Why is “Command F” (“Control F” for PCs) So Important?

Note: This year I am blogging weekly reflections at my school site (weskids.com) in order to provide more transparency in my teaching for parents, students, and the community (local and global). I will be cross-posting most of the entries here at Bit By Bit as well. You can see the original posts at the “Reflections by Mr. S” blog.


This week, I thought I would would focus on a skill that all 2nd Graders recently learned (and one that I’ll be focusing on with 3rd and 4th graders soon): COMMAND F (NOTE: the keyboard shortcut is “CONTROL F” for PC users, but I’ll just refer to COMMAND F, since that’s the Mac keyboard shortcut, and we use Macs at school).

Here’s an interesting article that reports that most people don’t know the keyboard shortcut (http://bit.ly/1eSdMu4), so please don’t feel like you’re alone if this info is new to you. In fact, if you have time, you’ll be surprised to listen to a podcast (http://bobsprankle.com/bitbybit_wordpress/?p=4116) that I recorded earlier in the year by Dr. Daniel Russell, Uber Tech Leader at Google, with his talk, “What Does it Mean to be Literate in the Age of Google?” In the talk, he actually shares his shock that many Google Programmers don’t know about COMMAND F!


So, first off, what does it do?

COMMAND F is the keyboard shortcut for FIND. In this age of overwhelming data, we not only need skills to find the correct information in a search engine, but we also need to find information on a page.

Here’s a great example:

Go to our Students’ Poetry Wall page (http://padlet.com/wall/wespoetry). There are a “ton” of poems on there! If your scholar wants to show you his/her poem, you would have to scroll through the entire page, visually scanning for his/her poem. Hopefully you’ll be able to locate it because they put the proper naming sequence that we use here at school (i.e., “3CBob” would mean that I am in “3rd Grade, Ms. Cryer’s Class, and my first name is Bob”). Visually scanning the entire page would be quiet cumbersome.

Using COMMAND F in a web browser will bring up a “SEARCH ON THIS PAGE” box, and a student could easily type in his/her name to find the poem in a few seconds. Depending on the browser, usually the “search box” comes up on the top right side of the window, or the bottom left. Most browsers will actually highlight the word(s) that you’re searching for.

Good news: this trick works in Word Processing applications, and just about any other application that involves text!

Things you can do with your Scholar at Home:

  • Go to the “Student Poetry Wall” and try COMMAND F/CONTROL F and search for the word “pizza.” (For some reason, students have been writing a LOT about pizza). You’ll see the webpage “jump” to the first “pizza” (it will probably highlight it as well). Many new web browsers also show you how many times the word has been used on the page (Chrome does this, for example).
  • Next, try another command that goes right along with COMMAND F/CONTROL F: this command is “COMMAND G/ CONTROL G.” This is very useful when searching for the word “pizza” on our page because “COMMAND G/CONTROL G” will search for the next place on the page that the word “pizza” is. With students, I call COMMAND G the “cousin” of COMMAND F, and help them remember it by showing that it is a command for searching “aGain.”


image credit: iconsDB.com

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2 Responses to Why is “Command F” (“Control F” for PCs) So Important?

  1. celeste says:

    This is my first new learning of the day! What a time-saving shortcut to remember:)
    Thanks, Bob

  2. Bob Sprankle says:

    Thank YOU, Celeste for reading my Blog! :-)

    Happy to help!


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