by Tony Rushin

ctrl-keyf-keyMany of you know that pressing “Ctrl F” at the same time will bring up the search function in Excel or Word.  However, this shortcut also works to search a website, a PDF document, a folder… just about anything.

My friend, Michael Yudanin, showed me this tip about 7 years ago and it has saved me countless hours ever since.  I can’t think of where this shortcut doesn’t work.  Besides Excel and Word I know I’ve used it to search:

  • PDFs
  • Visios
  • PowerPoint slides (including notes)
  • Websites, public and private (note: it searches the page you’re on, not the entire site)
  • Evernote (good for searching the body of the note you’re in)
  • WordPad

I’m sure it works with even more apps – just try it.  If you’re a staff member at a law firm, “Ctrl F” can be a real time-saver.  And if you’re the Legal Administrator of the law firm, don’t assume the new person you hired already knows this tip.  In my informal survey over the last week nearly 50% of the people I asked didn’t know it – and they were all experienced computer users.

In honor of the person that showed me this tip, here’s an example of a search for “mobile” on Michael Yudanin’s LinkedIn page.  After I press “Ctrl F” (at the same time), the box in the upper right pops up.  I type in “mobile” and two things happen: 1) it shows me there are 9 instances of the word, and 2) it highlights the first instance in orange and the rest in yellow.


Did you know this tip already?  If so, who showed you – and have you thanked them lately?  If not, where will you use it today – and who will you share the tip with?  Comments please!

Network 1 Consulting is a 15-year-old, IT Support company in Atlanta, GA.  We become – or augment – the IT department for professional services companies: law firms, medical practices and financial services firms.  Our IT experts can fix computers – but what our clients really value is the industry-specific best practices we bring to their firm.  This is especially important with technology, along with regulations and cyber threats, changing so rapidly.  We take a proactive approach to helping our clients use technology to gain and keep their competitive advantage.

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