Tips and Tricks for BlackBerry Users

If you’ve been reading this blog for long enough, you know I don’t own an iPhone. How is it possible for a designer to not own an iPhone? Read one of my most popular posts: “Why I don’t have an iPhone (but might someday).”

I am the proud owner of a BlackBerry 8830 World Edition on the Verizon network. I’ve had it for a year and a half and it makes me very happy. When the BlackBerry Tour 9630 is released sometime in July, I’ll be the first in line.

Recently a new friend taught me a whole bunch of tips & tricks on the BlackBerry that I had never stumbled upon before (and some which I use often), so like any good neighbor now I share them with you.

If you don’t know the names of the keys, you’ll need to refer to this diagram from Mobile Wireless News:

Navigation Shortcuts

  • To go to start/top of list or page: press T
  • To go to end/bottom of list or page: press B
  • To bring up the Taskbar on any screen: press ALT + Escape (similar to Mac Command+TAB or Windows ALT+TAB)

Typing shortcuts

  • To insert your phone number: type mynumber
  • To insert your PIN: type mypin
  • To insert your the local date: type LD
  • To insert your the local time: type LT
  • To insert an opening parenthesis ( : type br
  • To insert a closing parenthesis ) : type rb
  • To insert your signature: type sig
  • Press SPACE twice to insert a period and capitalize the next letter
  • Press SPACE to insert the “@” and “.” characters in an Email field
  • To copy highlighted text: press ALT and click the trackball
  • To paste previously copies text: press Shift and click the trackball
  • To create your own AutoText: go to Options > AutoText > Select “New” from the menu

Email shortcuts

  • To compose a new message from within Messages: press C
  • To show only incoming mail: press ALT + I
  • To show only sent mail: press ALT + O
  • To show only show phone log messages: press ALT + P
  • To show only SMS messages: press ALT + S
  • To show only voicemail messages: press ALT + V
  • To make an unread message read or a read message unread: press ALT + U
  • To toggle between a contact’s display name and email address: highlight the contact and press Q

Browser shortcuts

  • To move to a specific web page: press G
  • To return to the home page: press H
  • To open the bookmark list: press K
  • To refresh a web page: press R
  • To view the address for a link: highlight a link and press L
  • To view the address for a web page: press P
  • To view a thumbnail version of a web page: press X. To return to the normal view, press any key

Miscellaneous shortcuts

  • To dial alphanumeric phone numbers: Hold down ALT while typing letters (converts to numbers)
  • To bring up the “Help Me!” screen that lists version, app version, pin, imei, uptime, signal strength, battery level, file free, and file total: hold down ALT + Shift, then the letter H
  • To reboot without having to pull the battery: hold down ALT + Shift + Del

For some more advanced shortcuts, check out

If you have any useful tips & tricks that I didn’t include here, let us know in the comments!

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