Tip of the Week: 4 Simple Tips for the Computer Novice

If you work with a computer, you know that if you can find shortcuts, you use them. Not only do they help you be more productive by making your tasks easier to complete, they can actually help you be more effective at completing those tasks. Today, we have four simple tips that can help you build better computer skills.

Tip No. 1: No Fear
Sometimes, technology can be intimidating, especially when people are expecting you to quickly grasp a concept with little-to-no experience. The best thing you can do is not be afraid of screwing up. After all, there aren’t many actions you can take with a computer that will break the machine, the applications you’re using or the file you’re working on. If you don’t have much experience with the computer, learn that Ctrl + Z will undo mistakes. Having a good understanding that Ctrl + Z will undo your last action in almost every application you’ll use should give you the confidence you need to stop worrying about possible failure.

Tip No. 2: Liberally Use Search Engines
For the computer novice, it can sometimes be intimidating to try to find applications and files within an operating system. No matter what problems you come across, keep in mind that the internet is the world’s greatest troubleshooting guide, and you only need to know how to open your browser to get at it. Once you have your browser open, simply type your search query in the address bar. It will return results. You may have to dig through the results, or alter your search perimeters slightly, but you’ll be able to find the answers to the problems you’re having with the help of a search engine.

Tip No. 3: Learn Keyboard Shortcuts
This is typically for speed. If you can quickly learn a few basic shortcuts, you’ll enhance your ability to control your computer tenfold. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

  • Ctrl + A: Select all
  • Ctrl + C: Copy selected content
  • Ctrl + X: Cut selected content
  • Ctrl + Z: Undo
  • Ctrl + Y: Redo

There are many more depending on the application you’re working in. Most applications will provide their shortcuts under their Help menu. Learning these will quickly make you a much more proficient user.

Tip No. 4: Find Your Comfort Zone
No one can expect to use something as complex as a computer proficiently right off the bat. If you’re a new user, or just someone that isn’t proficient with a computer yet, stick to what you know. If you have a series of applications you feel some level of skillfulness with, stick to them. While our first tip suggests that you shouldn’t have fear, that mainly pertains to navigating your way around a computer, not the frustration a user can build when they continuously make mistakes. If you want to enjoy your time on the computer, stick to the applications you know.

We want everyone to remember that there was a time when we were all new to the computer, and since computer skills are now an expectation of almost any career path, learning your way around a computer will improve your standard of living.