Fast form filling (Vol #19)

November 4, 2011 in Newsletters

Inside: Fast form filling, tab, tabs, windows (but not Windows)

Like the last newsletter, I’m running off again right after I finish writing this. Last time I was heading to the Apple Store to get my MacBook Pro repaired. If you “like” Mac Help For Mom’s Facebook page, then you probably saw me raving about how they not only fixed my DVD drive but even replaced the four rubber feet that had long since gone missing from my laptop. Big style points for the Genius Bar.

This time I’m off to my grandmother’s 94th birthday party! Yep, that’s getting up there but at least now she’s only double my age. 🙂 I just phoned her the other day and she is still in fine form, which reminds me of a video and article I just finished…

Use excellent form when filling out forms

Back in the dark ages of the Internet, we mainly just clicked from one web page to another. But now with online survey forms, shopping sites, web-based email, online banking and bill pay, we sometimes spend more time putting information INTO our web browser as we do getting information OUT of it.

Because the web makes it so easy to navigate with only a mouse or trackpad, it’s easy to get lulled into thinking that’s the best way to navigate through an online form. It’s not! This article (and the video within it) will show you how a few special keys will let you breeze through most web forms without taking your hands off the keyboard.

How to fill out web forms faster

Word of the Week

The word is “tab”.

Computer jargon is hard enough to remember and then it gets more challenging when the same word is used for more than one thing! So it is with the word “tab”. As you saw in the article on filling out forms fasters, keyboards have a “tab” key. The “tab” key has numerous uses, one of which is to “tab” (navigate) through the various parts of a form.

The “tab” key has absolutely nothing to do with the “tabs” that you can now find in web browsers and some other applications. Those tabs are a way to be working on or reading more than one thing at a time. Well, not at exactly the *same* time, but they let you save your place on things that you’ll get back to later. Sometimes “later” can be in just a few seconds if you are bouncing back and forth between two web pages for instance.

Or, (confession time) “later” can sometimes mean an article that I really meant to finish reading five months ago, but I got distracted, and now it and a couple dozen others sit patiently, each in their own tab, waiting for me to come back to them.

But enough about my poor multitasking skills…you’ve probably seen tabs. They all look roughly the same but there are a few styles. Safari’s tabs hang down from the top and are functional but a little boring.

Safari tabs

Google Chrome’s tabs point up (they way real tabs would!) and include a little logo for each web page.

Chrome tabs

Firefox’s tabs also point up but don’t have the cool angled edges that Chrome’s tabs do.

Firefox tabs

The best way to learn about using these tabs is to watch this series of three videos I made about a year ago. That was before I started this newsletter so you may have never seen them. I just had a laugh watching those classics again. I haven’t been getting in front of the camera lately as much as I used to, but I also haven’t been capturing neighborhood lawn mowers in the background like I did in my early videos!

How to use web browser tabs

How to move browser tabs to a new window

How to merge Safari windows back into one window

Mac Help For Mom on Facebook

Do you use Facebook? It’s another way to learn about new Mac Help For Mom videos and interact with other people who like Mac Help For Mom. If you click the “Like” button on the Mac Help For Mom Facebook page then you’ll see the Mac Help For Mom Facebook posts in your Facebook News Feed, be able to comment on them, and join in the discussions.

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