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Chapter 3. Rapid Rows, Cruising Columns:... > Battle of the Iron Designers

Battle of the Iron Designers

So, you want to challenge the Iron Designer of NY, eh? You select a table with a mouse and I’ll do the same with the keyboard. Ready? Go! Beat’cha....How’d I do it? The same keyboard shortcut usually used for selecting everything on the page—Ctrl+A (Command+A)—works differently within a table. The first time you press it, the table cell is selected; the second time, the entire table is highlighted. How fast can you press the same keyboard combination twice in a row? Pretty fast, right? Actually this shortcut walks up the table structure, so it’s even more valuable when working with nested tables. In other words, first the <td> is selected, and then the <table> that holds the <td>; if that <table> is nested (and therefore also in a <td>), the next time you press Ctrl+A/Command+A, the outer table is selected.

Want to go again? Okay, this time let’s add a row. Ready? G ... I’m done. That’s just how quickly I can press Ctrl+M (Command+M), which inserts a new row above the cursor. Best two out three? How about deleting a row? Whoa—almost got me that time, but only because I had to do a Ctrl+Shift+M (Command+Shift+M). There are equivalent keyboard shortcuts for adding a column—Ctrl+Shift+A (Command+Shift+A)—and deleting one—Ctrl+Shift+Minus (Command+Shift+Minus). By the way, make sure you’re in Standard or Expanded Table mode when you hold this little contest—the shortcuts don’t work in Layout mode and you’ll be left holding the proverbial bag.


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