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Windows XP Keyboard Shortcuts

In today’s high speed, fast paced IT environment, it’s important to be able to work quickly, and efficiently. To do this, you should learn how to use both the keyboard

and the mouse simultaneously to do many tasks, such as ‘finding a computer on your network’ all the way to X with nothing but a quick and simple keystroke. This article’s learning exercises not only build up speed, and help you be efficient and more productive, but will also help you take the pressure off working with one hand, now you can work with two.

Published: May 05, 2005 Updated: May 05, 2005 Section: Articles & Tutorials :: Windows XP Author: Robert J. S himonski Printable Version Adjust font size: Rating: 3.9/5 - 1030 Votes 1 2 3 4 5



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For a complete guide to security, check out 'Security+ Study Guide and DVD Training System' from In all the systems and computer related classes I have ever taught, or all the classes I have ever taken, learning how to manipulate the keyboard and the mouse at the same time (of just use the keyboard without a mouse in case one is not present) has been one of the most underrated (and least used) features of the system. Keyboard shortcuts are skills we can all use and they only serve a helpful purpose if they can be recalled quickly. This article's mission is to quickly teach you these shortcuts, remind you of them or just provide a handy chart for you to follow if you need a reference. Let's learn how to use the 15 top most commonly used Windows XP shortcuts.

15 Helpful Keyboard Shortcuts

M any peripheral vendors added a lot to their keyboards. one on a laptop keyboard) so you can use either or. Tip 1: Quickly Accessing the Start Menu Keyboard S hortcut: Windows key Figure 2 If you are just plan old ‘sick and tired’ of using the mouse to click on the infamous button to display the Windows Start M enu. Figure 1 Note: Laptop users may have the same keys on their systems.To take advantage of this drill. M ost of you will have something similar to the illustration seen here as this is a standard 101 key keyboard layout. such as multimedia options and so on. First. . then you will be fine. take a good look at your keyboard and be familiar with the layout. the menu will appear. The Windows key once pressed will launch the start menu – once you release the key. so it helps to be familiar with the layout. Using either or (there are usually two of them. If you have something similar. Get used to this key. you should be comfortable using a keyboard. many of the other shortcuts you will use rely on this key. then you simply only need to hit the ‘Windows’ Key. otherwise the speed you want to increase will be taken away by you not being entirely sure where a certain key is. but in different places so take a second to familiarize yourself with key placement before you begin the exercise.

There are a couple of ways to get to the properties. You will not be able to use this shortcut unless you get a new keyboard.Note: You may have a ‘very’ old keyboard that may not include the Windows Key on it. When you need to get to the properties. If you do this very often. many times you will go through a pretty long exercise. Tip 3: Quickly getting to your Run Dialog Box Keyboard S hortcut: Windows key + R . You can also use Ctrl + Esc Tip 2: Quickly getting to your System Properties Keyboard S hortcut: Windows key + Pause/Break Figure 3 There will certainly be times where you will need to access the System Properties for your computer. you may consider using this keyboard shortcut. most commonly by right clicking the mouse over the ‘M y Computer’ icon on your desktop and then selecting properties from the drop down menu.

just type calc in the Run dialog box and if in the path statement.exe). or simply enter the path to one if not already entered in the system’s path statement. Note: You can also quickly access websites by entering URLs in the Run dialog box …. -or.txt Tip 4: Quickly Locking your System Keyboard S hortcut: Windows key + L Figure 5 .Figure 4 The Run dialog box is used to allow you to either browse to a command to run.You can also open files with the following: file:///C:/filename. it will simply run. (path=) To quickly run an executable (such as calc. The Run dialog box is used often so this shortcut will really come in handy.rsnetworks.

Tip 6: Quickly Minimizing and Restoring Windows Keyboard S hortcut: Windows key + D . Tip 5: Quickly Search for Anything Keyboard S hortcut: Windows key + F Keyboard S hortcut: Windows key + Ctrl + F Figure 6 If you want to find files (and or computers. remember the old name for it. You can also use this feature to find other computers on your network if you wanted to add the ctrl key in that keystroke sequence. the quickest way to do this was to use the Ctrl+Alt+Del key sequence (will be covered shortly) which would allow you to select an option to ‘Lock Workstation’. that’s how. Using this keystroke will allow you from moving to using three keys and the mouse to navigate to a simple keystroke that will lock your system immediately. If not. How do you quickly lock up your PC and allow it to be secure from immediate access at the console? By locking it up. you can use the original keyboard shortcut and then just select Computers or people as the criteria you want to search.There will surely be times where you want to quickly step away from your system and not leave it accessible to prying eyes in the office or home. and other random things on your system) you will want to use the Search feature built into Windows XP. which was simply Find. Commonly. To use this. you should see your Search Results dialog box come up. Now – the Windows Key + F will invoke the Search function and within a few seconds. Use this feature to find items on your system or on remote systems that you may have access and connections to.

M any times I am very tied up (like right now) with many Windows open on my system.Figure 7 One of my favorite keyboard shortcuts is the Windows Key + D shortcut. this is also a quick way to reveal the desktop. as well as to put it back again. Try to remember the word ‘desktop’ when you try to remember the D. Tip 7: Quickly getting to the Utility Manager Keyboard S hortcut: Windows key + U Figure 8 Users can start accessibility programs before logging on to the computer by using this keystroke. There are times where I may want to view the desktop for one reason or another. and that can ‘very’ quickly be done with a keystroke. This is because most times. Another very quick way is if you have the ‘quick launch’ toolbar setup in your Taskbar. I am working within multiple applications. think of using this shortcut to reveal the ‘desktop’ and it may help you remember it. but this is one of the quickest. If you do in fact have this set up. There were many ways to minimize all Windows that may be blocking view of the desktop. If you are fond .

look no further. Narrator. Narrator. Tools such as 'M agnifier' and 'Narrator' can be set to start automatically and so on with this system utility. so be patient. or when Utility M anager starts. Note: Utility M anager enables users to check an accessibility program's status and start or stop an accessibility program. Using Utility M anager. and On-Screen Keyboard. Tip 8: Quickly getting to Help and Support Keyboard S hortcut: Windows key + F1 Figure 9 If you are in need of help or support. then this keyboard shortcut will definitely help you to get to it. By using Windows Key + F1 (the F1 key). starts when Utility M anager opens. The built-in accessibility programs available from the Utility M anager are M agnifier. a text-to-speech program.of using the Utility M anager. when you lock your computer desktop. then you can use the help and support system that comes with Windows XP. Users with administrator-level access can designate to have the program start when Utility M anager starts. Tip 9: Quickly getting to Windows Explorer Keyboard S hortcut: Windows key + E . you can tell Windows to automatically start accessibility programs each time you log on to your computer. Note: Help and Support may take a second to load on most systems. This gives users who are blind or have impaired vision immediate access to Utility M anager.

.Figure 10 Here is another great shortcut you may not know about. Note: . This will open up Windows Explorer for you so you can manage files and other forms of data on your system. Tip 10: Quickly delete something without being ASKED to Keyboard S hortcut: S hift + Del Figure 11 This is absolutely my all time favorite shortcut. so be patient if it takes a moment.. If you want to access Windows Explorer (not Internet Explorer – the Web browser). you can use the Windows Key + E shortcut. this keyboard shortcut allows you to bypass the asking – your data is deleted without question. now you can delete something from your system and not be asked 82 times if I really am sure I want to do that.. Be aware that this may take a moment to open if you are working on a network and have mapped drives.

it happens to be a very helpful one especially if you do not have a mouse attached to your system. Although this is not the ‘fastest’ keystroke sequence in the world. if you have Office document on your desktop (let's say. but honestly.This is only dangerous if you are not sure if you want to delete something or not. Tip 11: Quickly getting to your shortcut menu Keyboard S hortcut: Windows key Figure 12 Newer keyboards have a key that allows you to now get properties menus from anything you select that can provide you with a menu. with the fact being that you have to ‘empty’ your recycle bin anyway… as long as you don’t have a task set up to do it – then this is definitely something you want to consider. Tip 12: Quickly getting to your Task Manager Keyboard S hortcut: Ctrl + Alt + Del Figure 13 By far the most commonly used keystroke sequence used on just about any and every Windows system ever . For instance. a spreadsheet named tax.xls) then you can select it and press the Window key and then the shortcut menu key and you can now quickly view properties for a selected object.

it will allow you to lock your workstation. highlighting and selecting a specific program will bring that one to the foreground. Tip 14: Quickly Getting to Full Screen Command Prompt Keyboard S hortcut: Alt + Enter . and then the Delete key (Del). Note: This keystroke needs to come with a small warning. then the Alt key (Alt). maximized in your screen so that you can work within it. but then some unwanted results as well. By selecting the Alt key and then holding it down (try this with your left thumb) and then use the tab key to switch between running programs. Releasing the Alt key brings up the program you want to use. then you will get no results other than your Caps Lock being on and maybe causing you some confusion and headaches a little later on. As well. if you hit the Alt key only by accident.created. By pressing (and holding down) the Control key (ctrl). Just be aware that missing keys and hitting others in this situation will not only cause you to not get the result you wanted. it will select the ‘menu’ in just about any open dialog box you have in the foreground. Tip 13: Quickly switch between running programs Keyboard S hortcut: Alt + Tab Figure 14 If you work with many programs (most people who work on computers these days fit this description) then you will definitely want to learn about and master the Alt + Tab keystroke sequence. If you hit the Caps Lock key by accident. change a password as well as use Task M anager.

Simply right-click an application shortcut in the Start menu or on the desktop and choose Properties. follow these steps: 1. Just be aware of how you are using the command keystroke and what you have open at the time. it is too intrusive and cumbersome – using the Keyboard shortcut will give you want you want very quickly and give you access to both types (Windows or Full Screen) as quickly as you can hit the keystroke sequence. This will then open your Command Prompt. To make a shortcut. so. we already learned the shortcut to get to the Run dialog box. CM D gives you full screen mode only if you select it from the properties of the Command prompt Windows – you can select full screen mode by default. Tip 15: Quickly make your own Shortcut M ake your own shortcuts… wow. to open it you can use the Run dialog box. does it get any better? Ok. once open. such as M icrosoft Word 2003. you need to have the Command Prompt open to expand it to full screen. so the Keyboard shortcuts you already learned are lame in your mind or you just want to be different. type cmd and hit enter. but I don’t like it this way. The only problem with this is. I assign a keyboard shortcut for the files and applications that I launch many times a day. . Alt + Enter with no programs open it may do nothing.Figure 15 If you want to see the Command Prompt in full screen (not in a small Window). you can quickly expand it to full screen with the Alt + Enter keystroke sequence. whatever you’re reasoning… you can make custom shortcuts in a flash. Now. which was using the Windows Key + R. Here is a way to use two keyboard shortcuts at once… as you may recall. Note: Alt + Enter can be very confusing because its one keystroke that does ‘many’ different things depending on where you are at the time of usage.

Figure 17 3. Click OK to close the properties windows and use your new keyboard shortcut. or Alt and/or a function key or a key on keypad.Figure 16 2. One prerequisite of Windows is that your shortcut must use at least two modifier keys (Ctrl. 4. I use a lot of Ctrl + Shift + Alt key sequences. Click in the 'Shortcut key' box and press your desired shortcut keys. You can use your own desired sequences as well. Shift. If not already selected. select the Shortcut tab. Note: .

Stay tuned for future shortcuts! Like 15 eet Tw 0 0 99 . Summary a d v e r tis e m e n t In this article we covered the basics of working with the keyboard to increase your speed and efficiency when working with Windows XP. follow the same path into your properties dialog again and just select the ‘Shortcut Key:’ field and then backspace one time to remove the shortcut.If you want to remove your shortcut. Click Ok to close the properties windows and the shortcut keyboard sequence will be removed.

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