Posted by: evtechie | August 20, 2008

Windows Key Wonders

The windows key – that funky cube with 4 squares on it is also an anchor for a series of keyboard shortcuts to make your windows world run more efficiently. The world of shortcuts began in the days when we didn’t have the convinience of the mouse, and has since evolved to handle small tasks that would otherwise be several clicks away. Here are some of my favorite ones:

  • Windows + R – This gets you to the RUN command, which allows you to manually run a program of jump into command mode [type CMD and you will see that familiar black box with a blinking cursor and path]
  • Just clicking the Windows key of course launches the START button and allows you to move through items with the arrow keys, tabs, and the alt key to select menus. For clients who have lost their mice in the midst of something important, I have walked them through navigating without a mouse.
  • Windows + D – will magically minimize all your windows, in case you are one of the users who plops everything on the desktop and you need to launch something that is sitting there. Doing it again brings all your windows right back up to where they started.
  • Windows + F – is the FIND command, or the Search command, allowing you to search your system by name, date, file type, or numerous other combination. By the way, if you haven’t installed the Windows Desktop Search (already integrated into Vista but available for XP) it is amazing and fast. I love it!
  • Windows + E – is the magic combination to the EXPLORER view of your system. It produces the well known folder list on the left and files on the right. Just another way to navigate your machine.
  • Windows + BREAK (one of those buttons we never think about above the arrow keys) – this will allow you to open the System Properties dialog box, one of the places I head when troubleshooting a system.
  • Windows + L – will lock your system down – which is handy if you are in the middle of something and have to run.
  • Finally, if you want to learn more of these handy little tid-bits, you can select Windows + F1 and search for keyboard shortcuts!

PS. Much thanks to Kim Komando for bringing these to light for me several years ago.

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