Mad about the mouse
March 22, 2006 10:38 AM   Subscribe

Keyboard-centricFilter: I need to reduce my mouse use under Windows XP. What are some good keyboard-centric file managers or desktop replacements? What have others done (besides learning all the keyboard shortcuts) to reduce your mouse use?
posted by lhauser to Technology (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
If you're looking to increase speed or reduce risk of injury look into an IBM trackpoint keyboard.

Also, get good with the windows key and the context menu key if your keyboard has them. I'm sure google can point you to all the window key shortcuts, and the context menu key with the arrows will help you move around easily.
posted by miniape at 10:44 AM on March 22, 2006

I 've been using my own shortcuts made with WinKey to launch my programs.

On all my machines Windows key-W launches Word, Windows key-A brings on Acrobat, Windows key-O Opera etc. etc.
posted by ijsbrand at 10:51 AM on March 22, 2006

I use Total Commander for everything I would otherwise use windows explorer for. Have used it for many years now, and wouldn't give it up.

Shortcut key lists easily found (here, for example).

If you can't use a mouse for whatever reason, MS MouseKeys is really slow to use, but works OK in a pinch.
posted by gage at 10:52 AM on March 22, 2006

Trackpoint systems are ergonomic nightmares. Keyboard trays and left-handed mousing (to reduce the movement from kb->mouse) help.
posted by kcm at 11:29 AM on March 22, 2006

I learned the keyboard shortcuts, and it was easier than I expected. WCityMike has useful directions that work consistently in Win. When you navigate to a menu, take note of the shortcut that is described next to the selection you'd otherwise be mousing to.

Also, Alt+Tab switches between programs quickly.

(Sorry if this is too obvious. Not everyone knows this stuff.)
posted by raedyn at 12:08 PM on March 22, 2006

Also, if you work in firefox a lot, you can turn caret browsing on with F7.
posted by miniape at 12:18 PM on March 22, 2006

Response by poster: Thanks for all the answers so far. I know a lot of Windows shortcut keys already, and of course the basics such as Alt-Tab. The caret browsing in Firefox was new. And thanks to gage for the TotalCommander recommendation -- I know of it, but wasn't sure if there were alternatives. I'll give it a try.
posted by lhauser at 12:44 PM on March 22, 2006

AutoHotKey let's you script many things that would require the mouse.
qliner hotkeys also allows you to assign hotkeys, but it's less powerful than AutoHotKey.
posted by Sharcho at 12:55 PM on March 22, 2006

I'll second the AutoHotKey suggestion. I've tried a lot of automation/macro utilities, including the AutoIt that spawned AutoHotKeys, I've never found a utility to perform this function as easy as it does. Here's a link to last weeks Lifehacker feature on it, it's what helped me decide to try it out.
posted by TuxHeDoh at 1:34 PM on March 22, 2006

In most Microsoft products you can make your own shortcuts which I find extremely useful. Tools--> Customze, and click keyboard.
posted by radioamy at 3:48 PM on March 22, 2006

For browsing, Opera has way better keyboard support then firefox does, caret browsing never seems to work right. Opera has the accessibity for browsing nailed
posted by bigmusic at 6:59 PM on March 22, 2006

FreeCommander is a freeware shell extension that is similiar to Total Commander.
posted by Mitheral at 7:22 AM on March 23, 2006

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