So you’ve picked up the pace and now type at an amazing speed of 30 wpm. Congratulations, you’ve overcome your first hurdle!
Are you knowledgeable about keyboard shortcuts? We here at Meditec are big fans of keyboard shortcuts, and we would like you to take advantage of them too to be the quickest and most efficient medical transcriptionists that you can be. Let’s get ourselves started!
- Master Window’s keyboard shortcuts. Mashable.com has compiled one of the best lists on the web that illustrates keyboard shortcuts that could increase office workers’ productivity. The Mashable article, complete with graphics, provides the keyboard shortcuts that can help typists and transcriptionists navigate through chunks of words in a document. We’ve also found the following helpful keyboard shortcuts from some reliable sources.
Changing Playback Speeds
Doctors are known to change recording speeds at times. According to Misty of M*Modal, the following shortcuts can be used to change the playback speed of a recording:
CTRL+E – This shortcut allows transcriptionists to gradually slow down the playback speed.
CTRL+R – With one click, this shortcut will return the playback to the dictator’s actual speed.
CTRL+T – This shortcut will speed up the dictation incrementally.
Ctrl + B: Bold (changes selected text from normal to bold)
Ctrl + U: Underline (underlines selected text for emphasis)
Ctrl + Alt + H: Highlighter (highlights selected text)
Shift + F3: Change the case of letters (changes capitalization of selected text)
(Check out the blog, Work Smarter, Not Harder blog, to see the rest of the list. You may also check out the Microsoft website for a comprehensive list of keyboard shortcuts for Microsoft word documents.)
- Assign personal keyboard shortcuts to your computer keys. Some medical transcriptionists, like the owner of the personal work blog, Medical Transcription Expand Productive, customize her keyboard shortcuts based on her own preferences, specifically, based on her frequently used words. For example:
Q = question
W = With
E = Examination
R = Are
T = The
Y = Any
What this means for you is that you no longer have to memorize other shortcuts, but your own.
How is the keyboard shortcut assignment done? According to PC Mag, you may do so by ensuring that NumLock is engaged while long-pressing down on Alt and Ctrl ++ (the plus sign on your numeric keypad). The notice that the cursor transforms into a clover-shaped symbol. A prompt will appear, then all you need to do is to choose the command you’d want to create a shortcut for. Following this, a Customize Keyboard dialog box will appear. In the Press New Shortcut Key field, key in the ksystroke combination you want to use. Save changes. Click assign button.
Here’s a link to the Apple website to help you customize your keyboard shortcuts (but then medical transcription programs are mostly Windows-based).
Microsoft, however, warns people of assigning commands to keys without checking existing keyboard shortcuts in Word (if you’re using word). “You could destroy some existing keyboard shortcuts,” the company said on its website.
It’s up to you whether you’d use existing keyboard shortcuts that medical transcriptionists have been using for quite some time now, or your own. Of course, the advantage of using old shortcuts is that more experienced medical transcriptionists can provide you troubleshooting advice should any problems arise in using the shortcuts. But then the advantage of using your own is that you can customize your keyboard shortcuts anytime, and make ones that are convenient for you to use. Or, you can just use a mix of both!