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Some Very Useful Windows Keyboard Shortcuts

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"Some Very Useful Windows Keyboard Shortcuts" takes a look at various keyboard shortcuts that can help you zip along while doing tasks in Windows. Some very common Windows commands are explored as well as some very useful Microsoft Word for Windows shortcuts.

Some Very Useful Windows Keyboard Shortcuts

For some years now I have been a mouse man on my Windows computers. I just grew accustomed to using the mouse and never really thought about any other method of navigating in Windows and working through routine chores. Recently, I have looked at some keyboard shortcuts that have proven to be very useful in that they are faster than mouse clicks to get some jobs done. Some keyboard shortcuts can maximize productivity when using your favorite MS Office software.

The WINKEY can be combined with other keys to do some useful things. The WINKEY is the key identified by the embedded Windows Logo, beside the left ALT key.

Some examples that I use now are:


Minimizes app windows to taskbar to show desktop; press again to restore


Opens a session of Windows Explorer so you can navigate your files


Cycle through open windows on the Taskbar


Display the Windows Search feature


Display Windows help


Open the run window



Open the System Properties window


Open the Ease of Access window


Lock the computer (useful when you have to quickly leave your desk)

There are some interesting shortcut keys available in Microsoft Word too. Take a look below to see what is revealed in MS Word 2007's ribbon when you press and hold the ALT key for a few moments.

The ALT key displays the shortcut key you must use with the ALT key in order to navigate the menu system via keyboard. Note the numerals on the Quick Access Toolbar. To open a new fresh page, just press ALT 1. To save your document, just press ALT 3. To select the Review menu ribbon, press ALT R. When you press ALT R, the Review menu ribbon will indeed become the active menu, and all keys to activate different tasks will be shown just as in the screenshot below. This holds true for all menu ribbons you select.

If you are not ready to select a menu command, press the ESC key twice to remove the letters from the ribbon menu as well as the Quick Access and main menu bar. When you are ready to return to the Home menu ribbon, press the ESC key only one time and you will see the main menu ribbon and Quick Access menu bars highlighted with the appropriate keys to navigate to the Home or any other main menu ribbon.

It was thoughtful of Microsoft to build this helpful little feature into its Office Suite. It makes it much easier to learn the various keystrokes without having to pick up a cheat sheet to do so. After a few times of using this process, the keystrokes will become second nature, and you can really save some time completing your task. This feature works in at least Excel, Powerpoint and Access as well.

What are your thoughts? Do you currently use keyboard shortcuts or are you planning to learn a few of the more useful ones in your Windows sessions?

Your comments are very welcome.


CaptainPC has been hanging around computers since 1982, when audio cassette tapes were common storage media in home computing. He is a church administrator, oversees the church computer network, and holds Comptia's A+ Certification for PC Hardware Maintenance & Repair, as well as Comptia's Network+ certification in general networking. The Captain spends his time maintaining computers, testing software products and cleaning malware infections.

1 Like, article_pluralized, 15,194 Visitors, and 326 Posts.

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This might help me with my new laptop, thanks! I am still adjusting to no mouse on the laptop..

not so much for a laptop, as those can just be shut if you have to step away from it, but

With the winkey + L, how do you UNlock it again?

Edited by somenurse

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Thanks for your response. I hope the shortcuts will be useful to you. I should have included the unlock in the listing. Just press the "Ctrl + Alt + Delete" keys, and then enter your Administrative password to unlock the computer (this is good for XP and later). I know that when you use Winkey + L on Windows 7, your login screen is displayed at that moment and is labeled "Locked". So if you see this, just enter your login password to unlock.

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