| By Woody Leonhard |
I have used Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V, Ctrl+X, and other standard shortcut-key combinations for so long they now live in my subconscious.
Recently, I discovered a handful of obscure-yet-useful keyboard shortcuts that I now use on a daily basis, and while you may already know about one or two of ‘em, I bet a few of my favorites will come as a surprise to you.
See your System Properties dialog in a flash
Vista’s System Properties dialog box is a font of information. The applet shows which version of Windows you’re using (including the Service Pack number), the system’s Windows Experience Index, the computer and domain name, your Product ID, and your Windows activation status. In XP, System Properties shows only the Windows version, the name of the registered user, and hardware information.
You can open System Properties by right-clicking Computer (or My Computer) and choosing Properties. But you’ll get there faster by holding down the Windows key and pressing Pause. This shortcut comes in very handy whenever you go to a computer store and want to compare the Windows Experience indices of various PCs. The sales clerks will hate you.
Open Quick Launch shortcuts in an instant
No doubt you set Windows to show the Quick Launch toolbar. If you don’t see this toolbar next to your Start button, open it by right-clicking an empty spot on the Windows taskbar and choosing Toolbars, Quick Launch.
The one-click icons in the Quick Launch toolbar make it fast and easy to launch the programs, folders, and files you use most often. You can even create a new document by clicking a shortcut for a custom template. My Jan. 25, 2007, column provides more details on your Quick Launch options.
You can “click” any of the first 10 icons in the Quick Launch toolbar by pressing the Windows key and a number: Win+1 launches the first icon, Win+2 launches the second, all the way to Win+0, which launches the 10th.
The fastest route to the Task Manager
Want to run Task Manager in Windows XP? Use the old Vulcan three-finger salute, silly: Ctrl+Alt+Delete. Live long and prosper.