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Windows Vista Security: Praxisorientierte Sicherheit für Profis by Marcus Nasarek

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Chapter 29
CHAPTER 29
Desktop Tips and Tricks with Keyboard
Shortcuts
29
Programmable keyboards are fantastic. I love mine because it allows me to start my
favorite programs and perform common tasks, such as copying, cutting, and past-
ing, with the click of a button. As wonderful as programmable keyboards are, no
programmable keyboard is a substitute for the raw power of the keyboard shortcuts
that are built into Windows Vista and all Windows programs. A keyboard shortcut is
a combination of two or more keys that you can use to perform a task that would
otherwise require using a mouse or other pointing device.
In this chapter, I’ll discuss desktop tips and tricks you can perform with keyboard
shortcuts. I’ll also provide lists of shortcuts for Windows Vista and other Windows
programs.
Using and Creating Keyboard Shortcuts
Keyboard shortcuts are meant to save you time and effort. Since literally hundreds of
shortcuts are available, don’t try to memorize them all. Instead, select and memorize
the ones you’ll use the most and the ones that’ll save you the most time and effort.
Some Windows programs have navigation shortcuts for their menus and menu
options. When you are working with a program, check the menu for shortcuts. If a
letter is underlined in a menu, you can usually press the Alt key and the underlined
letter in combination to display the menu. If a letter is underlined in a menu option,
you can then press Alt and the underlined letter in combination to perform the
related task and display a submenu.
All Windows programs have keyboard shortcuts for performing common tasks.
When you display a menu by clicking it, the keyboard shortcut sometimes is listed
after the name of the menu option. Increasingly, though, the trend is to streamline
menus and menu options by removing the lists of shortcuts, and you’ll find this to be
true in many of the programs that ship with Windows Vista. For this reason, in this
chapter I’ve included guides to the available shortcuts for Windows Vista and some
other Windows programs.
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Chapter 29: Desktop Tips and Tricks with Keyboard Shortcuts
With Windows Vista, you can create keyboard shortcuts to open programs, which is
often simpler than opening programs using the Start menu. All keyboard shortcuts
that open programs require that you use Ctrl-Alt in combination with another key.
For example, rather than clicking Start
All Programs Microsoft Office
Microsoft Office Outlook, you could create a keyboard shortcut that opens
Microsoft Office Outlook by clicking Ctrl-Alt-O.
To create a keyboard shortcut for opening a program, you must modify the proper-
ties of a menu item, a desktop shortcut, or other shortcut that opens the program. If
no shortcut is available for opening the program, you must create one by completing
the following steps:
1. In Windows Explorer, browse to the folder that contains the program. The pro-
gram file will have a .exe extension.
If you cannot see file extensions, click Organize and then select Folder
and Search Options. This displays the Folder Options dialog box. On
the View tab, clear “Hide extensions for known file types” and then
click OK.
2. Right-click the program file and then click Create Shortcut.
3. If prompted to create the shortcut on the desktop, click Yes.
Once you’ve created the required shortcut or located a shortcut to the program, you
can create a keyboard shortcut that opens the program by completing the following
steps:
1. Right-click the shortcut, and then click Properties.
2. In the Shortcut Properties dialog box, click the Shortcut tab, and then click the
Shortcut Key box.
3. Press the key on your keyboard that you want to use in combination with Ctrl-
Alt to open the program. Usually, you’ll want to use a letter or a number in com-
bination with Ctrl-Alt. You cannot use the Esc, Enter, Tab, Space bar, Print
Screen, Shift, or Backspace key.
4. Click OK to save your settings.
You can now use the keyboard shortcut to open the program when you’re working
with the desktop. Although the shortcut will also open the program from within
some other programs, this won’t always work because the program might use this
shortcut.

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