

Google offers a bunch more Gmail shortcuts that are not turned on by default. Enable them by clicking the gear icon, choosing “Settings”and selecting “Keyboard shortcuts on.”

What are your favorite keyboard shortcuts? Should I add any to this list? Let me know in the comments!


Apr 28

CAPTCHAS Suck and How to Make Them Suck Less

Did you know that CAPTCHA stands for “Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart”? Probably not. When you think about these tools to stop spam on websites that use some type of forms — blog comments and forums are among the most heavily targeted — you probably sigh in frustration.  Most of us recognize that CAPTCHAS are a necessary evil when it comes to protecting our websites. As visitors, we robotically type the words we see in the images into a form and press “Enter.”

Solve Media CAPTCHA failHowever, this is easier said than done. In fact, CAPTCHAs are so problematic that some people have called for website owners to stop using CAPTCHAs all together.

When you tell a story with CAPTCHAs, like Blogger did, it makes it easier for the visitor to understand.

CAPTCHAs should never use the letter “O”. It can be too easily confused with the number 0, especially when using certain fonts.

If you want people with disabilities to communicate with you, a CAPTCHA that has an audio component is a must. Otherwise, people who use screenreaders won’t be able to comment.

CAPTCHAS need the ability to refresh them. Sometimes it’s just too difficult to read the current code, but we’ll lose our lengthy comment or form input if we refresh.

CAPTCHAs should never be cap sensitive, especially on mobile devices because it’s hard to change between lowercase and capitalized letters. If, for some reason, you cannot avoid this, please make note that your CAPTCHA is case sensitive. There’s one blog that I frequently visit and like to comment on, but every single time I try to leave a comment, the CAPTCHA form rejects me and tells me to try again because it is case sensitive but doesn’t say so.

CAPTCHAs on mobile devices are generally a bad idea. Biz Report talked about this years ago. At the time, retail websites that used CAPTCHAs lost 2/3 of their customers. Do you think that your website offers something so fantastic that people want to enter CAPTCHAS? Probably not. Consider a CAPTCHA that you can disable for mobile visitors. If spam is such a problem that you cannot do this, there are mobile-friendly options:

After installing a CAPTCHA tool, make sure to test it in your own site, in multiple browsers and on different devices. If you cannot easily post a comment, others will run into the same problems.

However, you really don’t need to use CAPTCHAs at all. Really. If you want an alternative to CAPTCHAs, consider some of the popular options.

A math equation requires users to read and answer a similar problem. They typically have to type no more than 2 characters (numbers).

Let Akismet catch your spam comments. It’s the only solution I use on some of my blogs.

Try a plugin such as Growmap Antispam, which requires users to select a checkbox and can be mobile friendly.

There are literally dozens of anti-spam plugins available for WordPress. In fact, WordPress has so many options to help you stop spam without installing plugins, that you will rarely have a need for a CAPTCHA.

So, please, do us all a favor and use CAPTCHAs only as a last resort!


Apr 12

Make Growmap AntiSpam Compatible With WPTouch in Mobile Browsers

Growmap AntiSpam and WPTouch Mobile don't play well together in Chrome

Growmap AntiSpam and WPTouch Mobile don’t play well together in Chrome for Android

A few days ago, Maggie posted in BloggerPR about how Growmap Anti-Spam wasn’t working right on the mobile version of her site, which is powered by WPTouch. I took a look and, sure enough, mine wasn’t working either. In short, the checkbox looked mishaped. I described it as “melted.” Neither the checkbox nor the label text allowed you to select the checkbox. Strangely enough, even though it didn’t look like it was selected, you could still submit a comment. Overall, not very good.

So I delved  into the code to determine what was going on. The checkbox was indeed a checkbox, and it wasn’t even styled. I determined that it must be something in the theme, but this isn’t true. The issue was only occurring with certain browsing including but not limited to:

  • Chrome on Android
  • Amazon Silk (Kindle)
  • Android’s default browser

However, this isn’t an issue with Firefox with Android so you may not even have noticed it if you don’t typically view your own site from your smartphone or tablet or if you don’t use those browsers. Nevertheless, the majority of your mobile visitors could be unable to leave comments, which means less engagement for your effort and possibly lost readers.

Why wants that? Not you and me, that’s for sure!

However, you can fix it. In fact, I have two solutions. Both simply use CSS to reset all checkboxes on your mobile theme, so the box and label text for Growmap AntiSpam works correctly, and your visitors can comment all night long!

Method 1 — Jetpack

  1. Log in to your WordPress dashboard.
  2. Select Jetpack from the navigation.
  3. Enable the “Custom CSS” module.
  4. Enable “Mobile Theme” through Jetpack.
  5. Click “Appearance.” Choose “Edit CSS”
  6. Click “Edit” next to mobile-compatible and choose “Yes”.
  7. Paste the following code into the text box.
  8. Click “Save stylesheet.”

 

input[type="checkbox"] {
-webkit-appearance: checkbox !important;
-moz-appearance: checkbox !important;
-ms-appearance: checkbox !important;
-o-appearance: checkbox !important;
appearance: checkbox !important;
}

Let me know if this advice helps you!If, for some reason, you cannot edit this file or this fix doesn’t take, I have a second option!

Method 2 — WPTouch

  1. Log in to your WordPress dashboard.
  2. Select “Editor” from Appearance.
  3. Choose WPTouch basic theme from the top down menu.
  4. Open style_structure.css.
  5. Copy the follow code to the end of the stylesheet and save. Voila!
input[type="checkbox"] {
-webkit-appearance: checkbox !important;
-moz-appearance: checkbox !important;
-ms-appearance: checkbox !important;
-o-appearance: checkbox !important;
appearance: checkbox !important;
}

Mar 13

In Which Cole Is a Snob

My last post elicited strong feelings from other people and not just myself. In fact, Jenn posted it on her Facebook Timeline and people came from all over to reply. I was really hoping for something that gave me pause to change my mind. And it did. Sort of. I did. Kind of.

One thing that I didn’t mean to imply was that you should never ask for help. This is how you learn to do anything. Asking for help has even become easier with Google because you won’t even need to ask people when there are so many resources available to you. Of course, some people learn better from other people, and I would never discourage you from asking for help from another person if you’re that person.

Another thing that was highlighted in this discussion is that I am just more of a technophile or a geek or what-have-you than many people are. But I don’t frequently realize this. I don’t even think of myself like that much of the time. So when I wind up answering questions that people have about WordPress or HTML or PHP, I sometimes feel like I am not qualified. I’m not a professional or an expert. My friend Ben suggests that perhaps that there are different levels of expertise, and perhaps this is true.

But the fact that I don’t feel qualified means that I am not charging people for my knowledge or skills, and maybe I should. I’m not saying that I would, but a mutual friend talked about how she works with companies who want to expand their Web presense. They don’t have the time or skills necessary to DIY, and so they hie people like this friend who makes a living by providing her skills. One thing that I even thought about as I wrote my original post is how I don’t think people like her shouldn’t have a job. She provides a skill that is valuable to some people and they have the money for it.

We did agree that she mostly works with small businesses, but I was talking about people who define themselves as professional bloggers. This segues into another thought. To me, being a blogger is wearing many masks:

  • Writer
  • Editor
  • Photographer (sort of)
  • Publisher
  • Delivery Boy
  • Maintenance man

It makes little sense to me that someone whose livelihood depends upon the uptime and function of their blog wouldn’t take the time to learn about these things that seem to come so easily to me (see above).

But in 2014, many people equate blogging with only writer and perhaps one or two of those other ideas. This is partly because blogging has become so accessible. Google and WordPress have made it possible. This is how things work. Once upon a time, cars and TVs weren’t accessible. Now, most people see them as staples. Blogging will go in the same way, and I don’t truly wish for it to remain stagnant.

This also means that the blogosphere is in excess. There are so many words, you guys. So.Many.Words. I cannot read them all, I do not want to read them all, and I am so sick of “professional” bloggers who can’t write worth a damn. No, I don’t want to stop people from speaking if they feel like they absolutely have to get the words out, but I also feel as though much of the words out there aren’t out there because people really want to connect.

Unfortunately, the blogosphere is saturated with people who are there solely for the quick buck that they can make in it right now. Because I like to review and have a review blog, I wind up lumped in with them, but this is not an entirely comfortable fit. Seeing people I dislike doing things that make no sense to me obviously gets a rise out of me.

So if you really want to blog, whether or not you make money from it, the Internet is the place to be. You can do it and you can even make money if you don’t know how to use punctuation. And you can ignore anything that I have to say about it because everyone knows that I am a snob.

And I can continue to do it myself and get an immense sense of satisfaction for us. The Internet is big enough that we don’t have to ever cross paths, even though we probably will.


Mar 05

I Have Strong Feelings About Blogging

Actually, they’re very strong feelings. And they’re somewhat elitist. I can sum them up like this. You shouldn’t own a blog if..
Now go blog about this

  • You cannot install your own blog (and it only takes 5 minutes!)
  • You cannot upgrade your blog
  • You don’t know how to edit HTML or CSS
  • You cannot work with PHP
  • You don’t understand what a MySQL database is

Maybe I’m showing how dated I am here, but I come from a time when you couldn’t have a blog if you didn’t do it yourself. There weren’t people who would help you — for free or otherwise — and there were far fewer plugins. When you wanted to do something, you had to learn how to do it.

And it was amazing. 

Honestly. I learned all the skills I have more. I made friends. I certainly cemented myself as a geek. I love that I have these skills in my repertoire.

It just shocks me that people can run blogs — successful blogs at that! — and not have any of these skills. When their site goes down, when a plugin messes something up, when they want to change something, they need to ask for help. More often than not, they pay for it. This is simply inconceivable to me. You’re wasting your money with something that you can — and should — do yourself!

And I realize that it makes me look like an asshole. I get it. I do. It’s like saying that you shouldn’t own a car if you can’t build an engine. Or that you shouldn’t own a computer that you can’t maintain? But people do. It is the new normal. (Perhaps people used to think this when cars and computers were new?) And who am I to say that these people shouldn’t spend money if they have it to spend? Some people have to option to be less frugal, and I am envious!

However, I am not alone. The Shareaholic blog provides some basics about HTML usage along with this quote:

No matter how many pageviews you have, having an understanding of HTML is key to having a successful blog.

A commenter there also made a great point: you need to know HTML if you want to optimize your website for search engines, too. This is because you need to use keywords in your image names, anchor text, titles and headings, just to name a few locations. You won’t be able to do this if you don’t have at least a basic understanding of HTML.

But I firmly believe that bloggers need to know more than just HTML. This enables you to retain complete control of your website — and of your wallet. Perhaps the problem is that the people who do understand this don’t realize how well we understand it. Maybe the tutorials we write about CSS  or using the WordPress database are too confusing. But everything is confusing at first, and maybe you need a different source when it comes to learning.

Nevertheless, the world is changing. People are driving their cars without any knowledge of how to fix them. In fact, people who fix their own often do so out of necessity rather than because society expects it, and no one loses pride over it. For me, it’s still a matter of pride to do things with my own hands, er, fingers.

 


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