Keyboard Shortcuts

Windows key to minimize all windows

Posted: 2/21/2001

If you had to minimize all your windows to get to the desktop quickly (in a windows environment), how would you do it? There are several ways, but the quickest (for folks who prefer keyboard shortcuts) is to use the "windows key" (on keyboard that have this special key).

Holding the Windows key like a shift and pressing 'm' (windows+m) will immediately minimize all windows.

This can be useful when you need to reset the screen size for your computer (right-click on the desktop, choose properties>settings>screen area, to adjust), or to use a shortcut on your desktop.

To open them all back up again, simply use the Windows key plus the shift key and 'm" all at once (windows+shift+m).

If you're always going to the desktop to open "my computer", wait till the next tip for something even more compelling.

BTW, I realize there are lots of other ways to get to the desktop, including right-clicking on a blank area of the status bar at the bottom of windows and choosing "minimize all windows", as well as a new icon to the right of the start button in later releases of Windows. But this is about keyboard shortcuts. Say no to the mouse!

Windows Key to open Windows Explorer

Posted: 2/21/2001

You probably need to access your computers directory tree and fil display, but if you do that by minimizing all your windows to get to "my computer" on your desktop, you're wasting time.

Just use the windows key and 'e' (windows+e). That will open "windows explorer", which is another windows file system interface very much like "my computer". But you can get at it in one keystroke, and without need to minimize your windows (see the last tip for a short cut for doing that when you really need to).

Traversing Directories in Windows Explorer and other File/Directory Windows

Posted: 1/21/2001

Once you are inside Windows Explorer (or my computer, or really any other file/directory browsing window based on that interface, including ColdFusion Studio, Outlook's Folders, and more), you may find that you are often expanding and contracting directory displays by clicking on the "plus" sign next to the directory name.

That's not the only to expand the directory structure. You can also use the right-arrow key to expand and the left-arrow key to collapse a directory. Just be sure the keyboard focus us on the list of directories. (If an up arrow moves up the list of directories, then these keystrokes will work.)

Moving document up/down with Ctrl+up/down

Posted: 1/21/2001

This is a useful tip for those already familiar with using the keyboard to navigate screens and documents. Rather than use the up or down arrow (or window slider or mouse gadgets) to move a document up and down in your view, use Ctrl+up/down arrow.

MS Office tip: Repeat last action

Posted: 1/21/2001

This tip will only be useful for MS Office and related tools (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Etc.): f4 will repeat whatever last command you entered. So while they don't allow f3 to repeat a find like most tools, you can use f4 after doing a find to repeat it.
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