Many of you know that I’ve been a software trainer for almost two decades. (Yeah, yeah…I wonder how so much time passed too.)
My favorite part of my day job is watching how excited people get when some nifty trick makes their lives easier. The excitement is contagious and it makes my job really fun.
A while back I was on Twitter when my pal, Julie Glover, sent me the following tweet:
@Julie_Glover: @JHansenWrites OMG! I just found out that WindowsLogo + L locks my laptop & there are other nifty Logo+ functions. Have you posted on that?
Note: I’ve got a gift for my Mac pals too, later in this post!
Just to keep us all on the same page, the “Window key” on a Windows keyboard is usually on the left side of the Spacebar, next to the Alt key. (It looks like the picture to the right, but in black and white.)
On the other side of the the Spacebar, next to the Alt key, on a Windows keyboard is what’s called the “Right Mouse Shortcut Key.” If you hit it at any time, the right mouse menu for what you’re doing will appear. I love it!
So, Julie, in honor of you…here are my favorite Window key shortcuts:
- Window (Win) key on it’s own: Displays or hides the Start menu
- Win+BREAK: (usually “break” is in the upper right) opens the System Properties
- Win+D: Displays the desktop, no matter where you are
- Win+M: Minimizes all of the windows
- Win+Shift+M: Restores the minimized windows
- Win+E: Opens “My Computer” window
- Win+F: Opens Windows’ Search for a file or a folder
- Win+F1: Displays Windows Help (Remember the F1 key does this in programs)
- Win+ L: Locks your computer
- Win+R: Opens the “Run” dialog box
I’d like to elaborate on those last two shortcuts for a minute so you understand their magic.
Window key + “L” (you don’t type the “+” or the quotes) is what I use at work when I walk away from my computer. It’s a quick way to enforce your computer’s password. No one can start working on that computer again until they type in the password. Since I work in an accounting firm, this is important.
For those of you without a password on your computer (or at least on your computer account), I’m curious as to why not. You have a door on your house, right? You probably keep valuable or confidential items there.
I know that for many of you, your kids are your tech support team, but go with me a moment here.
- You own the computer and it likely holds financial data you’d like to protect.
- You’d also like to limit, particularly for younger children, the ability to download.
- In today’s world, you want to know every place your children go on the computer.
- You want to make sure your children cannot lock you out of your own computer.
I’m sure some of you will argue with me about this in the comments section, and swear to me that your computer’s smarter than you are, but I’m going to respectfully disagree.
Your computer is stupid and you can learn to boss it around.
What about the last shortcut, Window key + R? What is the “Run” dialog box? The tech guys in your life use it to get to the “Command Line” where they do nifty DOS stuff.
I use it to open applications like Microsoft Word or my Calculator quickly. I hate to have to browse through three menus to open my Calculator so I go to “Win + R” and type “calc.” It opens right up! Or I type “winword” to open Word or “excel” to open Excel.
I understand that this post might leave some of my Mac pals a bit worried…
Fear not! Here are some of the most important buttons on a Windows keyboard, and their equivalents on a Mac keyboard:
Mac key – Windows key
- Control – Ctrl
- Option – Alt
- Command (the four leaf clover) – Windows
- Delete – Backspace
- Return – Enter
Did you know all these shortcuts? Do you have other favorites you’d like to share? Like Julie, do you have tech questions you want to have me answer in my Techie Tuesday posts? Enquiring minds always want to know these things here at More Cowbell!