Thursday, November 27, 2008

25 shortcuts that make using your PC a breeze

Most people feel that their PC is slowing them down, but do you ever feel that the opposite is true? You may be going the long way round to accomplish tasks, but by learning some of the following shortcuts, you’ll be using Windows Vista faster than ever – leaving your PC to catch up with you.

1 Use keyboard shortcuts
Get into the habit of using keyboard shortcuts for any task you do regularly, and the time you save will soon add up.

Ctrl and C Copy the selected item
Ctrl and X Cut the selected item
Ctrl and V Paste the selected item
Ctrl and Z Undo
Ctrl and Y Redo
Ctrl and A Select everything

2 Access Computer or Documents quickly
Do you often need to access your Computer, Documents or Network folder? To add their icons to your desktop, right-click the desktop, select Personalize, then click on Change desktop icons, and select which icons you want. By right-clicking on them you can navigate to their advanced features.

QUICK ACCESS Get access to your Computer and Documents folders from your desktop

3 Get familiar with the Windows key
The Windows key can be used with others to quickly access applications

Windows key and D Display the desktop
Windows key and E Open Windows Explorer
Windows key and F Open a search window
Windows key and G Scroll through the gadgets on your Sidebar
Windows key and L Lock your computer
Windows key and R Open the Run dialogue box
Windows key and T Scroll through the applications on your taskbar
Windows key and U Open the Ease of Access Center
Windows key and X Open the Windows Mobility Center
Windows key and Tab Bring up Flip 3D
Ctrl and Windows key and Tab Make Flip 3D remain on the desktop, so you can switch between apps using arrow keys or mouse
4 Use the Windows key to open up programs
When the Windows key is used with a number you open up the corresponding program in your Quick Launch menu. For example, if Internet Explorer is the third icon in the Quick Launch area, press Windows key and 3 to open it up.
5 Skip to the end
When working on a document, you can send your cursor to the end of the line using the End button. Ctrl and End take you to the end of the document. If you are viewing a web site, pressing the End key takes you to the bottom.

6 Bringing it all back home
In a text document, pressing the Home button takes you to the beginning of the line, while Ctrl and Home take you to the top of the document.

7 System info in a flash
Pressing the Windows key and holding down Pause brings up the System Properties of your computer.

8 O Task Manager, where art thou?
In previous versions of Windows, holding Ctrl, Alt and Delete opened up the Task Manager. In Windows Vista that takes you to a different screen, so if you want to go to the Task Manager, hold down Ctrl, Shift and Esc.

9 Master the art of desktop shortcuts
Having too many desktop shortcuts can be confusing, so only keep shortcuts for regularly-used programs. The quickest way to create a shortcut is to find the program, right-click it and select Send to > Desktop (create shortcut).

10 Check network connection status
To quickly check your net connection, go to Start > Control Panel > Network and Internet > Network and Sharing Center > Manage network connections. Right-click on the connection and select Create Shortcut.

11 Know Internet Explorer shortcuts
The following shortcuts will help you browse the web faster than ever:
Ctrl and F Find something on a page
Alt and Home Go to home page
Alt and Left cursor Go back
Alt and Right cursor Go forward
Ctrl and D Add page to Favorites
Ctrl and H Open History
Middle mouse button or Ctrl and Left mouse button Open link in new tab
Ctrl and W Close tab
Ctrl and T Open new tabAlt and D Select Address bar
Ctrl and Enter Add http://www. to the start of text in the Address bar and .com to the end

12 Lock your PC from the desktop
If you want to lock your PC quickly, create a desktop shortcut so all you need do is click on it. Create a shortcut, and type in %windir%\system32\rundll32.exe user32.dll,LockWorkStation as the location. Give the shortcut a name and click Finish.

13 Assign hotkeys to your shortcuts
To make using shortcuts even faster, right-click on a shortcut, select Properties and in Shortcut key: hold down the keys you want to use. Now press those keys to launch the shortcut.

14 Pin frequently used programs
Pin programs to the Start menu so they are always within easy reach: hold Shift whilst right-clicking the file or program and select Pin to Start menu. With a registry tweak you can enable this for folders, but be careful as incorrectly editing the registry can cause problems. Type regedit into Start Search and press Enter. Navigate to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Folder\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers. Right-click ContextMenuHandlers and select New > Key and name it {a2a9545d-a0c2-42b4-9708-a0b2badd77c8}

HANDLE WITH CARE Be careful if editing the registry; get it wrong and it could mess things up

15 Send an email from your desktop
Make a new shortcut and type in mailto: followed by your recipient’semail, for example Click Next, give the shortcut a meaningful name and then click Finish. Double-clicking the shortcut will open up a blank email with the address already filled in.

EASY EMAIL You can send an email to a contact direct from your desktop.

16 Assign your Start programs
If you have a program you open as soon as you turn on your PC, get it to start automatically. Create a shortcut to the program and move it to Start > All Programs > Startup. Right-click, select Open and paste the shortcut here.

17 Quick email attachments
You can quickly add attachments to an email by clicking the file and dragging it to the main body of the email.

18 Create shortcuts to favourite web sites
You can save time by having shortcuts to frequently visited web sites on your desktop. Browse to the page that you want and then drag and drop the small icon in the address bar to your desktop.

19 Get the App Launcher gadget
A number of gadgets from can speed up how you use your PC. The App Launcher gadget grants you fast access to files and folders by clicking on an icon that launches them.

LAUNCH PAD Use the App Launcher gadget to open programs with a click of a button

20 Get breaking news with RSS feeds
If you check a number of news web sites regularly, save time by subscribing to their news feed (by clicking on theorange RSS icon). You can then read all the latest headlines all from one RSS reader, such as the RSS Reader Sidebar gadget.

21 Put files in their place with Send To
Add applications you use to open files to the Send To menu. You can also add folders to the Send To list. Open up Windows Explorer and in the Address bar type %APPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows\SendTo and add shortcuts to the programs.

22 Start Search
Use the Start Search to quickly launch programs. Below are handy phrases to bring up applications:

CMD Command prompt
DEV Device Manager
SYS System Restore
NETW Connect to Network Projector
UPD Windows Update
PROG Default Programs
EVE Event viewer

23 Dragging and dropping
To copy a file while using drag and drop hold down the Ctrl key, to move a file hold down Shift and to create a shortcut hold down the Alt key.

24 Launch programs from the Taskbar
Add toolbars to help access programs. Right-click on your taskbar and go to Toolbars > Address to add an addressbar. You can also add any folder.

25 Get organised with Magic Folder
The Magic Folder gadget (from sends files to a predetermined folder depending on their file type, soimage files such as JPEG and BMP are sent to the Pictures folder. Just drag and drop the file on to the gadget.

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