Internet: Productivity tips

By J. Carlton Collins, CPA

Presented below are a few handy computer tips. How many do you already know?

1. Google and Bing search tips.

  • In Google or Bing, typing the word Define followed by the word you want defined automatically displays that word's definition.
  • Typing an airline flight number (such as DL1245 for Delta's Flight 1245) automatically displays current flight tracking information.
  • Typing a specific unit of measure followed by a different unit of measure automatically displays the unit conversion, for example, entering 3 miles in feet displays 15840 (which is the number of feet in three miles).

2. Use the space bar to scroll. On every browser and every type of computer, pressing the space bar scrolls you down a full page. This is usually quicker than using the mouse wheel or the scroll bar.

3. Selecting text. Double-clicking a word highlights that word; triple-clicking a word highlights the entire paragraph.

4. Use a letter to enter the name of your state in your browser. When entering your state into a webpage text box, instead of opening the dropdown box, position your cursor in the box and press the first letter of your state. For example, pressing G will automatically display my state, which is Georgia. If your state begins with the same letter as other states, you may need to press the letter repeatedly until your state appears.

5. Zooming your browser. Press Ctrl and + (the plus sign) (multiple times as necessary) to zoom in to make the text and images larger, or press Ctrl and (the minus sign) (multiple times as necessary) to zoom out and make the text and images smaller.

About the author

J. Carlton Collins ( is a technology consultant, a CPE instructor, and a JofA contributing editor.

Note: Instructions for Microsoft Office in “Technology Q&A” refer to the 2007 through 2016 versions, unless otherwise specified.

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