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Take a Shorter Shortcut!

Monday, November 22nd, 2004 by | Filed Under: Shortcuts & Keyboard Tricks

Did you know that you can assign a shortcut key to your shortcuts ? Well, you can!

First, why would you want to? Well, if you usually work with your programs maximized (i.e. you can’t see the desktop), it’s easier to press a shortcut key combination than to minimize the current application and click a desktop shortcut.

For example, I have shortcuts on my desktop to several of my most frequently used web sites. I’ve assigned them each a shortcut key.

Now, if I’m working in MS Word and need to hop over to one of these sites, I simply press it’s shortcut key. A browser window opens and I’m at the site. Much easier than minimizing Word, opening up Explorer, hunting through my favorites, clicking the link and having the page load. With shortcut keys, I’m only a keystroke (or two) away!

OK, here’s how to set up shortcut keys:

1. Right click the shortcut you wish to have a shortcut key for and select Properties .


Note that this seems to work best when the icon in question lives on your desktop. I’ve tried it time after time for icons on the Quick Launch tool bar (next to the Start button) and it just doesn’t seem to work for me.

2. You’ll see a box for the shortcut key. Click it.

3. You won’t be able to delete the ” none ” label that’s currently sitting there, so don’t try (OK, I guess you can try if you really feel the need). Instead, just press the key that you would like to use for your shortcut. You can use either letters, numbers, or (my favorite) function keys. Finally, click OK .


If you decide to use letters or numbers, you’ll have to use CTRL+ALT+yourkey to activate the shortcut. Function keys are a single keystroke affair (just be sure to pick ones that you don’t use in your favorite programs or you may be launching apps when you’re trying to do a function).


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