Sunday, 7 October 2012

Windows Shortcut Key that Helps
Computer applications are no longer just a high tech tool but a necessity in the life of an engineer. For those born past the 80's, using Windows is a breeze, but not so for the seniors who have to struggle with the sudden influx of computers into their work life.

Image from DeviantArt's Rehsup.

Bear in mind that although computers seem to be around forever, they were only popularly employed in our work space, especially those of the engineering community, around the turn of the century, and not everyone get the chance to be in front of one as well. Most of my seniors who started working in Malaysia around the turn of the century had to take turns using a workstation which had to be shared among a few engineers. When I was in secondary school, PC was something which not everybody could afford or willing to buy.

Still, most people have no idea about shortcut keys on Windows apart from a few commonly used ones, such as that for Cut, Copy and Paste. For those of us working with CAD applications daily, shortcut keys of these CAD programs become a boon in improving productivity and reducing number of clicks, hence less chance of a sprained wrist and finger joints at the end of the work day.

Certain Windows shortcut keys are superbly useful, which I had researched around the web and listed down here. Although these may not work on CAD applications, they reduced my time needed to work with Microsoft applications (Word, Excel, Powerpoint...) by saving myself a few extra clicks or extra moments in navigating my cursor to the item.


Controlling Your Windows
Alt + Tab
Switch between windows. Hold on to Alt and press Tab to switch to cycle through all opened windows. Very useful when your current CAD program hanged.

Windows key + M
Minimizes all opened windows. Especially useful when you saw your boss walking over while you are chatting on messenger.

Windows key + Up arrow
Maximizes active window.

Windows key + Down arrow
Minimizes/restores active window.

Windows key + Spacebar
Turns all windows transparent to see the desktop. You need to hold onto Windows key in order to see the desktop (but you can let go of Spacebar), letting go of it will return the screen to normal.


Visual Connections

Windows key + P
Connects your computer to a projector or another screen.

Windows key + Shift + Left/Right Arrow
For Dual Monitor connections, this shifts the active monitor to the left/right screen.

Image taken from Webmastergrade.


Opening Programs and Manipulating Windows Explorer
Windows + Pause
Opens System Properties.

Windows key + R
Opens Run dialog.

Windows key + F
Opens Search box.

Windows key + E
Opens Windows Explorer.

Ctrl + Shift + N
Creates new folder.

Renames selected file/folder.

Alt + Enter
Calls out the file/folder's Properties. Same as Right-clicking the file/folder, and select Properties.

Image from Webmastergrade.


Combining the Power of Your Mouse
Ctrl + Scroll Up/Down
Enlarges (Scroll Up) or reduces (Scroll Down) the font size of your internet browser or window applications. In Window Explorer, it will scroll through the view type.

Ctrl + Click
Each click will add or subtract the selected icon/file from your current list of selection. Ctrl needs to be held down constantly while clicking items.

Ctrl + Shift + Click
Opens the program as administrator. Saves time instead of right-clicking the program and select "Run As Administrator".


There are more shortcut keys out there. As such, I have went through a lot more than I listed down here, but only these are the ones which I used the most in my job. Interested readers could go through the webpages as listed below or search for more in the net.

Suggested readings:

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