When making house calls, I’ll often use a shortcut in Windows to make the task a little easier. My clients ask me how the URL typed itself, or I brought up the desktop without closing programs. Here’s a few of my favorite shortcuts in Windows that could help you work more efficiently.
Quick shortcut for URLs ending in “.com”: This works in most modern browsers. If you have a URL such as Google, instead of typing http://www.google.com simply type “google” in the address bar, hold the CTRL key down and press the ENTER key. The browser will add everything else around the name. This only works on .com addresses. All others you still have to type the whole name in.
Get back to the desktop without closing your programs: I still have an icon in my Quick Launch bar that says Show Desktop. This is one way of doing it. The easiest way, however, is finding the Windows key. On most modern PCs this key is located between the CTRL and ALT keys, and has the Windows logo on it. Hold this key down and type “D”. Your desktop will appear, leaving the open programs unaffected.
Attach a file in email: This will only work in Outlook, Outlook Express, and Windows Live Mail. Here’s two easy ways: Either click and drag the file you want into the email and it will automagically attach itself, or right click on the file, and select “Send To” then “Email recipient.” It will open an email with the file attached. Insert the recipient address, type a message, and you’re ready to go.
Screenshots: Want to take a picture of what’s on your screen and show someone what’s on your desktop or how a program looks? Press “Print Screen” located at the upper right of your keyboard. Then open a graphics program like Paint, Photoshop or Irfanview (my favorite free program). Hold down CTRL and type “V”. A picture of your screen will appear.
Cut. Copy. Paste. Quick! Instead of finding the drop down menus for these items, here’s keyboard shortcuts to make it faster. If you wish to cut something, highlight it and type CTRL “X”. To copy to the clipboard, highlight and type CTRL “C”. To paste, type CTRL “V”.
Each program you use has some keyboard shortcuts unique to that program as well. A way to find shortcuts is to look in the drop down menus. If you see something like “FIND AND REPLACE … CTRL-F”, you’ve found the keyboard shortcut for that item.
Shortcuts can make your work go smoother and easier.