Six BlackBerry keyboard shortcuts you'll love

Make your Blackberry work harder

There's no doubt that a BlackBerry phones are amazing devices that go a long way to making life that little bit simpler.

However, it's not always the case that user guides or surfing Google will throw up tips and tricks that make using your Blackberry even simpler.

Fear not, we've rounded our five favourite shortcuts that are so good you'll wonder how you ever coped without them.

Navigating message threads

Heavy BlackBerry users know the pain of trying to catch up on an email thread with multiple responses. You may have received the first response an hour ago, the second and third 15 minutes later and a fourth and fifth could have landed in your inbox just as you get to the first.

Without a shortcut, you have to sift through the tons of messages that arrived in between the thread's various components. A much simpler way is to open the first message and then hit the J key to jump to the next response, and so on. You can also return to an earlier message in the thread by hitting the K key. However, if the subject line of the thread has been modified, you may not be able to find all responses using this shortcut.

bookmarking messages to return at a later time

Scenario: you're reading an important and long, message from the boss when you're called away from your device by a coworker or family member in need.

Have no fear, there's no need to scroll through paragraphs you already read when your return to the email if you use this shortcut. You can simply close the message, and when you're free again, just hit the G key after reopening it, and you'll be brought to the exact spot where you stopped reading.

Using multiple message signatures via AutoText

There are clear benefits to using a BlackBerry email signature, but if you're like us, you probably don't want to use the same signature all the time and there are likely instances in which you'd rather use no signature at all.

Switching back and forth between signatures, or occasionally deleting one, can mean using different email inboxes and accounts with separate signatures (or even repeatedly going into your BlackBerry Desktop Manager if you're on a BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) or BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS) account) to make the necessary changes. That's a lot of legwork.

We suggest using pre-programmed AutoText entries to call up different email signatures.

To do so, first delete the current signature you're using via the desktop manager software or your wireless carrier's website if you use BIS. Then click the Options icon on your BlackBerry home screen, choose AutoText, and then hit your Menu button.

Select New from the options list and then fill in the Replace field with an easy to remember command, such as 'ZZ' or 'XX', and the With field with an email signature. You can use this method to create as many different signatures as you'd like by typing different commands into the Replace fields.

Note: when using the new AutoText command, make sure you hit Space after you type your AutoText 'ZZ + Space', for instance or the message may not correctly display your signature.

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Al Sacco

PC Advisor (UK)
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