Everyone here at Cracked is pretty adept at using computers, and indeed we've had to be, ever since they told us we had to stop making magazines. And as with most computer-savvy people, we make heavy use of shortcuts and keystrokes to make our jobs easier, because apparently fannying about all day in comfortable chairs isn't easy enough for us limp-wristed chuckle-peddlers.
LOL, looks like you guys could use a keyboard shortcut for not dying in a methane explosion, are we right?
Because we can't do a god-damned thing without enumerating its many variations and rating them on badassedness, we decided to do that here with our favorite keyboard shortcuts. These are shortcuts that we use every day at Cracked. You'll recognize some of them, but others may be unfamiliar as our IT department has implemented a number of different desktop extensions to improve our mirth-ficiency. Whether these same extensions allow IT to monitor our porn-usage - and with the help of webcams, our porn-usage-usage - is as-yet unknown, although an informal poll of Cracked writers suggests that we're pretty cool with that possibility. "Let them watch. They might learn a thing or two."
With that unsettling image lurking in your mind's eye, trapped there no matter how much you blink, let us now turn to the most badass keyboard shortcuts around.
These are probably the first shortcuts most people learn, and with good reason - they are incredibly handy, and used in almost all aspects of computing. Jokes about plagiarism aside, at Cracked we use these quite a bit, editing articles, moving around chunks of HTML, and plagiarizing.
In most environments the Tab key lets you move the focus of the keyboard input amongst different fields on the screen. This is of limited use when navigating the web, given the mouse-driven nature of websites, and because the tab-order of most sites was programmed by a drunk. But it is very handy when doing any tasks which require repetitive data entry; at Cracked we use Tab a lot when entering facts about presidents into our fact about presidents database.
In most browsers, pressing F6 will highlight the address bar, allowing you to quickly type a new url and leave that web site (I urge you to not try this for a few minutes.) With the autocomplete feature in most browsers, this can make switching from website to website as simple as three or four keystrokes. An example: just now, DOB came into my office and asked me which were the most fire-retardant presidents of all time. Using F6, I was able to quickly navigate to the Library of Congress website, and check for him. In this particular case, it turned out that no-one knows, which meant that further research will be required, which meant that DOB cackled and sprinted from my office, which meant that something horrible will almost certainly happen quite soon - a chain of events that would have taken seconds longer to develop without the power of F6.
The favorite keyboard shortcut of slackers everywhere, Alt-Tab quickly switches to a different window, which is often used by people who don't want their bosses to see what they're doing. If instead of writing a column about how to ride a dinosaur like you're supposed to, you've instead been mainly looking at pictures of people dressed as dinosaurs rubbing against one another, this is a useful key to have ready when your boss comes in with his judgin' eyes.
Alt-F4 (and it's cousin, Ctrl-W) shuts programs entirely, which is useful if you've got a boss who likes to get right up into your grill and snoop around the items on your taskbar. You see a lot of Cracked staffers with a hand hovering over Alt-F4 as they work - looking for their other hand at such times is typically not advisable.
This keyboard shortcut is one of the specialized ones we have here at Cracked, which inserts a joke into any document. Our IT guys found this huge book of puns in the children's section of the local library, and hard-coded the lot of 'em in one of our desktop extenders.
For a title promising nutty jokes, few, if any, are actually about testicles.
Obviously not all of our jokes come from this feature, but if we ever need a "quick" gag, we can always press CapsLock-Shift-F8, and bam, right there we have a
Similar to above, but this one only works in Photoshop and only if you've got the right extensions. Shift-Ctrl-F3 will insert a penis bulge into any image you're working with.
On many word processors, this key launches Spell Check, but in our content management system, it's Save and Publish. This has caused more than a few problems for us, and we're definitely going to look in to carrekting this some day.
Enough fires have broken out at the Cracked offices that we've got pretty rigorous fire-monitoring programs in place, including keyboard shortcuts on all computers which Cracked staffers are taught to hit as soon as they detect smoke. This causes a warning to flash across all computers in the building warning us of the danger, who is reporting it, and a note reminding the immature that whoever smelt it may not necessarily have dealt it.
Lets any Cracked user hack into any Cracked computer. Very useful for tomfoolery, as well as for clearing the popup Fire Alarm warning from the mainframe, so as to better ignore it; our typical response, given management's policy that all evacuations count as unpaid leave.
Immediately cuts and pastes whatever we're working on in to an email to our legal counsel, with the subject line: "Holy s**t Tammy, please say we can do this."
Our number one IT request for 5 years running is for them to implement a feature like in the Matrix, where we could learn skills with the help of a comfortable chair and a zip drive. This has turned out to be just shy of completely impossible, and while the job ticket remains open, the only workaround IT has implemented so far is a shortcut key which plays an animated gif of a penguin slapping another penguin.
The reason we need Kung Fu skills so badly is because of the number of times the social order breaks down around here; as it often does, for example, during one of our many uncontrolled fires. With all of the doors locked to discourage truancy, things can get a little bit like the more troubling scenes from Titanic around here, what with the screams and the pushing and the weeping Irish families. It turns out that some knowledge about self-defense comes in handy when attacking people unprovoked.
Thanks to an unhealthy interest in all things Batman, and three thousand dollars left to us by a wealthy uncle, the Cracked office purchased the original Bat Signal from the 1960's television show at auction. And, because we are either the cause of, or the victims of most crimes in our area, all staffers have the ability to turn it on, by pressing Ctrl-Tab-Backslash on their terminal. Batman, to date, has not arrived to assist us, although one time Val Kilmer did come by to drop off his resume and some pitches he'd been working on (they were just ok.) Thankfully though, the fire department knows what it means, and will typically get around to us in ten minutes or so - longer if they're trying to teach us a lesson, which I'm hoping they're not today.
Check out more from Bucholz in How to Abuse Your Customers And Pass It Off As 'Marketing' and 8 Ways To Control Your Dreams: Plan Ahead, Bring a Machete.
Innocent until proven guilty ... but imprisoned even after innocence is proven.