Google Plus / + : simple tips and tricks for beginners

Now that Google + is starting to take off we thought that you would like to find out some simple tips and tricks to assist you when using the new social networking service, in this article we will show you some neat little features and also tell you about some shortcuts / hotkeys.

Firstly when you visit Google + the site responds to certain keys being pressed, if you press the spacebar you will scroll down the Stream, if you press Shift + Spacebar you will scroll back up. Similarly if you press ‘J’ your browser will jump down to the next post, or if you press ‘K’ it will jump up the Stream to the previous post.

It is not obvious how to send someone a private message, however it is pretty simple. All you do is write your message and then make sure that it will not be broadcasted to any circles, simply start typing the recipients name and then choose the correct one from the drop-down list, once you click share it will be sent. You may also want to disable the recipent from sharing the message, click the small arrow in the top-right hand corner and select ‘Disable reshare’ to do this. The image below shows this more clearly.

When sending messages and posting statuses etc on Facebook you were unable to change the text at all, however Google + allows you to put parts of your text in Bold, Italic and Strikeout, you can even combine all three. Below we have embedded an image which shows the effects you can add, neat eh?

If you want to mention someone in your shares simply type either ‘@’ or ‘+’ followed the person’s name and then select the person you want from the list which appears (see below), obviously you can add multiple people if you choose, and in the future you will be able to add business etc. When compared to Twitter you will be able to @ mention more people as Twitter’s 140 character limit was very restrictive.

Finally we must tell you something which is very simple, yet useful. At the moment you can’t get short nicknames to enable you to be accessible more easily. For example in an ideal world you would access my Google + account by going to, however my current URL is much longer (see here), you can shorten your URL by going to, simply write a nickname you want and then enter your Google ID (the long string of numbers in your Google Plus profile’s URL) and then press ‘Add’. Once complete you will have a short URL for your G + account, mine is, why not add me to one of your circles.

We are still learning, therefore as we find out more tips and tricks we will keep you posted, feel free to share your own tips and tricks in the comments section below.

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