Navigate Windows Help
Windows XP Help and Support Center is far more useful than earlier versions of Windows Help, so you're more likely to consult it often.
Pressing Tab moves you forward through the choices. Shift-Tab moves backward. To select an article or topic, launch a hyperlink, or see a definition, move to that item and hit Enter. You can also Tab to the Search box or use Alt-S and then enter a search phrase. Hit Enter to run the search. If the Help index is in the left pane, use the Up Arrow and Down Arrow keys instead of Tab and Shift-Tab to move through the index items.
This shortcut is equivalent to the Back and Forward icons on the toolbar. These also work in Internet Explorer, Windows Explorer, My Computer, and other windows with Back and Forward icons.
If you want to print just a portion of the Help information, select that portion before choosing Ctrl-P, and then in the Print dialog box, under Page Range, choose Selection. Note that you don't have to expand the sections in the topic; Windows automatically prints off-screen information.
The shortcuts in this section will work just about anywhere in Windows, including most application programs.
This shortcut selects all the text in the current pane of the Help screen and all the text in a Notepad, WordPad, or Word document. It works in Windows Explorer and Internet Explorer, too. This can be useful when you need to copy information to another window or application.
The context-menu is what most people think of as the right-click menu—the list of options relevant to the selected object. Using the Application key is equivalent to—but easier than—using Shift-F10. This shortcut is particularly useful within programs. You can bring up the context menu for words in Word or cells in Excel without having to reach for the mouse.
With MouseKeys, you can use the numeric keypad to move the mouse cursor. After activating MouseKeys, use the NumLock key to toggle the keypad between standard navigation keys and mouse keys; the Home, PgUp, End, and PgDn keys move the pointer diagonally. Use NumPad 5 (5 on the numeric keypad) to click, NumPad Plus (+) to double-click. To right-click, use NumPad Minus (-) and NumPad 5. When you type the shortcut combination on the numeric pad, you'll see a dialog box that includes a Settings button, so you can adjust MouseKey options.
If the MouseKey shortcuts don't work, go to the Control Panel and choose Accessibility Options, then the Mouse tab, and then the Settings button. In the Keyboard Shortcut section, make sure the Use shortcut check box is checked.
In versions prior to Win XP, Windows-E opens Windows Explorer, but the general idea behind this shortcut is that it lets you explore and manage your files easily.
If Windows XP is set to use Fast User Switching, this will bring up the Welcome screen and wait for you to log on again. (You must reenter your password.) If your machine is not set to use the Welcome screen or it's set to use the Welcome screen but not Fast User Switching, Windows-L will hide anything on-screen and bring up the Unlock Computer dialog box.
Not all of the shortcuts in this section work in all Office XP apps, and those that do may not work exactly the same way in each program. But these shortcuts will work in at least Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, and their behavior is similar in each.
Once the menu is open, you can use the Up Arrow and Down Arrow keys to move through the menu. Hit Enter to choose an option or Esc to close the menu.
Depending on the program and how many panes are showing, you may need to press F6 more than once.
Language Bar Commands
With the exception of the shortcut to open the Correction dialog box, which seems to work only in Word, the Language bar shortcuts will work with any program that uses the Language bar, including Internet Explorer and Outlook Express.
Switching among print layout, normal, and outline views is only marginally faster with shortcuts than with menu commands. But if you switch back and forth repeatedly, the difference is noticeable. There is no shortcut, however, for switching to Web view.
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This technique works in many other apps as well, and it's worth trying in programs that don't offer better alternatives.
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