Keyboard & Program Shortcuts
Most people know that you can use the keyboard to speed up access to common commands and functions. Some people use these 'keyboard shortcuts' a great deal, others rely on their trusty mouse. I've rounded up the majority of the most useful Windows keyboard shortcuts, and even some shortcuts you can type in the Start>Run box to gain quick access to useful utilities in Windows. I highly recommend you try and get used to using some of these as they quickly become second nature. My personal favorite is Windows Key and E pressed together to bring up Windows Explorer anywhere, anytime...try it and you'll never use the Windows Explorer shortcut again!
Before we go any further, for those of you with damaged or broken keyboards, or some sort of impairment which doesn't allow you to use a keyboard easily (drunkenness or illiteracy don't count), try the following tweak.
Microsoft On-screen Keyboard
Tool: MS On-screen Keyboard
So you're a mouse fan, huh? Keyboard broken or problems using it? Want to surf the net one-handed? Say no more, because you can bring up the handy MS Onscreen Keyboard by going to Start>Run and typing "OSK" (without quotes). Up pops the virtual keyboard. You can now click anywhere on the screen where text is used, strategically position this on-screen keyboard and use your mouse to left-click on each key just as if it were a real keyboard. Make sure under OSK Settings that Always on Top is selected for optimal use.
Note if you don't like to or can't click the left mouse button, in OSK go to Settings>Typing Mode and select the Hover to Select option. Now you can just put your mouse cursor over a key on the OSK and it will register as an entry. Set the length of time needed to hover over a key before it registers as an entry (values in seconds between 0.00 and 1.00 second).
Now, let's get on with presenting the most useful keyboard and program shortcuts.
Ok, here are the most useful keyboard shortcuts:
Print them out, use them often and soon you'll be using them without even thinking twice about it!
The following are quick and easy ways you can access common Windows XP programs without having to find and click the relevant icon. To use these shortcuts, go to Start>Run and type the shortcut into the box exactly as given, without any quotes. You can also use these shortcuts when creating desktop icons for example.
If you want to get to a particular directory folder, type the name and path of the folder in the Run box and Windows Explorer will open up in that directory instantly. If you don't specify the full path, Windows Explorer will open up at the first incidence of that directory. E.g. type in "C:\Documents and Settings" (without quotes) and it will open up Windows Explorer in that directory.
Administrative Tool Shortcuts
Services.msc - Services
Gpedit.msc - Group Editor (XP Pro only)
Comexp.msc - Component Services
Eventvwr.msc - Event Viewer
Secpol.msc - Local Security Policy
Perfmon.msc - Performance Monitor
Compmgmt.msc - Computer Management
Calc - Calc
Cmd - MSDOS/Command Prompt
Notepad - Notepad
Pbrush - Paint
Wmplayer - Windows Media Player
Wordpad - Wordpad
Wupdmgr - Windows Update
Control Panel Shortcuts
Control - Control Panel
Sysdm.cpl - System Properties
Desk.cpl - Display Properties
Main.cpl - Mouse Properties
Timedate.cpl - Clock Properties
Inetcpl.cpl - Internet Properties
Mmsys.cpl - Sounds and Audio Devices
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