Exploring keyboard shortcuts in Windows Vista

madmatt

Awesome is as awesome does.
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If you're like me, you like to use the keyboard for most, if not all, of your OS navigation tasks. It's merely a personal preference, but I'd much rather use a keystroke sequence than have to remove a hand from the keyboard (I use my right hand for mousing), move the mouse, and return it. It just seems faster to me -- and maybe it allows me to rely less on hand-eye coordination, which, admittedly, is less sharp now that I have much less time to spend gaming :(

Here are just a couple keyboard shortcuts that I've learned of from colleagues or come across on my own:

  • Ctrl+Esc Opens the Start menu
  • Windows Logo Opens the Start menu
  • Ctrl+Alt+Delete used to displays the Windows Security window and now displays LogOn screen including Lock Computer, Switch User, LogOff, Change a Password and Task Manager
  • Print Screen Copies the full screen image to the Windows Clipboard
  • Alt+Print Screen Copies the selected window's image to the Windows Clipboard
  • Alt+Double-Click Displays property sheet for the selected item
  • Alt+Enter Displays property sheet for the selected object
  • Shift Hold when loading disk to prevent AutoPlay application
  • Shift+F10 Same as right-click
  • Shift+Right-Click Shows alternative commands for the selected object


I now find myself using many of these more and more often, especially given my inclination toward using the keyboard instead of the mouse whenever possible.

One of the great things about Windows Vista is the context-sensitivity applied to many actions. For example, think of how the Slide Show command appears in a window's toolbar when viewing a window containing photos; or, how right-clicking a photo displays rotation options in the resulting menu. In the case of the shortcuts above, notice that when you Shift+Right-Click an .XLSX spreadsheet or .DOCX document, the Open as Read-Only option appears, which is not the case when doing the same to a .PPTX slide deck. And for all of these file types, the Copy as Path option is displayed upon Shift+Right-Click, which can be very handy if you're looking for the fully-qualified path to the document -- say, in the case of creating a hyperlink to it.

There are surely more shortcuts that I've yet to discover. What are some of the keyboard or other shortcuts you rely on regularly in Windows Vista? Share your tips in the Comments section and give us a chance to learn from one another!

Source: Windows Vista Team Blog
 
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ming

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Many of these already exist in previous versions of windows if im not mistaken. I'm a bit miffed though because there's no shortcuts for shutdown, restart or hibernate... as far as i can tell. everytime i press Windows,U,U, start menu searches for files starting with the letter "U".
 

ray_gillespie

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Many of these already exist in previous versions of windows if im not mistaken. I'm a bit miffed though because there's no shortcuts for shutdown, restart or hibernate... as far as i can tell. everytime i press Windows,U,U, start menu searches for files starting with the letter "U".

Yeay I kept doing that for days when I first got Vista! I've finally got used to it not working now though. Anyone know if there's any way to change the sleep button on the start menu into a shut down button, or do I need to use the extra menu every time?

How much power does that sleep mode use anyway?
 

jonny813

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1 Dec 2006
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To change the Sleep button to ShutDown Start>Control Panel>Power Options> Then find the power plan you're using, and select Change Settings, then go to Advanced settings and in the dialogue that appears, go to Power buttons and lid, then change the entry for the Start button to Shut Down, OK all boxes.
I'm at school so trying to remember this off the top of my head so names might differ slighty, but it's there
 

jonny813

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1 Dec 2006
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No prob :) Found that in my Vista magazine lol, Also if OneNote 2007 is installed Windows Key+S will create a screenshot that the user defines much like the Snipping Tool, though OneNote needs to be running in the notification area for it to work. Also change the setting under Screen Clipping Defaults to "Copy to Clipboard Only", at its most useful that way

Here's another rather exhuastive list: http://windowshelp.microsoft.com/Windows/en-US/Help/2503b91d-d780-4c80-8f08-2f48878dc5661033.mspx

Sorry can't find the thread by madmatt on cleaning up hyperlinks
 
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