Sunday, October 24, 2010


You need to know about certain programs, hotkeys and shortcuts that will allow you to use the computer effectively and safely. 

My experience lately on the internet has been bliss, and that's due to the programs listed in the Windows Safety section.

Windows Navigation 

While trying to figure out how I could get around on Windows 7, I realized: the Windows Key is the center of efficiency.

Simply hit the Windows Key and it opens the Start Menu; begin by typing in the name of any file, folder or program, and before you are four letters into the word, the search has found what you are looking for.

Not only that but it exposes the buttons for 'Computer', Control Panel and all of your recent and pinned programs. (The pinned feature works by dragging a shortcut to the 'Pinned' area.)

If you select Control Panel its worth noting that clicking on the group names brings you to a new menu on that subject.

If you select 'Computer' (Windows Key + E) its worth noting the favorites feature on the left. You can drag folders you go to often there; and to make it faster you can go to 'Organize' above the favorites section and then go in the 'folder and search options' where you will select "Single-click to open an item (point to select)". This can be tricky when it comes to selecting multiple files, but just dont hover over a file/folder for more than a second and it wont be selected; or in 'folder and search options' you can go to the "View" tab, and then scroll to the bottom where you can select "Use check boxes to select items".

Now if you right click the Windows Explorer button (Figure 1 [Right]) you get the frequently visited folders section and pinned section. This is for getting in and out of a single folder quickly. The Favorites you have created come into play once Windows Explorer has been opened.

Figure 1

And if, for some reason, all of that isn't enough, you can assign a shortcut a hotkey, right click on it, go to Properties and enter your Ctrl + Alt + X or Ctrl + Shift + X hotkey under "Shortcut Key". It's worth noting that if your choice is already a default windows hotkey (e.g. Ctrl + Shift + Esc), it will not work.

By chance this brings us to the Task Manager, whose hotkey is now Ctrl + Shift + Esc. You can also right click on the Task Bar and open it there.

Right clicking the task bar and choosing 'Properties' allows us to change the taskbar buttons, for open programs/folders, back to the Windows XP icon / text combo style, 

by changing 'Taskbar buttons: Always combine, hide lables' to one of the other two options.


(Windows + Pause) will take you straight to the system menu which is nice. If you then go to Advanced System Settings, then Performance (Settings), you come to the new Windows 7 visual features enable/disable section.

This brings us to (Windows Key + Tab) which is the fancy new Alt + Tab. Hold down the Windows Key and keep taping Tab.

Oh and Windows 7 has voice recognition too... what are we doing using keyboards ;) . 

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