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Six BlackBerry keyboard shortcuts you'll love

Make your Blackberry work harder

We love our BlackBerry – its gone a long way to making our lives that little bit simpler. And with our latest round up of tips and tricks, we guarantee it'll be even quicker and easier to use.

Programming Application Switcher as a convenience key

The vast majority of BlackBerry devices have buttons on their side or sides that can be programmed by individual users to activate functions of the user's choosing. These buttons are commonly known as convenience keys.

The obvious choice for convenience keys are the applications that you use most frequently, but we found an even better use: Program one of your convenience keys to be your Application Switcher. The Application Switcher displays a taskbar or 'ribbon' with all of your active applications, so you can switch back and forth between programs without closing them out or ever returning to your Home Screen.

To set a convenience key to the Application Switcher, simply click your Options icon on the BlackBerry Home Screen, choose Screen/Keyboard and scroll down to the Convenience Key Opens field(s). Then open the corresponding dropdown menu and choose Application Switcher. Note: You can also access Application Switcher at any time by holding the ALT key and hitting Escape.

Get the latest BlackBerry news and opinion at PC Advisor's dedicated BlackBerry News Spotlight

Access Standby mode via mute key

If you don't employ a holster, pouch or other BlackBerry carrying solution that protects your device's keyboard when not in use, you're probably used to mistakenly dialing random numbers or sending the occasional accidental message.

Throwing an unprotected BlackBerry or other smartphone into a bag or slipping it into a pocket is just asking for trouble. But it doesn't have to be that way. In fact, you can deactivate your BlackBerry's keyboard and other buttons with a single click.

Mike Lazaridis, RIM's co-CEO, told us that this is the trick he recommends most frequently to BlackBerry users, because it's not only simple and remarkably valuable, it's also little-known. We knew the trick when Lazaridis recommended it, but we couldn't agree more that this one's worth remembering.

To put your BlackBerry into Standby Mode, just hold the Mute key found on the top of your BlackBerry for three seconds. Then you can toss your device in a pocket or purse without worrying about unintentional dialing or messaging. And to remove the device from standby, just tap the Mute key again briefly.

  1. Make your Blackberry work harder
  2. Accessing default BlackBerry apps with a single click from the Home Screen
  3. Programming Application Switcher as a convenience key

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