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WinXP Tweaking: From Relax to Righteous

By: Koroush Ghazi | Guides | Posted: Feb 8, 2003 5:00 am

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.


Keyboard 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!


Program Shortcuts


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.


Directory Shortcut


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


Accessories Shortcuts


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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Microsoft Windows XP Professional x64 Edition (ZAT00008) for PC


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