Hack 2. Cut and Paste Text

Did you know the BlackBerry has a clipboard? Use it to save tons of keystrokes.

As convenient as RIM has made typing on your handheld, it's still let's face it typing on a handheld. Any time you can get away without typing text on your device or using shortcuts [Hack #7], you should. This will allow you to be more efficient and crank out more messages from your device with less effort.

One of the most useful ways to save keystrokes is by using BlackBerry's built-in clipboard to copy and paste text from one place to another on your device. Although this is a trivial task on an actual computer, it is a little more difficult on your BlackBerry. Committing these steps to memory now will definitely go a long way in your becoming the ultimate BlackBerry road warrior.

1.3.1. Make Your Selection and Copy It

Once you have identified the text you would like to copy, you need to select it, just like on your computer. Position the cursor to the first character in the text you'd like to select. Remember that holding down the Alt key while scrolling with the trackwheel moves your cursor horizontally. Once you've positioned the cursor on the first character of your selection, hold down the Alt key, click the trackwheel once, then release the Alt key.

This puts the BlackBerry in selection mode. Notice the cursor covers only the bottom half of a character when in this mode as shown in Figure 1-1.

Figure 1-1. Selection mode

Use the trackwheel to select the text you'd like to copy to the clipboard by scrolling up and down. Notice that entire lines are selected when you scroll. Hold down the Alt key while you scroll with the trackwheel to move horizontally on the current line one character at a time.

Once you've selected all the text you'd like to copy, click the trackwheel once to bring up the menu. Notice that when you are in "selection mode" the menu will have a couple extra items with the default selection being Copy. Choose Copy to send the selected text to the clipboard (see Figure 1-2). Notice after you copy text you are no longer in selection mode.

Figure 1-2. The Copy item on the menu in selection mode

1.3.2. Paste the Copied Text

Once you've copied the text to the clipboard, go to the area where you'd like your selected text to appear most likely the body of a message you are composing. When you have placed the cursor in the proper position, click the trackwheel once to bring up the menu. Notice in Figure 1-3 that when you have text on the clipboard and your cursor is in an editable field, the menu contains a paste function and it's the default selection.

Figure 1-3. The Paste option on the menu

Select the Paste option on the menu to copy the text to the desired position, and voilà! The text appears as shown in Figure 1-4. Once you memorize this technique, you'll probably want to use the keyboard shortcut for pasting (hold down the Caps Lock key and click the trackwheel).

Figure 1-4. The pasted text

Just like in Windows or Mac OS, the selected text remains on the clipboard after it's been pasted until it's replaced with another selection. Also, the clipboard lives in the operating system so it is available across applications. This lets you copy text from a web site via the BlackBerry Browser into a new message in the Mail application.

BlackBerry Hacks
Blackberry Hacks: Tips & Tools for Your Mobile Office
ISBN: 0596101155
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2006
Pages: 164
Authors: Dave Mabe

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