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Master Microsoft Office keyboard shortcuts in a flash with KeyRocket

Originally just for Gmail, this handy tool now teaches shortcuts for Microsoft Office and Windows as well.

Think keyboard shortcuts are a waste of time? Think again: Every time you use your keyboard instead of reaching for the mouse, locating your cursor, navigating to a button or menu, and clicking, you're saving anywhere from 2-10 seconds.

Do that 20 times in an hour and you've saved as much as three minutes--maybe even a little more. Over the course of a day, that's upwards of 25 minutes. Over a week, more than two hours.

I don't know about you, but I could use an extra two hours every week. Which is why I strive to learn every keyboard shortcut I possibly can.

Of course, just the process of learning them can take time, which is why my new best friend is KeyRocket, which teaches you Windows and Office keyboard shortcuts.

If the name sounds familiar, you might be thinking of KeyRocket for Gmail, which debuted a few months back as a plugin for Chrome. It's still available, and still handy, but the new KeyRocket proper extends that idea to your desktop.

It works like this: As you do your thing in Windows, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Visual Studio, the software monitors your actions. When you click something that has a keyboard-shortcut equivalent, KeyRocket notifies you via a little pop-up in the corner of the screen.

In other words, in short order you'll learn that Ctrl-B is the shortcut for Bold text, Ctrl-Shift-N creates a new folder, Alt-F4 takes the place of clicking the Close icon, and so on.

The free version of KeyRocket gives you shortcuts for Windows and the Microsoft Office component of your choice (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, or Outlook). By upgrading to KeyRocket Premium ($60), you get access to all of Office, plus Visual Studio to boot.

It would be nice if you could add components piecemeal--not everyone uses Visual Studio, for example, and I'm mostly a Word and Outlook man myself--but I can't argue with KeyRocket's effectiveness.

Indeed, if you want to learn keyboard shortcuts as quickly and easily as possible, and thereby learn to work to faster in the process, you should definitely give this app a try.

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