Do Your Friend a Favor, Would Ya!
by Peter Doshi, firstname.lastname@example.org
Fri Mar 12 21:24:40 EST 1999
There are two `gems of knowledge' I feel many people new to computers
may not be aware about. First, the ability of copying and pasting text. Finally,
using bookmarks effectively.
If you know how to copy-and-paste text and how to use create bookmarks in
your web browser, please teach your friends who may not know.
Sometimes I get really frustrated with people and feel like screaming *!%*^#,
why can't you just get it!!! Well, to be honest, it's happening less
frequently now, but still it happens sometimes, usually when I'm trying to help
the people who need help the most - beginners. (And I'm sorry for all those
I've offended in the past :-)
Assuming I haven't scared people off by offending them, let
me continue, because today it dawned on me - two of the most useful tricks I
take for granted. Tricks I thought everybody knew, but evidently not everybody
In case you haven't see this week's survey of How
many hours a day do you spend on the Internet, check it out. It doesn't
take a genius to surmise that the group that visits The Guide is fairly
well versed in the Internet already. It's those experienced users this
article is meant for.
Question: How many of
your beginner computer user friends know how to copy-and-paste text? Or
know how to use Bookmarks ("Favorites" for IE users) effectively?
You'd be quite surprised to find out - well at least I was -
that it's a pathetically low percentage of them that do. And what could be more
valuable to know? These are the fundamentals, folks. I think learning how
the Internet works and how we can use it for our own benefit means to first
understand how to simply use it! If somebody says check this webpage out for
a lot of help, that's great. But if the person doesn't know how to copy-and-paste
the URL you sent them into their browser, it's pointless.
It turns out that many people are manually typing
in the thing. If you're surprised, you're not alone. It caught me by surprise,
too. So what we all need to do here, folks, is to teach the people who
don't know about it yet. It's a cyclic process. First you're taught by others,
and then you help out in teaching the newbies. It's called contributing back
to the effort. One of the reasons for Linux's success, by the way.
So let's let them in the secret: How do you copy and paste?
- Highlight the text you want to copy with the mouse by holding the
mouse button down while dragging it over all the text you wish to copy. The
text should, normally, highlight.
- When you have what you want highlighted, lift up the mouse button. It
should still remain highlighted
- Now, assuming all is fine so far, hold down the Ctrl key
and keep it down and hit the C key. (This whole process is usually
abbreviated by ^C)
- Nothing seems to happen? That's okay. The highlighted text has been stored
in a temporary buffer
Go where you want to paste/copy that same text
Type ^V (That's holding down Ctrl + V, remember)
Voila! The text should be there now. Duplicated. Wow, how impressive! :^)
And as to Bookmarks...
I'd like it if you could teach the new guys how to use them. I found out not
many of them know how to use them. And many of those that claim to know
really don't. I've seen their bookmark list. It's just a super long list of them.
Folks, you can make folders for your bookmarks and organize them just the same
way as your files. Hopefully the readers of this article already know how to do
that. Well, that's an invaluable ability, as you might be well aware of. Please,
teach the newbies that little trick, too.
Everybody helping out in the helping and learning process is doing the right
thing. Technical savvy is not something you're just born with (well, very
few are). For the most part, it's a cultivated expertise. It is our obligatory
duty to help educate others. Join the team
and help out. Don't be afraid to ask for help yourself, too.