Thursday, October 4, 2007

FamilySearch Indexing Tip: Keyboard Shortcuts

When indexing it sometimes slows you down when you have to move your hand from the keyboard to the mouse. The programmers who created FamilySearch Indexing hate to get slowed down, so they implemented a series of keyboard shortcuts. You'll find they work for you too.

Keyboard shortcuts are special key combinations you can use to accomplish some of the common tasks that might otherwise require moving your hand from your keyboard to your mouse and, a moment later, back to your keyboard.

If the keyboard shortcut is Ctrl+S, that means you press and hold the Ctrl key down while momentarily tapping the S key. After tapping and releasing the S key, release the Ctrl key. For Ctrl+Shift+S, press Ctrl and Shift at the same time, then tap the S key.

Icon Menu Keyboard Shortcut What It Does
  Edit > Ditto Field Ctrl+D Copy Field Above
 Mark the field blank Edit > Mark Field/Record > Mark Field Blank Ctrl+B Mark the Field Blank
File > Save Ctrl+S Save changes to disk. Do this every couple of rows.
File > Save to Server Ctrl+Shift+S Save to Family Search Indexing servers. Do this every 15 min. if your Internet is fast.
    Tab or Enter Move to next field or, if at the end-of-line, the next line.
    Move to next field (stopping at end-of-line).
    Shift+Tab or Shift+Enter Move to previous field or, if at the start-of-line, the end of the previous line.
    Move to previous field (stopping at the start-of-line).
    F2 Change the current field. Then use arrow keys.
  View > Move Highlights > Left Ctrl+Alt + ← Move highlight Left.
  View > Move Highlights > Right Ctrl+Alt + → Move highlight Right.
  View > Move Highlights > Up Ctrl+Alt+↑ Move highlight Up.
  View > Move Highlights > Down Ctrl+Alt+↓ Move highlight Down.
Edit > Lookup Ctrl+F Find in lookup list. (See this tip.)

More keyboard shortcuts are shown on the right-hand side of menus.

Keep your hands on the keyboard and your fingers will fly faster.


  1. I love shortcuts and hotkeys. Thanks for posting these, as they are very handy.

    I put a slew of hotkeys for Windows XP on my web site,, in the Utilities section. Have a look and copy what you need.

    Happy Dae.

  2. Dear Happy Dae,

    May we call you Happy? Tee-hee. Thanks for reading and commenting. Thanks also for your response to Why the 1900 Census!?!. The Insider is planning an article closely related to your comment, so he hadn't yet acknowledged you. Sorry about that. Stay tuned...

    -- The Ancestry Insider Staff

  3. You're the first one who popped up on Google and gave me exactly what I wanted! I just needed to know how to adjust the highlights. Thanks!


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