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Windows Key

Thursday, November 18th, 2004 by | Filed Under: Shortcuts & Keyboard Tricks
 
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Q:
I just noticed a key on my keyboard that I’ve never really used before because I have no idea what it’s for. It’s in between the left Ctrl and Alt and has a “flying window” on it. Can you help?

A:
Ahh, the Windows key. I remember the first time I noticed her… She sat lifeless until someone explained to me the power she possessed. And now I will pass the knowledge on to you so that together we can rule the univ…, well, our computers…

The Windows key can be used in conjunction with other keys to act as a keyboard shortcut for faster access to menu commands. Now, while the Alt key tends to open program menus (ex: Alt+F opens the File menu and Alt+E opens the Edit menu) and the Ctrl key performs actual operations (ex: Ctrl+C will copy and Ctrl+V will paste), the Windows key will open various Windows tools…

Windows key + R will open the Start menu’s Run box
Windows key + F will open the Start menu’s Find window
Windows key + E will quickly launch Explorer
Windows key + Pause/Break will open the System Properties window
Windows key + M will Minimize all windows
Windows key + Shift + M will undo Minimize all windows
Windows key + D will switch between minimizing all open programs and showing them all
Windows key + Tab will cycle through items on the taskbar
Windows key by itself will open the Start menu

You can also open programs or folders on your desktop by pressing the Windows key + the first letter of the program/folder/shortcut + Enter . Sounds kinda tedious, but if you’re in a bind with your mouse, it can come in quite handy.

~ Steve

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