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As you gain experience in Sketchpad, you’ll naturally seek ways to maximize your efficiency and productivity within the software environment. There are many keyboard techniques that will help you use Sketchpad productively.
•You can use keyboard shortcuts for various menu commands.
•You can use the Esc key to “escape” from your current activity.
•You can use the Shift key to modify the behavior of various tools, commands, and other actions.
•You can enter mathematical expressions in place of numbers in various dialog boxes.
•You can use several other special keys to affect Sketchpad's operation.
Many menu commands have shortcut keys, allowing you to access the menu command directly from the keyboard whenever that command is available. Most of these shortcuts require a modifier key (such as Alt or Ctrl on Windows or on Mac) to be held down while you type the command’s shortcut key. Shortcut keys (and their modifiers) are listed in the menu, directly across from the name of each command that can be accessed by a keyboard shortcut.
For example, in the Windows File menu the Save command lists Ctrl+S as its keyboard shortcut. In the Macintosh File menu it lists S as its keyboard shortcut. Thus, you can save the active document by typing the S key while holding down the Ctrl modifier key (in Windows) or the modifier key (on Macintosh).
The Esc key provides a powerful general-purpose means to “escape” from your current activity. Depending on the activity you’re presently engaged in, Sketchpad’s response to the Esc key varies, but in general, Esc reverts Sketchpad to a less “special” state. Each press of the Esc key performs one of the following actions:
•If a script view is being applied step-by-step, Esc stops the execution without completing the remaining steps.
•If the Arrow tool is not active, Esc activates it.
•If any object is selected, Esc deselects all objects.
•If information balloons are showing, Esc hides them.
•If you're creating a drawing with the Marker tool, Esc finishes the current drawing and allows you to start a new one.
Press Esc repeatedly to revert your document to a “normal” state, with no objects animating, no traces visible, no objects selected, and the Arrow tool active.
You can use the Shift key to align text objects, to change the behavior of the active tool, to switch from one tool to another, and to modify various commands:
•Shift+Enter with selected text objects or action buttons aligns the selected objects below the first selected object. If the objects are already aligned, Shift + Enter increases the vertical spacing between objects.
•Shift+Drag with the Translate Arrow tool on a control point of a straight object constrains the object's direction to multiples of 15° (0°, 15°, 30°, 45°, 60°, 75°, 90°, and so forth).
•Shift+Construct with the Point, Compass, Straightedge, or Polygon tool to construct and select a new object while maintaining previous selections. (For instance, you can hold Shift while clicking the Point tool three times to construct three points and leave all three selected.)
•Shift+Drag with a Straightedge tool similarly constrains the straight object's direction to multiples of 15°.
•Shift while drawing with the Marker tool turns the tool into an eraser to erase ink from the current drawing.
•Shift+Click an object with the Information tool shows a new information balloon while keeping existing information balloons visible.Shift+↑ or Shift+↓ changes the active tool to the next higher or lower tool in the Toolbox.
•Shift+Tab adds to the selected objects another object similar to the already-selected object(s).
•Shift when changing the appearance of an object or text preserves the default settings for point style, line style, color, font, text style, and size.
•Shift changes several menu commands:
Many of Sketchpad’s dialog boxes permit or require you to enter various numeric quantities. Wherever you’re required to enter a number, you can substitute an arithmetical expression — such as (1/3) or 2π — instead. Type expressions combining numbers, parentheses, addition (+), subtraction (–), multiplication (*), division (/), and exponentiation (^). Sketchpad evaluates your expression and uses the resulting value for the dialog box quantity.
To enter π in a dialog box, type the letter p.