It's one my most frequently used keys — which I press using my left thumb or, simply, the side/edge of my left palm — and I like its location to be consistent across all the desktops and laptops that I use.
I use the Control key to:
- cut-copy-paste (ctrl+x, ctrl+c, ctrl+v)
- select all (ctrl+a)
- select entire words/paragraphs (ctrl+shift+left/right/up/down arrows or ctrl+shift+page up/down)
- move to the start/end of documents (ctrl+end, ctrl+home)
- move forwards/backwards by one word (ctrl+right/left arrows)
- delete the rest of the current line in a text editor (ctrl+delete)
- undo/redo (ctrl+z, ctrl+y)
- zoom in/out of PDFs, documents, browser windows, etc. (ctrl+mouse scroll wheel up/down)
- duplicate drawing elements in Microsoft Office (ctrl+click & drag)
- move between worksheets in an Excel spreadsheet (ctrl+page up/page down)
- create a page break in a Word document (ctrl+enter)
- open files/documents (ctrl+o)
- save files/documents (ctrl+s)
- switch between window panes (ctrl+tab)
- select multiple items (ctrl+mouse left click)
- (and a bunch of other things I can't remember right now but I probably do unconsciously)
Many laptops, however, have the Fn (Function) key located at the bottom left hand corner of their keyboards and, though it's not the end of the world, this placement irritates me no end.
That's why I'm really excited by Lenovo's recent announcement that it will let users swap the functionality of the Control and Function keys directly through the BIOS!
They plan to offer this in "all future ThinkPad models" so I have a bad feeling it won't be available on the ThinkPad X200 tablet PC that I'm saving up for these days. Still, it's a step in the right direction and the Lenovo keyboard — which is already one of the best out there — just got a whole lot better.
You can read more about this here, by the way:
- Lenovo goes crazy, lets you switch Fn and Ctrl keys in BIOS [Engadget]
- World Turns Upside Down: Lenovo Allows CTRL Key Switching [GottaBeMobile]
And speaking of my plan to buy the X200 tablet PC, so far I've saved-up about 60% of the funds needed. However, I've had to put this saving on hold because we're shifting to a bigger, better, and closer-to-work apartment early next week and doing so will cost us quite a bit of money (especially since we're breaking our existing apartment's lease).
If all goes well, however, I should have enough saved-up by the middle of January 2010. Here's hoping there are some good sales or deals to be had around then!