Take a look at your keyboard. Do you see those keys that say F1, F2, F3 and so on? How often do you use those? If you are like most users, it’s probably once in a blue moon. Those keys are called hotkeys and today, I’m going to show you how to make those keys work to your advantage. I’ll do that by giving you the information you need to program them to run both programs and Web sites. That way, you can execute a program with just one click of a button.
To do so, you’ll need to download a nifty program called HotKeyz, which can be found here.
After you have downloaded it and installed it, open it up. You should see a screen like this:
So, let’s program our first key, shall we? In this example, I am going to program the F12 key to open Microsoft Outlook. (This is just an example. You can program whatever you’d like when I’m finished explaining).
1. To begin, hit the New button.
2. Type a little description about what you want the key to do. I typed in “Launch Microsoft Outlook.”
3. In the command pull down box, select what kind of command this is. I clicked the arrow given for “Select a file” and found my shortcut to Outlook.
4. Now, click the Hotkey box. Next, press the key you want to program. I pressed the F12 key on my keyboard. Keep in mind that you don’t want to program a key that you may use for other things, such as the F1 key, which is often used to access help.
5. Finally, hit OK. I tested my hotkey by pressing F12 and it worked perfectly!
Now, it doesn’t matter if other programs are open, etc. (or whatever I’m doing on my computer at the time), when I click F12, Microsoft Outlook opens.
Okay, now we will program a key to go on the Internet to a specific Web site. In this example, I will be using WorldStart’s tip section on their Web site.
1. Again, hit the New button and type in a description. I typed in “Go to WorldStart Tip Section.”
2. In the command pull down menu, scroll down to where the Internet is selected and choose your Web browser. I selected Mozilla Firefox, because that’s what I use the most to surf the Web. If you use Internet Explorer, then select that.
3. When I selected Mozilla Firefox, more tabs came up at the top of the window. Whenever tabs appear, it’s usually important to check them out. Hit the Perimeter tab. That is the one that will decide which Web site you will go to. I typed in “http://www.worldstart.com/tips/index.php.”
4. Now, go back to the Command tab for the hotkey. I typed in “Alt Z.” That’s right! You can also make your own keyboard combinations.
Now, you can experiment by programming the keys to open programs that you use often. Pretty soon, you’ll be a hotkey programming expert!
~ Neil Patel