Thursday, May 05, 2005

Key XP Shortcuts

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.

  • Display Windows Help: Windows-F1.
  • Move through the list of help topics, articles, and other items showing: Tab or Shift-Tab.

    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.

  • Move back or forward to a previously viewed topic: Alt– to move forward; Alt– to move back.

    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.

  • Print the current help topic or current selection: Tab or Ctrl-Tab to go to the right pane; Ctrl-P to call up the Print dialog box and print.

    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.

    Windows-Wide Shortcuts

    The shortcuts in this section will work just about anywhere in Windows, including most application programs.

  • Select all the text in a pane: Ctrl-A.

    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.

  • Open the context menu for the currently selected item: Application key.

    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.

  • Turning on MouseKeys: Alt--.

    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.

  • Copy an image of the currently selected Window to the Clipboard: Alt-. You can then paste the image into a document. Using Alt- confines the capture to the currently selected window or dialog box, as opposed to , which captures the entire screen. If no dialogs are open, Alt- gives you a picture of the current app.

    Windows Housekeeping

  • Open My Computer: Windows-E.

    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.

  • Lock your computer and hide the screen: Windows-L.

    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.

  • Search for a computer on your network: Windows-Ctrl-F.

    Office Shortcuts

    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.

  • Display the menu or message for a smart tag: Alt-Shift-F10.

    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.

  • Move between a document pane and an open task pane: F6.

    Depending on the program and how many panes are showing, you may need to press F6 more than once.

  • Switch to the next or previous tab in a multitab dialog box: Ctrl-Tab for the next tab; Shift-Ctrl-Tab for the previous tab.
  • Select the buttons across the top of the Save As or Open dialog box: Use the Alt key plus the number that matches the position of the button, counting from left to right and starting with the Back Arrow icon (to the right of the Look In or Save In drop-down menu box).
  • Go back to the previous folder you looked in: Alt-1.
  • Go up one folder level: Alt-2.
  • Close the dialog box and search the Web: Alt-3.
  • Delete the currently selected folder or file: Alt-4.
  • Create a new subfolder: Alt-5.
  • Cycle among showing List, Details, Properties, and Preview views: Alt-6.
  • Open the Tools menu: Alt-7 or Alt-L.
  • Open the Look In or Save In list: Alt-I.

    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.

  • Turn the microphone on and off: Windows-V.
  • Switch the Language bar between Voice Command mode and Dictation mode: Windows-T.
  • Turn handwriting recognition on and off: Windows-H.
  • Open the Correction dialog: Windows-C.

    Word Shortcuts

  • Insert a nonbreaking space: Ctrl-Shift-Spacebar. This is handy when you don't want a line to break in the middle of a phrase or name.
  • Insert a nonbreaking hyphen: Ctrl-Shift-Hyphen. This shortcut is useful when you don't want a phrase to break at a hyphen, as in Anna-Marie.
  • Insert the Euro symbol: Type 20ac followed by Alt-X. With this shortcut, you may have to add support for the Euro to your operating system to see the symbol on-screen.
  • Insert a tab character in a table cell: Ctrl-Tab.
  • Use Format Painter without the mouse: Ctrl-Shift-C to copy the format of selected text or text the cursor is in. Then select the target text and press Ctrl-Shift-V to apply the format to that text.
  • Turn Track Changes on/off: Ctrl-Shift-E.
  • Switching views: Alt-V, P for Print Layout, for Normal, or O for Outline view.

    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.

  • Switch to print layout view: Alt-Ctrl-P.
  • Switch to normal view: Alt-Ctrl-N.
  • Switch to outline view: Alt-Ctrl-O.
  • Switch to or from Print Preview: Alt-Ctrl-I.

    Excel Shortcuts

  • Move to the next worksheet: Ctrl-PgDn.
  • Move to the previous worksheet: Ctrl-PgUp.
  • Select multiple worksheets: Shift-Ctrl-PgDn. This command selects the current worksheet and the one that follows. If you hold down the Shift and Ctrl keys, each press of PgDn extends the selection forward by one worksheet. Shift-Ctrl-PgUp works the same way but selects the current and previous worksheets.
  • Entering currency characters: First make sure NumLock is on. Then hold down the Alt key and type the appropriate number from the list below. Release the Alt key only after typing the entire number.

    Cent (¢): 0162.

    Pound sterling (£): 0163.

    Yen (¥): 0165.

    Euro (€): 0128.

    This technique works in many other apps as well, and it's worth trying in programs that don't offer better alternatives.

    Operating Systems
    Office Applications
    Windows 95
    Windows 98
    Windows ME
    Windows 2000
    Windows NT
    Windows XP
    Windows XP (Tablet PC)

    Microsoft Word
    Microsoft Excel
    Microsoft Powerpoint
    Microsoft Access
    Microsoft Outlook
    Microsoft Office
    Microsoft Internet Explorer
    Netscape Navigator

    Digital Cameras

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