We’re often being asked how we manage to get through so much work and cope with tricky time-scales on our projects. Alongside having an experienced team we also have many processes and systems to help support us in efficient and consistent product in methodologies. No matter how experienced we are, we are constantly learning new tips and pushing our design software to the limits. One of the things that we often take for granted is our ability to use and memorise keyboard short-cuts to help us navigate the software commands and space within the workflows we are producing. When we bring in new graduates, who are just learning the software, we are often reminded more keenly just how many shortcuts we know and love! So we asked Niamh, who joined us as a graduate in the summer, to keep a note of her most frequently used and most useful shortcuts so we could share with you some of the tips and tricks we use.

I’ve been working at emc design for nearly two months now and as mentioned in my introductory blog post I think I’ve learnt more in the short time I’ve been here than I have my whole three years at uni.

Since joining emc I’ve been shown what feels like hundreds of shortcuts and the ones that I feel are most important/useful are obviously the ones that have stuck. I’m sure my team are very aware of this fact by now but for anyone that isn’t, I constantly have to take notes otherwise I WILL forget what I’m learning. My notebook comes everywhere around the studio with me and is full of many scribbles and shortcut reminders. I am however proud to say that I’m starting to feel like I need my notes less and less as it’s becoming a lot more natural to me.

I wanted to share some of these shortcuts as they’ve made my life a LOT easier and the speed at which I get through tasks a LOT quicker.

command + S = save
command + shift + S = save as
command + W = closes document
command + Q = quit an application

shift + tab = pushes words to the end of a line
command + shift + click = adjustments can be made to master page objects from the page you’re on
command + J = page jump (you can type in what page number you want to get to, as opposed to taking the time to scroll for it)
shift + return = soft return (a smaller sized space than that of a normal return)
alt + dash = en dash (almost like a hyphen but not, it’s the correct punctuation to show ranges between numbers or complex compound words. These are VERY important to Dale!)
command + B while on a text box = opens text frame options (where you can make adjustments to text frames)
option + command + I = turns on invisibles (showing any invisible matter like spaces, tabs, reurns, etc. This way you can see if you’ve put one too many spaces or anything like that in)
command + F = opens find & replace (this is where you can search for anything specific within a document)
command + D = opens the “place” option (for placing text, images, etc.)
shift + click when adding text to a page = makes sure any overmatter continues onto a new page
command + alt + C = closes a text box (essentially makes the box as small as it can be without losing any of the box’s content)
command + A = highlights everything
alt + left/right arrows = highlights characters
command + alt + left/right arrows = highlights words (command + left/right arrows jumps words)
command + alt + up/down arrows = highlights paragraphs (command + up/down arrows jumps paragraphs)
alt + 8 = puts in a bullet
command + alt + 9 = adds and extra row to tables
command + 9 = adds an extra column
command + shift + T = opens tab ruler (where you can adjust tab spaces, great if you’re trying to align text)
command + alt + Z = turns on typical view (makes the quality of the document lower so there’s less of a lag and the document runs quicker as a whole)

X = changes colour swatch
B = brush tool
P = pen tool
command + I = invert selection
command + alt + I = opens image size

I hope these shortcuts are as useful to you as they are for me!