February 19, 2013, 11:00 am
If you’ve been reading ProfHacker for a while, you probably know that one of our primary goals is to talk about those things in academia that people simply don’t talk about. If you’re here–so the logic goes–you must already understand <insert topic of choice here, like which are the prestigious journals in your field>, and so we won’t bother to teach you these things. But these things are important; it turns out that knowing the hidden information of the university is a really powerful way to make yourself more effective in your career.
It also turns out that in some ways academia is very much like the keyboard you’re probably sitting in front of right now. Sure, it’s got those familiar 36 alphanumeric keys. But like academia, the keyboard has hidden information that will make you more effective in your career: keyboard shortcuts.
Keyboard shortcuts can be a great way to get…
January 27, 2012, 8:00 am
Anyone who’s spent some time working on a typewriter can tell you that one of the great things about a computer is how easy it is to type special characters. By “special characters,” I mean those symbols or accented letters that aren’t part of regular use in English but that come up plenty often in your scholarship. Instead of typing an “e” and then trying to position the paper so you can strike an apostrophe on top of it, you can just use a combination of keys to generate the perfect “é.” Much, much easier. Of course, the ease of creating these special characters is entirely dependent upon your ability to remember what the key combination is.
I recently discovered a handy widget for the Mac OS Dashboard that fixes this problem. CharacterPal, designed by tacowidgets.com, provides a small reference for typing the character you want. Once you download and install the widget, you…