Help your users with shortcut keys

There's no denying it, keystrokes are faster than your mouse. That is, if you can remember them. Windows desktop has a number of keystrokes based on the use of the special Windows key in combination with other keys. On most keyboards you will find this key near the Alt and Ctrl keys, and it usually has the Microsoft speeding window icon on it.

Your users will appreciate being able to use these shortcut keys to save time, so print the list out in a font small enough that you can have them tape it to the bottom of a monitor, or somewhere on their keyboard housing. Pretty soon they'll learn the shortcuts they use often, and can throw away your cheat sheet.

Here's a short list of some of the functions the Windows key can perform:

  • By itself with nothing selected it will open or hide the Start menu.
  • By itself with something selected the Windows key opens that selection's context menu.

    • +Break will open the Systems Properties dialog box.
    • +D will show the desktop.
    • +E opens My Computer.
    • +F initiates a search for files or folders.
    • +Ctrl+F opens a search for computers.
    • +F1 opens the Windows Help window.
    • +L will lock your computer on a network domain, or allow you to switch users for a computer that isn't part of a domain.
    • +M minimizes all windows
    • +Shift+M will restore all minimized windows.
    • +R opens the Run dialog box.
    • +U opens the Utility Manager.

Barrie Sosinsky (

    Requires Free Membership to View

barries@killerapps.com)is president of consulting company Sosinsky and Associates (Medfield MA). He has written extensively on a variety of computer topics. His company specializes in custom software (database and Web related), training and technical documentation.

This was first published in July 2002

There are Comments. Add yours.

TIP: Want to include a code block in your comment? Use <pre> or <code> tags around the desired text. Ex: <code>insert code</code>

REGISTER or login:

Forgot Password?
By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy
Sort by: OldestNewest

Forgot Password?

No problem! Submit your e-mail address below. We'll send you an email containing your password.

Your password has been sent to:

Disclaimer: Our Tips Exchange is a forum for you to share technical advice and expertise with your peers and to learn from other enterprise IT professionals. TechTarget provides the infrastructure to facilitate this sharing of information. However, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or validity of the material submitted. You agree that your use of the Ask The Expert services and your reliance on any questions, answers, information or other materials received through this Web site is at your own risk.