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BlackBerry Shortcuts You Should Know

written by: Meryl K Evans•edited by: Simon Hill•updated: 7/6/2011

BlackBerry's Help lists many shortcuts as do web sites, but who is going to learn them all? Instead, get the BlackBerry shortcuts worth learning and start with those. Then, you can learn more later. Move around your BlackBerry like a pro with these shortcuts.

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    BB Keyboard Shortcuts

    I had a Sidekick before getting my current device, a BlackBerry Curve. The Sidekick had only one thing going for it: the keyboard. Typing took little effort, which I didn't realize until switching to the BlackBerry. The BlackBerry worked better than the Sidekick in every way except the keyboard. It felt like a chore to use the BlackBerry's keyboard until I learned a few shortcuts as valuable as Ctrl+C (copy) and Ctrl+V (paste) are for most people.

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    Application Switching on your BlackBerry

    You can switch between applications by holding the Alt key while pressing the Escape key (the button to the right of the trackball). Hold the Alt key and keep pressing the Escape key until you reach the application you want. Let go of the Alt key. If you're willing to give up a button to make this faster and only require one hand, program a button to switch applications using the following steps:

    1. Go to Settings.
    2. Select Screen/Keyboard.
    3. Select the application below Right Side Convenience Key Opens or Left Side Convenience Key Opens.
    4. Select Application Switcher.
    5. Exit out of settings.

    You have many options for these two buttons, so choose the ones you'd use most.

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    General BlackBerry Shortcuts

    These shortcuts work in many of the BlackBerry applications, but not all of them. These work great for messages and web pages.

    • Scroll down by holding the Space key.
    • Scroll up by holding Shift+Space key.
    • Press T to jump to the top.
    • Press B to jump to the bottom.
    • Press Space twice to automatically insert a period and capitalize the next letter.
    • Hold a letter until its capital appears to capitalize it without using Shift.
    • Highlight text by holding Shift and rolling the trackball left or right. Think of your trackball as a mouse.
    • Highlight a line by holding Shift and rolling the trackball up or down.
    • Cancel selection by pressing the Escape key.
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    Web Browsing and Email Shortcuts

    Although more sites have optimized pages for mobile browsing, there are plenty that make it harder to navigate. Save steps with these worthy BlackBerry shortcuts.

    • Press the key to the left of the trackball to open the Browser menu.Press the Escape key to stop loading a page.
    • Press Del or Escape to go back a page.
    • Press Shift+Space to move forward a page, but it doesn't work for all devices including the Curve 8310.
    • Press X to view a thumbnail of the current web page.
    • Press Space to toggle radio and select buttons on /off.
    • Press Enter key to submit as you would on a keyboard.
    • Press L on a link to see its URL.
    • Hit Space when typing an email address to automatically add @ and periods. The BlackBerry displays it so you can see the email.

    When typing addresses in the Go To box:

    • Press space for period.
    • Press Shift+Space for /

    Make it easier on yourself and pick two or three to learn. Once those become a habit, then pick two or three more. You'll be zooming around the BlackBerry's screens in no time.