Thursday, March 10, 2011

A Serious Question

I got another PM this afternoon, from someone wanting to know how to cut and paste a script in the GECK.

Now, I know everyone who doesn't know the shortcuts is not an idiot. Some people just don't know; and that's fine. We all have to learn some time.

That said, I have to ask - and this is a serious, snark-free question - how do you people use Windows for years; or even decades, and not learn basic shortcut keys? Select all, copy, cut, paste, open, print, save... they're all pretty universal and work in nearly any Windows program with the proper functionality.

That is to say, while you can't cut text from say... a text window in Dragon Age; you can cut text from Notepad, Wordpad, Word, virtually any web browser; most paint/image editing programs use the same keys for manipulating selected areas of an image.

I dunno, maybe I'm strange. I find it faster when in the middle of typing something to manipulate Windows via keyboard shortcuts, rather than having to take one hand off the keyboard, grab the mouse, find where in the holy hell the pointer is on the screen, move over for one or two clicks, then move the pointer back out of the way, go back to the keyboard, and try to get my two-handed typing mojo back in full swing.

Since this is the several-eth PM I've received on the subject, I'm obviously going to have to edit the tutorial; nihilism bout or not.

3 comments:

  1. As someone who had to ask you how to copy-paste scripts in the CS myself I feel compelled to provide a snark-free reply.

    Keep in mind that I can only speak for myself of course. I've never had any kind of formal computer training or even anyone to show me the basics since I can't really afford classes and most people in my life for some reason are pretty much the definition of computer illiteracy. Know how I learned how to use Windows? From playing Final Fantasy VII on the PlayStation. Click this and that window opens, scroll down this menu and select that... you remember. Keeping this in mind I suppose the fact that I can do the things I do now on a PC is some sort of testimony to my ability to learn and understand things, but I'm not one to brag. It's also probably why I still detest anything utilizing the whole command line deal. I need a nice GUI or I'm kinda lost. Anyway, my Final Fantasy Windows techniques led me to be a right-clicker. Drop-down menus and command choices, pretty much like the games. Easy enough.

    I suppose all the default Windows keyboard shortcuts are printed in some manual or help menu somewhere, but also keep in mind that during my early years of computer usage I never had the internet at my disposal, so on-line help topics like Microsoft loves to make us rely upon were useless to me. However, being a right-clicker I am aware that in most programs when the drop-down menus open the keyboard shortcuts are listed right next to the menu options. But why bother remembering all of those when I'm navigating perfectly fine with my little mouse? These days I pay more attention to these sorts of things because those keyboard shortcuts can be useful in many cases, but in the beginning I just plain never paid too much attention to them. To this day my most frequently used keyboard shortcut is Ctrl+Alt+Delete to open the Windows Task Manager when a game or other program freezes up.

    So the TLDR version is that, while I can't prove it per se, I speculate that a lot of these other computer users might be right-clickers too.

    I feel I should also point out that Matt, you of all people should know that many of these game editors are not the most intuitive programs ever designed. Again I assume that all the keyboard shortcuts are listed in some wiki or help menu somewhere, but most people (myself included) cringe at the idea of spending hours searching through some disorganized and confusing wiki (i.e. Bethesda's Construction Set Wikis) looking for how to do something that's supposed to be simple when it's so much quicker and easier to just ask someone who we suspect knows more about it than we do. I still don't know much of anything about quest or dialog creation for the Bethesda games and have only just grazed the tip of the iceberg when it comes to scripting, largely because it just doesn't seem worth my while to do all the studying involved. I've figured out how to do a few useful little things, but beyond that if I did learn more I'd probably just end up wasting my time creating some complex thing that nobody would care about or would even hate anyway (yes that's you, DoomWorld bastards).

    So anyway, that's my input on the subject.

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  2. It would also be nice if BlogSpot would give commenters and not just the blog's creator the option to edit a post rather than having to delete the entire thing, leaving behind an empty spot with your name all over it, and then re-post the entire thing just to make an OCD correction to one overlooked misspelling.

    Good thing I have indeed learned to copy and paste, eh?

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  3. "It would also be nice if BlogSpot would give commenters and not just the blog's creator the option to edit a post rather than having to delete the entire thing, leaving behind an empty spot with your name all over it, and then re-post the entire thing just to make an OCD correction to one overlooked misspelling."

    Actually, I don't have the ability to edit my comments, your comments, or anyone else's.

    The only special ability the blog owner gets in regards to comments is the ability to totally delete them, to remove the "this post has been removed by the author" notice.

    When I make a typo or some other error that I feel bears fixing, I have to delete the comment and redo it, as well. I've gotten into the habit of copying my entire comment before hitting post.

    That said, I'll be happy to remove your removal notice for you.

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