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The Keyboard Shortcut That Will Change Your Life

Hey, there!

You don’t often think about how slowly you work with your computer, until the moment someone shows you a very cool move that makes you substantially more efficient.

This is one of those moments.

If you’ve been using computers since the text-based days of DOS, like I have, this may be old news to you. But I’ve gotten handwritten thank you notes from people after I’ve shown them how to use this simple keyboard shortcut.

It seems straightforward to use your mouse to switch between applications on your Mac or PC, right? Click on an exposed window of a background app, and boom! It’s right up front.

But compared to CMD-TAB or ALT-TAB, using your mouse is deadly slow. Especially if you’re working with text: composing, cutting and pasting, email and so on.

Why?

Because using your mouse requires you to stop your typing, moving your hand from the keyboard to the mouse, sliding the mouse over a target like your dock or taskbar, or that exposed window, accurately clicking on that window or an icon to switch to that other app and then moving your hand back to your keyboard to find the home keys and resume your typing.

Do this instead:

While typing on a Macintosh, without having to move to the mouse, hold down the Command (CMD or cloverleaf or Apple) key, and hit TAB.

If you’re on a Windows machine, hold down the ALT key, and hit TAB.

You’ll switch between applications and windows in the order they were opened, and you’ll be able to resume typing instantly with your hands still in position to do so.

User interface engineers will tell you that this deceptively simple move to switch between apps is actually more than 5 times faster than using your mouse. Why? Because your total hand movement is very limited, as you never actually remove your hands from the keyboard on which you’re typing.

You also don’t have to use eye-hand coordination, as you do when using a mouse, to target and click on an icon that is almost never in the same place on your Dock or taskbar. Each new open application and document moves other icons around just enough to be annoying, and you have to accurately hit the right icon to go where you want; the Command, Alt and Tab keys are always in the same place, and just like any typing, you get used to where they are.

If you have more than one app and/or window open, the whole lot of them will be displayed on the screen, and ALT- or CMD-TAB will cycle through them in order. And you can easily go back and forth between the last two apps you’re using by using this shortcut repeatedly – it remembers the last app you were in.

Get used to using this keyboard shortcut. If you become proficient at it, you can quickly switch between, as an example, your audition script in Preview and the recording of that script in Audacity, and back again.

CMD-TAB or ALT-TAB. A simple speed gain that will make your auditioning life faster and better.

Hope this helps.

David

9 Responses to 6 Steps to a Perfect VO Demo

  1. Kelli August 18, 2011 at 2:58 am #

    I feel really good about my demo. It is a quick and fun process, even for someone like me who gets very self concious. :)

  2. David Britz September 5, 2011 at 11:25 pm #

    The demos are great. Superb quality. Why go anywhere else?

  3. David Britz October 20, 2011 at 3:51 pm #

    Can’t wait to record my Narration VO Demo!! :))

  4. Mike Brang December 31, 2013 at 9:44 am #

    Having a well-produced demo is one of the most important things in the VO business. I had a number of demos made from other producers in the past and they all had one thing in common — that manufactured, cookie cutter sound!
    What sets David apart from the rest, besides his affordable price and tremendously fast turn around time, is that all of the clips you record with him sound unique. Each spot sounds like an actual commercial you recorded for a job.
    My agent loved the quality and even asked who produced it to refer his other talent there!

    Thanks again, David for producing such a great, high quality demo for me. You made the process relaxing and enjoyable. I urge anyone reading this unsolicited reply to listen to David’s student demos to hear the difference for yourself. Anyone would be lucky to work with him

  5. Kristy Liles February 9, 2017 at 7:04 pm #

    I can not thank you enough. I worked so hard on 15 page IVR project, one day I cryed, look for answers, pull my hear (not really) but I was about until another VO send me this great tool. Thanks!

  6. Frank June 11, 2017 at 9:51 pm #

    David

    When v123 indicates the audition is for a student/ nonprofit are we to assume it is for $0. If so, why does the audition ask for an amount to be entered?

  7. shirley jordan June 12, 2017 at 5:58 pm #

    David,
    I did get this scam through Voice 123. In our discourse, they offered me the gig and they gave me the name of a legit local place to record and the same runaround with the money. I didn’t send anything, but instead, I called the studio to make sure the booking was for the day we set up, and lo and behold, the people there had no idea what I was talking about. I then tried to call back my “contact person” who was setting this up and there was a fax machine beep on the other end. I immediately contacted Voice 123 and told them what had happened. You know what they say…if it sounds togaed to be true, it probably is. Thanks for the reminder!
    Shirley

  8. shirley jordan June 12, 2017 at 5:59 pm #

    …too good…not togaed.
    The one time spell check didn’t work!

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