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HolidayBuyer's Guide
Phones

Android keyboard shortcuts

With the range of touchscreen-only Android devices that have been released in Australia to date, we haven't had to think too much about keyboard shortcuts. But with new handsets, like the Motorola Milestone 2 coming to town, it's time to take a closer look at what you can do with an Android phone without touching the screen.

With the range of touchscreen-only Android devices that have been released in Australia to date, we haven't had to think too much about keyboard shortcuts. But with new handsets, like the Motorola Milestone 2 coming to town, it's time to take a closer look at what you can do with an Android phone without touching the screen.

Android shortcuts
(Credit: CBSi)

Almost all of the shortcuts listed below use combinations of an alphanumeric keys and either Alt, Menu or Search, so first familiarise yourself with where these keys are.

From the homescreen

The six top-level menu items (found by pressing the Menu button) can be accessed with the following shortcuts:

  • Menu + A: Add widget
  • Menu + S: Universal search
  • Menu + W: Change wallpapers
  • Menu + N: open notifications panel
  • Menu + P: Open device settings

You can also open any app from the homescreen using customisable Quick Launch shortcuts. These use the Search + "alphanueric" key combinations defined under the "Applications" heading in Settings. By default you'll find the following shortcuts in place.

Shortcuts for opening Android apps

  • Search + B: Open Web browser
  • Search + C: Open contacts
  • Search + E: Open email
  • Search + G: Open Gmail
  • Search + P: Open music
  • Search + S: Open text messaging
  • Search + Y: Open YouTube

Web browser shortcuts

  • Menu + J: Go back a page
  • Menu + K: Go forward a page
  • Menu + R: Refresh current page
  • Menu + F: Find on page
  • Menu + B: Open bookmarks
  • Menu + A: Add bookmarks
  • Menu + S: Open social network sharing menu
  • Menu + H: View browsing history
  • Menu + S: Open browser settings
  • Menu + D: Downloads
  • Menu + G: Page info
  • Menu + E: Select text

Gmail Android shortcuts

  • R: Reply to current message
  • A: Reply-all to current message
  • Y: Archive message
  • Menu + U: Refresh in-box
  • Menu + C: Compose new email
  • Alt + Up: top of list
  • Alt + Down: bottom of the list

Typing shortcuts

  • Shift + Del: Delete the character to the right of the cursor
  • Alt- + Del: Delete an entire line
  • Shift + Shift (press it twice): Activate caps-lock; press shift once more to exit
  • Alt + Left: Move cursor to beginning of line
  • Alt + Right: Move cursor to end of line
  • Alt + Up: Move cursor to top of page
  • Alt + Down: Move cursor to bottom of page
  • Shift + Left/Right: Highlight text for cutting or copying