Those who use the computer a lot are aware of the amount of time you can save by using the shortcut keys instead of the mouse. Moreover, I have come to the conclusion that the best way to learn how to work in a new program or improve your skills is to have a look at the shortcut keys and try to memorize as many as you can. Besides putting you at an advantage from the very beginning by encouraging you to work faster, they also give you an idea of the commands you are going to use within that program.
Some of the shortcuts are very easy to remember, since they are the same in most of the Windows-based programs. You are probably already familiar with the common Ctrl + N (New), Ctrl + O (Open) and Ctrl + S (Save). You will find them in GIF Animator too. Things get a little more complicated when it comes to Save, since you have different shortcuts for saving in different formats:
- Ctrl + S: Save the image as an UGA (Ulead Gif Animator) File.
- Ctrl + Shift + S: Save the image as a GIF File.
- Ctrl + E: Save the images in frames.
- Ctrl + Alt + S: Save the file in HTML format.
Other shortcuts common with Windows-based programs are:
- Ctrl + X: Cut the current selection.
- Ctrl + C: Copy the current selection to the clipboard.
- Ctrl + Z: Undo the last command.
- Ctrl + Y: Redo the last command.
- Ctrl + V: Paste the currently cut/copied object from the clipboard.
- Ctrl + Shift + C: Copy object information.
- Del: Delete / Make an area transparent
- Plus Sign (+): Zoom in
- Minus Sign (-): Zoom out
- Ctrl+1: Display an image at its actual size (specific to GIF Animator).
Help menu shortcuts
- F1: Open the GIF Animator online help.
- Shift + F1: Activate the Context Sensitive Help. Click on the item to open the help related article.
The key combinations we have seen so far are common to most of the Windows-based programs, so they are very easy to remember. The rest are program-specific ones but they are only a few, so learning them shouldn’t be a problem:
- Ctrl + G: Change Canvas Size.
- Ctrl + R: Crop Canvas
- Ins: Add Image
- Ctrl + D: Duplicate Selected Object(s)
- Ctrl + F: Duplicate Selected Frame(s)
- Ctrl + Alt + D: Add a new blank object.
- Ctrl + Alt + F: Add a new frame.
- Ctrl + T: Open the Tween window
- Ctrl + Shift + Enter: Object Properties
- F6: Preferences
- Shift + E: Text Entry
- Ctrl + Alt + B: Add Banner Text
- F11: Optimization Wizard
- Ctrl + B: Open the Batch Process dialog box.
As with everything else in life, the best way to remember the shortcut keys is to use them as much as possible. Practice makes perfect. The temptation to use the mouse might be very strong at the beginning but resisting it will bring you lots of satisfactions later.