My Favorite Keystrokes

[I asked production editor Sarah Olmanson to give us an insight into her job. Here’s her report.]

For some people, favorites are things like “raindrops on roses” and “whiskers on kittens.” But for a production editor (and maybe every other computer user), it’s hitting “Cmd+Z”* and “copy and pasting.” Yep, these are my favorite things—at least on a computer.

I spend much of my day laying out pages and making the text editor’s changes to text, captions, and photos. These two simple tools available in pretty much every digital realm make life a lot easier. I can try out a picture on the left, move it to the right, decide I like it better on the left and just hit Cmd+z. If I decide I need something I deleted twenty keystrokes ago, twenty quick keys later, there it is. Most of the time, it’s a lot easier than trying to recreate what I had there.

And copy and pasting? This lets me try three or four different positions for a photo or reuse the same positioning that worked so well twenty pages ago. It also saves a lot of typing and mistyping—Cmd+C in an email and Cmd+V in my InDesign file. Quick. Easy. Done.

Three handy quick keys = two of my favorite computer things.

*Cmd+Z is the Mac quick key for undo; Control+Z is the PC version. Control also replaces Command in the PC quick keys for copy and pasting.