I can get by with MAC via interchange of the Windows Ctrl key with the Apple Command key. To access Right Click menu functionality on a Mac, hold down the Apple control key & then click the mouse.
Many Windows users are already familiar with the combination of the Ctrl key with C (copy), V (paste), X (delete), S (save), Z (undo), Y (redo), P (print), F (find in document), B (bold), U (underline), I (italicise) and W (close window) so below are 20 lesser known but very useful tips.
(1) Keyboard Shortcuts to Open Documents, Folders and Programs
By holding down the Shift and Ctrl keys then Selecting and Dragging a document with the mouse to a new location, a shortcut to the original document is created. The shortcut can then placed on your desktop for ease of access. Provided the shortcut is setup when logged in under your Windows login profile and is not later relabelled or moved from your computer desktop then access can be further enhanced through the use keyboard shortcuts.
Right Click the shortcut, select Properties and in the 'Shortcut key' field enter a keyboard letter or number. For example, if it's a shortcut to Microsoft Word you might enter W. By applying this change you can then open the original document by pressing Ctrl Alt W on your keyboard.
EXAMPLE:As per the accompanying image, keyboard shortcuts can be applied to various programs, folders, documents and even web pages. To help remember the shortcut you might first label the shortcut with the respective keyboard shortcut, for example W for a Microsoft Word document. Placing this label inside a bracket i.e. "( W )" will also enable you to 'Right-Click' the desktop and then 'Arrange Icons By/Name' so your shortcuts are grouped alphabetically and easier to identify amongst any other files on your desktop. Below is a list of common shortcuts I use for my home and work computers:
NOTE: If there's already an "administrator" installed application on your desktop that you can't create a shortcut key for, try right clicking on this icon and creating another shortcut to it. This should enable creation of your own keyboard shortcut via the newly created shortcut's properties.
Ctrl Alt +
- e=Internet Explorer
- 1=(WIP) Work In Progress Folder
(2) Network Drive Mapping ShortcutsUsing the keyboard shortcuts described above for access to a specific folder on a network makes this tip somewhat redundant but I still find this very useful for quick access via Windows Explorer to less commonly used folders. In Windows Explorer/Tools/Map Network Drive/ you can browse and select a specific folder on a server so you don't need to keep navigating multiple sub-folders.
(3) Customised Toolbar(s) for the Windows TaskbarRight Click the Windows Taskbar (pictured below) and select Toolbars/New Toolbar/ you can then choose a folder to use as an alternate means of navigation instead of the Windows Start Menu. If you select the Desktop folder you then get access to all your desktop shortcuts. This a good alternative to the Windows Start Menu because it gives you better control over what folders, programs and documents are contained.
(4) Auto Start Shortcuts on LoginPlacing shortcuts to program(s), document(s) or folder(s) in the following folder on your computer C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs\Startup, will automatically activate the shortcut after you login to your computer.
(5) Instructions.txtI keep a shortcut on my desktop to a text file containing commonly used information such as non-sensitive passwords logins, contact details and instructions etc. Using Ctrl F to search the document is a great way to quickly access and update commonly used information. I've also created an online instructions document via Google Documents and Google Bookmarks which provides option of Google Account/Password secured access from any web browser.
(6) WIP folderCreating a folder in the C drive, labelling it WIP and then placing a shortcut to this folder on the desktop is a good way to keep your desktop clear while still having quick access to work in progress.
(7) Windows EHolding down the Windows key and then pressing the E key opens a new window for Windows Explorer.
(8) Windows DMinimizes all open application and control panel windows for quick access to the desktop and also places keyboard focus on the desktop for navigation via keyboard. If pressed again it re-opens the windows.
(9) Alt TabKeeping the Alt key pressed and clicking Tab enables quick movement between the programs you have open.
(10) Double Click the Title BarUsing the mouse to double click a program's window title bar will downsize/maximise the window without need of clicking the respective button.
(11) F7Quick access to spell check in most applications.
(12) F5Refreshes information displayed in active window. Great for refreshing web page content.
(13) Change Font Display Size with MouseUsing a computer mouse fitted with a scroll wheel is a good means to scroll up and down a document without needing to click and drag a scrollbar but one can also use the scroll wheel to zoom. By holding down Ctrl on your keyboard while scrolling the mouse wheel will zoom in and out on most applications with zoom functionality such as Internet Explorer, Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, Adobe Photoshop etc.
(14) Alt F4Closes the current application. Continuing to press will close all programs and then display option to shutdown computer.
(15) Alt Print ScrnTakes screen capture of active application window rather than of the entire screen. This enables you to resize the window's picture without need of an image editor such as Paint. You can then paste the image into Word/Email etc.
NOTE: Windows S
For computers with Microsoft Office OneNote installed and "active" on the Windows taskbar, a better option is Windows S which enables your mouse to select, copy and paste specific segments of the screen. Pressing Esc on the keyboard or Right-Clicking your mouse will escape from this option.
(16) Windows LLocks computer so login access required.
(17) Google Free Online ToolsWhile not specific to Windows, Googles many free online tools integrate well:
- Google Bookmarks for quick access to favourite websites from any internet connected browser.
- Google Docs is great for simultaneous live document collaboration & transfering large documents from one computer to another that are too big for email transfer.
- Google Calendar offers advanced options for publically/privately sharing calendars & event reminders amongst friends.
- Google Contacts Sync Access to contacts via any internet connected PC and Smart Phone!
- Google Search Box Features can be used as a Calculator, Unit Convertor, Dictionary, Flight Tracker and more Search Tips.
(18) SkypeSkype for Desktop and/or Mobile is great for free 1-1 video-chat on your Mobile Phone or PC, group audio-calling, instant text chatting & remote sharing of your Desktop Screen.
(19) TeamViewerFree non-comercial install of TeamViewer install lets you remotely control any computer as if you're sitting in front of it.
(20) Windows RUsing the keyboard shortcuts described above in (1) makes this tip somewhat redundant. However, if you already use too many shortcuts and/or need to access the same programs from different computers that don't utilise your shortcuts then try the quick access to programs via Window Run, for example try typing:
- calc = Calculator
- charmap = Character Map (Clicking the down arrow enables quick & fast comparison preview of different fonts!)
- control = Control Panels
- C: = Opens Windows Explorer in C drive
- itunes = iTunes
- NOTE: Try typing name of program. This works for excel (excel.exe) but not for example powerpoint (powerpnt.exe)
(21) Ctrl Shift EscQuick access to Windows Task Manager when you want to force quit specific slow responding program. Pressing Ctrl and selecting items with mouse will enable you to shutdown multiple documents/applications.
NOTE: Batch Files
If you often need to "force" quit a particular program, I recommend creating a simple (.bat) batch file. Do this by inserting the following text into a text file: taskkill /im PROGRAMNAME.exe, saving & closing the file and then changing the name of the text file from "New Text Document.txt" to "Kill.BAT". If for example you want to shutdown a Microsoft Word 97 program you would insert taskkill /im WINWORD.exe into the text file. You can get the exact name of the program you want to quit via the "process" tab in Windows Task Manager. As per tip (1) above, if you then create a keyboard shortcut to this bat file you have a fast means of forcing the program to close. You can also use this to close multiple open programs by inserting a line break between commands i.e
taskkill /im WINWORD.exe
taskkill /im POWERPNT.exe
The following code will force quit an unresponsive program and then automatically reopen it:
taskkill /im POWERPNT.exe
start POWERPNT.exe C:\wip\test.pptx