67. Create shortcut
It can be
a serious annoyance to have to constantly resize or minimize windows you are
using in order to locate a needed shortcut to a program. While the quicklaunch
bar can alleviate this to some degree, it still provides an un-needed
distraction from your work.
Fortunately Windows XP allows users to bind certain key
combinations with shortcuts, allowing you to open the program you need with a
simple keystroke. Once you adjust to this, you will find it makes working with
multiple programs much smoother and less distracting.
To create a keyboard shortcut:
Select the folder or program icon that you wish to
use. Create a shortcut for it by right clicking on the item and selecting
'create shortcut' from the menu. Place your newly created shortcut on the
desktop by dragging or cut/pasting. Right click the shortcut and select
select the 'shortcut' tab and enter the key combination you wish to use (XP will
automatically edit the combination if it is not acceptable. Just entering 'e'
for example, will get you an actual key combination of ctrl + alt + e). Click
can open the specified shortcut by entering the key combination you designated.
68. Create a custom shortcuts toolbar
XP allows considerable flexibility in the selection of toolbars that you can add
to your desktop to speed up your computing. Unfortunately, it also packs the
conventional taskbar at the bottom of the screen so full of stuff that it can be
hard to use at times. Even the quicklaunch bar, once you enable it, tends to be
dwarfed by the various applications and icons that quickly fill the taskbar.
use a number of programs often and don't wish to clutter your desktop with
shortcuts, there is an easy way to pack your favourite shortcuts into a toolbar
for quick access.
this create a folder on your c: drive called 'programs' or something similar,
and copy all the shortcuts you require into this folder.
click on an empty area of the toolbar and choose 'toolbars' then 'new toolbar.'
Navigate to the folder you created and select it.
have a new toolbar that contains all your favourite shortcuts. If you'd like to
relocate it to another area of the desktop, right click an empty area of the
taskbar and uncheck 'lock toolbar.' By clicking and dragging on the dotted area
to the left of your new shortcut toolbar, you can move it to another area of the
is situated where you want it, right click your new toolbar and select 'always
on top' and auto-hide' to keep it out of the way until needed.
69. Using ALT+TAB to switch between
the most useful keyboard shortcuts built into all version of Windows is the
ALT+TAB combination. Pressing and holding the ALT button while tapping the TAB
button brings up a menu box with icons for all your open programs. By tapping
the TAB button you can scroll through these icons.
get the one you want, release the keys and that program will be restored as the
active window. This is especially handy when using full-screen programs like
most games, as the ALT+TAB combination can drop you back to the desktop when
needed without (generally) halting your game.