How To Create Keyboard Shortcuts

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If you are like me, you never have time to do anything. (Or at least, it feels that way.) Well one way to save some time in your day is to speed up some of your processes. Instead of doubleclicking the icons on your desktop, pressing a few buttons could easily do the same thing and simultaneously impress your co-workers. Let me show you what I mean.

This is a screenshot of my desktop. I am using Windows XP, but I believe this strategy works in Windows Vista as well.

How to create desktop shortcuts

Let’s say one of the first things I do everyday is get on Yahoo Instant Messenger to communicate with my coworkers.

How to create desktop shortcuts

I want a quicker way to open it. I suppose I could have it automatically open when I turn on my computer by adjusting the preferences, but that seems to slow down the booting process. So I right-click on the Yahoo Instant Messenger icon and choose “Properties” from the list of options.

How to create desktop shortcuts

A window pops up and defaults to the “Shortcut” tab (as shown below). I choose the letter “Y” as my shortcut and Windows automatically adds the combo of “Ctrl + Alt.”

How to create desktop shortcuts

Once I have the shortcut combo chosen, I click the “Apply” button (the arrow is pointing to it below) and then the “OK” button (located 2 buttons to the left of the “Apply” button).

How to create desktop shortcuts

Now with that done, if I want my Yahoo Instant Messenger to launch, I simply click “Ctrl + Alt + Y” and my Yahoo Instant Messenger launches instantly to my screen like so…

How to create desktop shortcuts

If you like the idea of Keyboard shortcuts, here are a few others to keep in mind.

General keyboard shortcuts


• CTRL+C (Copy)
• CTRL+X (Cut)
• CTRL+V (Paste)
• CTRL+Z (Undo)
• DELETE (Delete)
• SHIFT+DELETE (Delete the selected item permanently without placing the item in the Recycle Bin)
• CTRL while dragging an item (Copy the selected item)
• CTRL+SHIFT while dragging an item (Create a shortcut to the selected item)
• F2 key (Rename the selected item)
• CTRL+RIGHT ARROW (Move the insertion point to the beginning of the next word)
• CTRL+LEFT ARROW (Move the insertion point to the beginning of the previous word)
• CTRL+DOWN ARROW (Move the insertion point to the beginning of the next paragraph)
• CTRL+UP ARROW (Move the insertion point to the beginning of the previous paragraph)
• CTRL+SHIFT with any of the arrow keys (Highlight a block of text)
• SHIFT with any of the arrow keys (Select more than one item in a window or on the desktop, or select text in a document)
• CTRL+A (Select all)
• F3 key (Search for a file or a folder)
• ALT+ENTER (View the properties for the selected item)
• ALT+F4 (Close the active item, or quit the active program)
• ALT+ENTER (Display the properties of the selected object)
• ALT+SPACEBAR (Open the shortcut menu for the active window)
• CTRL+F4 (Close the active document in programs that enable you to have multiple documents open simultaneously)
• ALT+TAB (Switch between the open items)
• ALT+ESC (Cycle through items in the order that they had been opened)
• F6 key (Cycle through the screen elements in a window or on the desktop)
• F4 key (Display the Address bar list in My Computer or Windows Explorer)
• SHIFT+F10 (Display the shortcut menu for the selected item)
• ALT+SPACEBAR (Display the System menu for the active window)
• CTRL+ESC (Display the Start menu)
• ALT+Underlined letter in a menu name (Display the corresponding menu)
• Underlined letter in a command name on an open menu (Perform the corresponding command)
• F10 key (Activate the menu bar in the active program)
• RIGHT ARROW (Open the next menu to the right, or open a submenu)
• LEFT ARROW (Open the next menu to the left, or close a submenu)
• F5 key (Update the active window)
• BACKSPACE (View the folder one level up in My Computer or Windows Explorer)
• ESC (Cancel the current task)
• SHIFT when you insert a CD-ROM into the CD-ROM drive (Prevent the CD-ROM from automatically playing)
• CTRL+SHIFT+ESC (Open Task Manager)

Click here to find more keyboard shorcuts (courtesy of Microsoft)

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