RIM Blackberry Tips and Tricks: Keyboard Shortcuts for Power Users by nurkolip5000

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									                      RIM BlackBerry Tips and Tricks:
                     Keyboard Shortcuts for Power Users
Navigating Message Threads

We already covered the basics of BlackBerry messaging and keyboard shortcuts, after an
informative chat with insurance company Aflac's smartphone guru. But these two lesser-
known tricks are sure to lighten the load of any BlackBerry power user. (Thanks go to
Sjaak Koole and another anonymous CIO.com reader for pointing them out!)

Heavy BlackBerry users know the pain of trying to catch up on an e-mail thread with
multiple responses. You may have received the first response an hour ago, the second and
third 15 minutes later and a fourth and fifth could have landed in your inbox just as you
get to the first. Without a shortcut, you have to sift through the tons of messages that
arrived in between the thread's various components. A much simpler way is to open the
first message and then hit the J key to jump to the next response, and so on. You can also
return to an earlier message in the thread by hitting the K key. (Note: If the subject line of
the thread has been modified, you may not be able to find all responses using this
shortcut.)

Bookmarking Messages to Return at a Later Time

Scenario: You're reading an important--and long--message from the boss when you're
called away from your device by a coworker or family member in need. Have no fear,
there's no need to scroll through paragraphs you already read when your return to the e-
mail--at least if you use this shortcut. You can simply close the message, and when you're
free again, just hit the G key after reopening it, and you'll be brought to the exact spot
where you stopped reading.

Using Multiple Message Signatures via AutoText

There are clear benefits to using a BlackBerry e-mail signature, but if you're like us, you
probably don't want to use the same signature all the time--and there are likely instances
in which you'd rather use no signature at all. Switching back and forth between
signatures, or occasionally deleting one, can mean using different e-mail inboxes and
accounts with separate signatures (or even repeatedly going into your BlackBerry
Desktop Manager if you're on a BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) or BlackBerry
Internet Service (BIS) account) to make the necessary changes. That's a lot of legwork.

We suggest using pre-programmed AutoText entries to call up different e-mail
signatures.
To do so, first delete the current signature you're using via the desktop manager software
or your wireless carrier's website if you use BIS. Then click the Options icon on your
BlackBerry home screen, choose AutoText, and then hit your Menu button--if you're
using an 8xxx series device, Menu is located directly to left of the trackball. Select New
from the options list and then fill in the Replace field with an easy to remember
command, like "ZZ" or "XX," and the With field with an e-mail signature. You can use
this method to create as many different signatures as you'd like by typing different
commands into the Replace fields. (Note: When using the new AutoText command,
make sure you hit Space after you type your AutoText--"ZZ + Space", for instance--or
the message may not correctly display your signature.

Dialing Alphanumeric Phone Numbers on Full QWERTY BlackBerry Keyboard

Ever tried dialing a phone number with letters, instead of all numerals, using your
BlackBerry's QWERTY keyboard? You know, 1.800.Comcast, for example. If so, you've
likely experienced the frustration of being unable to key in the letters you want as part of
your number--unless, of course, you already know this shortcut. It's simple really. Just
type the numerals as you normal would--1,8,0,0--then hold the ALT key while dialing
the letters, and you're good to go.

Access Default BlackBerry Apps with a Single Click from Home Screen

Many folks use their BlackBerry smartphones for messaging and Web surfing more often
than they employ phone features. If you fall into this category, you probably want to
disable your Dial From Home Screen option so you can access a variety of helpful
Home Screen shortcuts. To do so, click your Phone icon on the Home Screen or hit the
green phone button on your device. Then press your Menu key, pick Options, then
General Options and change the Dial From Home Screen field from "Yes" to "No."
Finally, hit the Escape key and choose to save your changes. (Note: This option only
works for devices with full QWERTY keyboards.)
Now you'll need to hit your Phone icon or click the green phone button to dial a number
and place a call, but you'll have access to all of the following shortcuts from your Home
Screen via a single click of the corresponding letter key:

       WAP Browser -- W
       Alarm -- R
       Tasks -- T
       Calculator -- U
       Options -- O
       Address Book -- A
       Search -- S
       Notes -- D
       Profiles -- F
       Help -- H
       Lock keypad -- K
       Calendar -- L
       Messages -- M
       Browser -- B
       BlackBerry Messenger -- N
       Saved messages -- V
       Compose -- C

Programming Application Switcher as a Convenience Key

The vast majority of BlackBerry devices have buttons on their side or sides that can be
programmed by individual users to activate functions of the user's choosing. These
buttons are commonly known as convenience keys.
The obvious choice for convenience keys are the applications that you use most
frequently, but we found an even better use: Program one of your convenience keys to be
your Application Switcher. The Application Switcher displays a taskbar or "ribbon" with
all of your active applications, so you can switch back and forth between programs
without closing them out or ever returning to your Home Screen. (When we asked RIM's
co-CEO Mike Lazaridis for some of his most valuable BlackBerry tips, this was number
two on the list. Keep reading for number one.)

To set a convenience key to the Application Switcher, simply click your Options icon on
the BlackBerry Home Screen, choose Screen/Keyboard and scroll down to the
Convenience Key Opens field(s). Then open the corresponding dropdown menu and
choose Application Switcher. (Note: You can also access Application Switcher at any
time by holding the ALT key and hitting Escape.)

Access Standby Mode via Mute Key

If you don't employ a holster, pouch or other BlackBerry carrying solution that protects
your device's keyboard when not in use, you're probably used to mistakenly dialing
random numbers or sending the occasional accidental message. Throwing an unprotected
BlackBerry or other smartphone into a bag or slipping it into a pocket is just asking for
trouble. But it doesn't have to be that way. In fact, you can deactivate your BlackBerry's
keyboard and other buttons with a single click.

Mike Lazaridis told us that this is the trick he recommends most frequently to BlackBerry
users, because it's not only simple and remarkably valuable, it's also little-known. We
knew the trick when RIM's co-CEO recommended it, but we couldn't agree more that this
one's worth remembering.
To put your BlackBerry into Standby Mode, just hold the Mute key found on the top of
your BlackBerry--at least if you're an 8xxx series user--for three seconds. Then you can
toss your device in a pocket or purse without worrying about unintentional dialing or
messaging. And to remove the device from standby, just tap the Mute key again briefly.

								
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