This is a slight departure from our usual marketing topics and more a way you can interact with your computer a little easier. When you spend most of your day using a computer, there can be some frustration when trying to accomplish a task that requires you to navigate several menus time and time again. Software Developers are extremely fond of keyboard shortcuts and will include them into a program anywhere they can. Sometimes they are hidden and sometimes they are obvious. If you have been using Microsoft products for a long time, you probably know about basic shortcuts like Alt + Tab or CTRL + Z, X, C, or V. Some of these shortcuts have been around since the days before windows, so quite a few people are familiar with them. Today, I’m going to share some of the more obscure shortcuts that I find to be useful.

Windows Shortcuts

These are some basic navigational shortcuts that make working with windows a little easier.

  • Win + E opens Window Explorer
  • Win + (1-9) will open up the corresponding pinned program in the taskbar
  • Win + Shift + (1-9) will open a new instance of a program that is already running in the taskbar
  • Win + T to focus on the first taskbar icon. Pressing that combination again cycles through all of the icons.
  • Win + Home will minimize all windows except the active window.
  • Win + M minimizes all windows
  • Win + Shift + M restores minimized windows
  • Win + Up arrow will maximizes a window
  • Win + Down arrow will minimize a window
  • Win + Left arrow docks windows to the left
  • Win + Right arrow docks windows to the right
  • Win + Shift + the left or right arrows moves programs between monitors
  • Win + Tab to switch between open apps

Outlook Shortcuts

Here a few tips for outlook that allow you to quickly get to different areas.

  • CTRL + 1 Jump to Mail folder
  • CTRL + 2 Jump to Calendar folder
  • CTRL + 3 Jump to Contacts folder
  • CTRL + 4 Jump to Tasks folder

Mouse Shortcuts

While these aren’t exactly keyboard shortcuts, they can be pretty useful.

  • Holding shift while clicking an icon on the taskbar opens a new window of that program. Multiple clicks will open multiple windows.
  • When you bring up the window previews from the task bar, if you click on one with the scroll wheel it closes that window (so you don’t have to click the little X).

Advanced Shortcuts

Here are few tips that you may not use every day but they can be extremely useful.

  • Ctrl + Shift + Esc launches Task Manager
  • Win + X brings up some useful settings for laptop users called Windows Mobility Center
  • Win + Pause / Break = Open System info
  • Alt + Double-click on an icon / folder / drive will launch a properties dialog window.
  • CTRL + ALT + Arrow Keys to rotate the screen Warning: This may be used by practical jokers.
  • For power-users who change settings frequently, you can set up a ‘God Mode’ folder for quick settings access. Create a new folder and rename it to:
    GodMode.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}
    The folder icon will change to resemble a control panel. Now you can rename the folder to whatever you want.

I hope you were able to find some of these tips useful and if you have any shortcuts you find useful please share.

By Andrew Glennie, Project Manager at The Partner Marketing Group

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