We have become so addicted to the mouse that we do not realize how much it disrupts our work as we keep reaching out for it. And just how annoying does it become when your mouse is unresponsive, gets stuck or you trip it over as you try to quickly get a hold of it.
The keyboard on the other hand is far more powerful than we realize. And don’t we have our hands all over it anyways? There are a few cool keyboard tricks that can help you save time and make you more productive.
Here is a short list for the most handy Windows XP and Firefox shortcuts. Some of these may also work in other applications.
1. [SHIFT] + [alt] + [PrntScrn] – high contrast
A window will open, click OK or simply hit [Enter]. This will enlarge the font on all open Windows and change colors to high contrast. For example the desktop will turn black, what was black text on white background will be reversed. Clicking the same key combination again reverts the changes.
2. [Ctrl] + [alt] + [up/down/left/right arrow] – rotate screen
This won’t work on every machine as it depends on your graphics card and video drivers. However, if it does work, it will rotate your desktop.
3. [Ctrl] + select items from taskbar, right-click selected – mass control open windows
You need to hold the [Ctrl] key while selecting open windows from the taskbar. To open the menu seen on the left, right-click any of the selected items.
With this trick you can simultaneously close a group of applications at once or show them side by side or stacked or in a cascade.
This can save a ton of time wasted on rearranging windows.
4. [Alt] + [Tab] – switch between running programs
A little window will launch showing all open programs. Click the [Tab] key to jump to the next application, release keys to open the selected one.
5. [SHIFT] + [Del] – bypass Recycle Bin
Selecting a file and pressing the combination above will invoke a delete confirmation dialog. Clicking ‘Yes’ will delete the file without sending it to the Recycle Bin.
6. [Windows] + [D] – show desktop or restore open windows
This is the keyboard shortcut to the respective quick launch taskbar icon.
7. [Windows] + [L] – lock system
An easy way to quickly protect and lock your system. When you log back in, all programs will still be running and windows will appear just the way you left them.
8. [Ctrl] + [Z] and [Ctrl] + [Y] – undo and redo
I’m sure you all know that you can undo changes using the [Ctrl] + [Z] shortcut. Wouldn’t it be awesome to have this feature outside the computer? Anyways, you can undo an undo, i.e. redo what you did using the [Ctrl] + [Y] key combination.
9. [Windows] + [R], type cmd, hold [Ctrl] + [SHIFT] and hit Enter – run command prompt as Administrator
The command prompt will now be run as Administrator.
10. Create your own keyboard trick!
Are there folders or applications you need a lot? Why not create your own keyboard shortcut to quickly access these tools?
This will only work for shortcuts located on your desktop!
First you need to create an actual desktop shortcut. Right-click on the application and select > Create Shortcut from the context menu. Make sure the shortcut sits on your desktop. Now right-click the shortcut and select > Properties. You should see a line that says "Shortcut Key: <none>”. Click that line and then click a letter ony our keyboard, for example P. A shortcut will be created, in this example [Ctrl] + [alt] + [P]. And there you go, now you have your own personal shortcut key.