Keyboard shortcuts in Windows Vista

If you're like me, you like to use the keyboard for most, if not all, of your OS navigation tasks. It's merely a personal preference, but I'd much rather use a keystroke sequence than have to remove a hand from the keyboard (I use my right hand for mousing), move the mouse, and return it. It just seems faster to me -- and maybe it allows me to rely less on hand-eye coordination, which, admittedly, is less sharp now that I have much less time to spend gaming :(

Here are just a couple keyboard shortcuts that I've learned of from colleagues or come across on my own:

Ctrl+Esc Opens the Start menu
Windows Logo Opens the Start menu
Ctrl+Alt+Delete Then - Displays the Windows Security window
Now – Displays LogOn screen including Lock Computer, Switch User, LogOff, Change a Password and Task Manager
Print Screen Copies the full screen image to the Windows Clipboard
Alt+Print Screen Copies the selected window's image to the Windows Clipboard
Alt+Double-Click Displays property sheet for the selected item
Alt+Enter Displays property sheet for the selected object
Shift Hold when loading disk to prevent AutoPlay application
Shift+F10 Same as right-click
Shift+Right-Click Shows alternative commands for the selected object

I now find myself using many of these more and more often, especially given my inclination toward using the keyboard instead of the mouse whenever possible.

One of the great things about Windows Vista is the context-sensitivity applied to many actions. For example, think of how the Slide Show command appears in a window's toolbar when viewing a window containing photos; or, how right-clicking a photo displays rotation options in the resulting menu. In the case of the shortcuts above, notice that when you Shift+Right-Click an .XLSX spreadsheet or .DOCX document, the Open as Read-Only option appears, which is not the case when doing the same to a .PPTX slide deck. And for all of these file types, the Copy as Path option is displayed upon Shift+Right-Click, which can be very handy if you're looking for the fully-qualified path to the document -- say, in the case of creating a hyperlink to it.

There are surely more shortcuts that I've yet to discover. What are some of the keyboard or other shortcuts you rely on regularly in Windows Vista? Share your tips in the Comments section and give us a chance to learn from one another!


Anonymous said...

The keys with the letters i o p j k l n m , also have numbers on my laptop how do i get them to back to letters. The only way i can manage to do this is by using the "fn" key with the corresponding letter.