A few months ago, I wrote an article about Firefox for translators (Internet & Applications for Translators). In the article, I mentioned that one of my favorite Firefox features was Quick Searches. Firefox renamed this feature to Smart Keywords but the functionality remains the same.
Here’s what I wrote then:
By far one of the best Firefox features. Quicksearches allows the user to assign keywords shortcuts in order to perform searches, so instead of opening a web site, type the term and click on Search, Go, etc, the query can be done directly from the address Toolbar. For instance, instead of going to the KudoZ page, entering the term I’m looking for and hit search, I just type ‘kz [whatever term I’m looking for]’ and the page is automatically directed to the results. It saves a lot of time. In order to create a Quick Search entry, place the cursor on the search field, right-click and select ‘Add keyword for this search’, the keyword is bookmarked. Tip: By default, the Quicksearch Bookmark is stored with the rest of the Bookmark, but I prefer to store it in a folder named Quicksearches to keep them organized.
Some of my Quicksearches are: the Blue Board – bb, KudoZ – kz, Word Reference English to Spanish – ws, WordReference Spanish to English – wd, Acronym Finder – a, DRAE – e, hesaurus – t, etc. The key is to use a keyword that is going to be easier to remember.
I thought of this feature when I read a post on Twitter about a website where the results from both the DRAE (Diccionario de la Real Academia Española) and RAE’s DPD (Diccionario panhispánico de dudas) can be brought up using one single search via the Academia Costarricense de la Lengua. The post was originally twittered by Elizabeth Sánchez and later by Pablo Muñoz Sánchez. The original post (and link) can be found here: Buscar palabras en el DRAE y en el DPD al mismo tiempo (thanks Elizabeth).
Additionally, the cursor can be positioned automatically in the URL bar using a simple shortcut: CTRL+L. In my case, my Smart Keyword is ‘r’, so now I only have to press CTRL+L and r plus the term I’m looking for and that’s it.
Click for a screenshot
Most people with more than one monitor will agree that a multiple-monitor set-up can improve productivity. In fact, a study commissioned by Fujitsu showed that having two monitors increases productivity by 8.4% and having three monitors increases productivity by 35.5%; a study by Jon Peddie Research showed a productivity increase of 42%!
Another study by NEC concluded about text editing tasks: «… both the 24-inch widescreen and 20-inch dual screens were significantly more productive than the 20-inch single monitor configuration in completing these text tasks.» And: «With the costs of larger LCD displays falling, the smaller, (less than 19-inch) monitor is no longer justified in terms of productivity returns and worker well-being… Based on performance and preference from this study, large widescreen or multiple monitor configurations are recommended for use in any situation where multiple documents of information are an ordinary part of the work.» The same report showed a Return of Investment of 600% in certain work environments.
It is also important to note that many studies show that the increase in productivity decreases with monitors that are 26 inches or larger.
Having multiple monitors also has its disadvantages; mainly, space problems. But if you have the space, I say go for it. The only thing needed is a video card that allows the use of multiple monitors or one display adapter (like the ones made by EVGA) per monitor.
Once the multiple monitors are installed, navigating throughout the extended display can be tricky. A simple way to manage all the monitors and windows (even for a single monitor set-up) is through a simple but very useful utility called reSizer. It enables keyboard shortcuts to switch, focus, move, resize and change other window properties in a fast and intuitive way without even touching the mouse. Some of my favorite reSizer shortcuts are: […]
I wanted to use this blog to share some of the applications that I personally find very useful in my job as a translator.
One of those applications is called Direct Folders, a very discreet (and free!) application, yet an invaluable time-saver. DF keeps track of all the recent and favorite folders, and displays them in a context menu available from pretty much any Explorer window, even inside applications.
Double-clicking (mouse left button) on an empty area in an Explorer window brings up the DF Menu that shows the Recent folders expandable menu and the saved Favorite folders. Since I use one parent folder to keep all my translation-related files, I saved it as a favorite and named it ‘TRANS’. So no matter where I am, I can always access that folder in two clicks.