How do I make my own keyboard shortcuts in Windows?
June 29, 2005 10:19 AM   Subscribe

Windows-E. Windows-R, Windows-M, Windows-L, they're all great. But, how do I start creating my own shortcuts?

I really would love to be able to create shortcuts that open certain IE (or whatever, if it provided this ability) favorites, so if I hit ... Shift-Windows-A, for example, would bring up AskMe... Shift-Windows-J would bring up Jalopnik, or ... you get the idea.

Is this possible? How much *-fu is required to make this a reality? The particular key combinations are not important (I'm not sold on shift-windows-x or whatever), but I just want to be able to open the things I bring up regularly more efficiently (ie without 15 keystrokes or having to take my hands off the keyboard).
posted by kuperman to Computers & Internet (14 answers total)
You can set global keyboard shortcuts for things in the start menu. WinKey shortcuts don't work with it on my keyboard but Ctrl+Alt shortcuts do.

My most useful shortcuts are the ones I set up with iTunesKeys to control iTunes without having to look at it.
posted by grouse at 10:40 AM on June 29, 2005

Dirt Cheap Macros - following these steps, you'll type Windows+R and then the file name you associated with a shortcut to open your file/program. It's not a three key command, but it's not far off.

As an example, I bring up a sheet called "Inventory.xls" several times a day during work. Instead of double-clicking a Desktop shortcut, or navigating to the file server a shortcut to the file in a designated folder, call it "inv", and now all I have to type is Windows+R, "inv", enter and it's open. The link will fully explain this. This little trick has majorly increased my efficiency on my laptop.
posted by bwilms at 10:44 AM on June 29, 2005

Best answer: works for programs and files both:
  • create a shortcut to the program if there's not one already. The location of the shortcut is probably irrelevant
  • right click, bring up the properties for the shortcut.
  • click on shortcut tab
  • enter someting clever for the shortcut key
  • apply change

posted by boo_radley at 10:57 AM on June 29, 2005

The location of the shortcut is probably irrelevant.

Actually the shortcut must be in the Start Menu or the Desktop.
posted by grouse at 11:13 AM on June 29, 2005

posted by boo_radley at 11:43 AM on June 29, 2005

WinKey will let you launch applications with keystrokes involving the windows key, which are less likely to interfere with program-specific keyboard shortcuts.
posted by yarmond at 11:54 AM on June 29, 2005

Don't forget Win-F (search) and Win-Pause (system properties)!
posted by internal at 12:16 PM on June 29, 2005

If you want to get really fancy, try autohotkey.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 12:36 PM on June 29, 2005

What other Win-* combinations am I missing out on???
posted by clgregor at 1:01 PM on June 29, 2005

Response by poster: There was a posting of those on lifehacker a while back...
posted by kuperman at 1:44 PM on June 29, 2005

Windows Key Shortcuts
posted by bwilms at 4:13 PM on June 29, 2005

HoeKey, is awesome! Lots of functionality and no marketing.
posted by Chuckles at 5:59 PM on June 29, 2005

AppRocket is also pretty cool for this kind of thing. I use it on my notebook. Imagine Windows+R combined with Google Desktop Search.
posted by id at 6:36 PM on June 29, 2005

I'll second AppRocket. Alt-space to activate it, then just start typing what you want - in no time, all your common actions are down to just a couple keystrokes. For example, I get AskMe to open in Firefox just by typing Alt-space-ask.
posted by donnagirl at 8:04 PM on June 29, 2005

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