A computer mouse (plural mice, sometimes mouses) is a hand-held pointing device that detects two-dimensional motion relative to a surface. This motion is typically translated into the motion of a pointer on a display, which allows a smooth control of the graphical user interface of a computer.
~ Wikipedia (except for the emoji part, that’s on me)
Wow, it’s been a long time since the mouse first appeared in 1968.
I’ll admit to using the mouse extensively ever since I first interacted with a computer, somewhere in the previous millennium
…but I’ve found the light and changed my ways in recent years since I started to code “like a grown up”.
Here are a few useful applications (and websites, and extenstions) I use in order to avoid using the mouse:
- vim. I think that everyone that codes needs to know how to use vim. But dunno about it being your daily driver code editor, I’m not that wild.
When you install vim, there’s a handy tutor accompanying it, called in the oh-so-convenient name
vimtutor. Give it a whirl before you go.
- vimium. Once you’ve mastered vim, the next step is to install vimium as an extension for your browser.
After you install it, press
fon any website, and ta-da! Little tiny yellow stickers appear above any clickable element in the page.
Type the letters you want, and it is as if you clicked on the element. Personally, I think this extension is what really gives you the no-mouse boost to keyboard-land. ⌨️
- cmd+alt+space, or in its other name for windows, winkey+r. Use it to launch apps, search things and many more.
Pump it up on Windows by installing powertoys, and assigning the shortcut winkey+alt+space, because the vanilla winkey+r is boring.
Pump it up on macOS by installing Alfred.
- switching keys. Coming from Windows to macOS can be hard. That’s why I switched my cmd and option keys on my external keyboard using Karabiner-Elements.
- everything. This is an amazing alternative to the native search in Windows.
- common keyboard shortcuts. We all know that cmd+s saves files, cmd+c copies and cmd+v pastes2.
But what about other common keyboard shortcuts?
Well, I got used to shift+shift in PyCharm, and cmd+shift+p in vscode. But when I’m new to a piece of software, I use cheatsheet to find out its shortcuts.
That’s it for now, folks. Tell me in the comments which key is your favorite - mine is the number 6!