KeyRocket: Master MS Office Keyboard Shortcuts

[Update 6/6/2012 : See this newer blog post on KeyRocket.]

I’m a fan of keyboard shortcuts. A few months ago I wrote a blog post on Shortmarks, a service that lets you create shortcuts to websites. This time I’m writing about KeyRocket, a tool that helps you learn keyboard shortcuts in Word, Excel, and Powerpoint. (In the free version, choose one; in the $5/month version, choose all three.)

After installing KeyRocket, I chose to use it with Word. When I highlighted text and clicked the “U” button on the Home tab, this popped up in the lower right corner of my screen.

And then after I used the shortcut, I got this very supportive popup.

With each subsequent use, my progress bar showed me moving further from the trashcan and closer to the star.

And when I reached the star, I got a nice celebratory message.

After that, I got no further encouragement. However, when I returned to using the “U” button on the Home tab, I got the reminder again. And, sadly, I lost my ‘star’ status.

KeyRocket resides in your taskbar. Right- or left-click on the icon to call up this menu. Here you can see your most recently learned keyboard shortcuts, and you can access the “Shortcut Browser” – or bypass this step altogether. Win+k opens the browser from wherever you in the Office program.

In the Shortcut Browser, enter a search term for the kind of shortcut you’re looking for. Here I entered ‘bullet,’ and KeyRocket gave me a couple of possibilities.

Interestingly, it doesn’t pick up everything every time. For example, I inserted the links above using the “hyperlink” button on the Insert tab in Word. I usually use CTRL-k, but KeyRocket didn’t flag it. After I searched for “link” in KeyRocket’s shortcut browser, it began notifying me of the shortcut. I had the same experience with bulleted lists.

Having said that, at this writing the product is still in beta, and it’s free to use with Word, Excel, or PowerPoint.

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