Lesson 7: Shortcuts

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Tutorial > Lesson 7: Shortcuts

Shortcuts work in a similar fashion to QuickPick, in that a list of results is displayed at the top of the ClipList, and that it is also a natural fit for QuickPaste.  The difference however, is that while QuickPick acts as a "filter" against the current collection, ShortCuts can pull clips from any collection, even any database, that you have defined.  Just as your desktop can have a shortcut to any file on your system, and your web browser can have shortcuts to any web page, ClipMate Shortcuts can refer to any clip in your system.  But first, you have to create some shortcuts.


Back in lesson4, you copied some data that looks like credit card information:






Go ahead and re-copy them, if you don't still have them.  Now let's assume that they represent your VISA number and expiry date, and your MasterCard number and expiry date, respectively.

In a real example, you'd also have PIN or Security codes (those pesky extra digits), the spelling of your name as it appears on the card, etc.  You can make those if you want, and substitute your actual card info, if you like.


Creating Shortcuts

Now pick the first in the series, and press Ctrl+R.  You'll see the "Rename Clip" dialog.  It combines the rename and shortcut functions into one dialog, for convenience.  After all, any clip worth assigning a shortcut to, likely could use a better title as well.  So give the clip a title such as "Visa Number", and then for the shortcut, type in:


Those are "periods", and you should make a habit of leading with a period, and using periods to define a "structure" to the shortcut.

For the next clip, rename to "Visa Exp Date", and assign a shortcut of:


Then you can do the Mastercard (substitute M for V in the nickname).  Plus any other information that you may be entering, such as .NAME, .PIN, .ADDR, etc., if you're trying to use REAL data here.


TIP: If you enable "Carry-Over Last Prefix, then the shortcut will automatically remember the first ".CC.V." part of the shortcut - a big timesaver!


Move Them Somewhere Safe

Right now, these clips are probably sitting in your "InBox" collection.  Here's another tip: any clip worthy of a shortcut, is worthy of moving to another collection (after all, your InBox gets automatically cleaned out periodically).  So select these clips in the ClipList (tip: pick one, hold down SHIFT, and then pick the last one), and then select Edit | Move To Collection.  Now pick the collection called "Safe" from the menu.  They are now moved out of the InBox, into Safe, where they will reside until you delete them.  If you want to see where they went, click on the "select collection" button on the toolbar.  But then come back to the InBox to continue the exercise.  For more information on collections, see: Using Collections Effectively.


Using Shortcuts

You activate shortcuts by typing the "." (period or DOT) key.  All of your shortcut clips will now be displayed at the top of the ClipList (there may also be a "Welcome to ClipMate" sample clip.  Now keep typing the shortcut:


You Type

You See


Only the credit card clips

.    (dot)


Only the VISA entries are left

.    (dot)


The Visa Expiry Date is all that is left.


Now hit the Backspace, and notice how the search results are widened.  Try to pick the Visa Number this time:




You can paste this clip in to any application, as it is on the clipboard now.  You can also use the arrow keys to scroll within the results.  If you scroll down past the blue bar, you'll be in the "regular clips". That's fine.  Press ESCape to cancel the Shortcut search.


The accompanying image shows shortcuts used in conjunction with QuickPaste, which is a very powerful combination.  The image isn't tailored to this tutorial, but you'll get the general idea.


Let's say you have a web page where you need your MasterCard details.  Just bring up QuickPaste (Ctrl+Shift+Q) while you're still on the page.  Enter .CC.M, and you are presented with the Mastercard details.  That is probably all of the shortcut that you need to enter, as you can now use the arrow key to navigate between the handful of resulting entries.  Select the first item that you need, and press ENTER.  Now it's pasted into the web page.  Ctrl+Shift+Q again, and you'll see that  your shortcut search is still active - so just pick the next item, and ENTER.  Cool!



You will want to create other hierarchies of information, so give some thought to the structure of the shortcut.  CC is obviously for credit card details.  But you may have other categories of important data such as U for URLs that you use frequently.  Then maybe .U.N for "News" URLs, .U.J for "Jokes", etc..  Or maybe Jokes are  so important that you place J at the top of the hierarchy, and have .J.U for "joke URLs", and .J.T for "text Jokes", or maybe .J.K.T for "Jokes, Knock-Knock, Text".  and .J.K.U for "Jokes, Knock-Knock, URLs".  Whatever floats your boat!


For additional reading:

ShortCuts                (The main help topic for ShortCuts)
QuickPaste        (The main help topic for QuickPaste)        
Using Encryption        (Because you may want to encrypt your credit card details)


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