Useful windows application shortcuts

This post is really going to amaze you. We all use certain programs in windows on a regular basis. For instance lets say notepad. I have seen many users following the long boring method of opening start menu, moving to accessories and then finally executing notepad.

Even i used to do the same but then i found out many amazing shortcuts which can save plenty of time. And now i can carry out my tasks faster than before. Since i don’t have to waste my time anymore to find the file which i want to run.

There are many shortcuts bidden on your system which will allow you to access the programs at a much faster rate than usual. To use these shortcuts all you have to do is open the run window.

In Windows XP, You can find run option in the start menu. While in Windows 7, you can directly type any shortcut by opening the start menu. But if you really want to access run window in windows 7 then you can just type in ‘run’ by opening the start menu.

Now if i want to open the notepad using the shortcut. I will just type ‘notepad’ without the quotes in the run window and hit enter. This will open the notepad.

Lets take another example. If i want to open paint, then the shortcut is mspaint. I will just type ‘mspaint’ without the quotes in the run window and hit enter. This will open the paint.

Below i have listed some very useful shortcuts alphabetically. Check them out.

Add/Remove Programs – appwiz.cpl
Adobe Photoshop (if installed)- photoshop
Calculator – calc
Adobe Acrobat (if installed) – acrobat
Bluetooth Transfer Wizard – fsquirt
*Control Panel – control
Date and Time Properties – timedate.cpl
Command Prompt – cmd
Device Manager – devmgmt.msc
Direct X Troubleshooter- dxdiag
Disk Cleanup Utility- cleanmgr
Disk Defragment- dfrg.msc
Disk Management- diskmgmt.msc
Firefox (if installed)- firefox
Game Controllers- joy.cpl
Help and Support- helpctr
Internet Explorer- iexplore
Keyboard Properties – control keyboard
Microsoft Chat – winchat
Microsoft Access (if installed) – access.cpl
Microsoft Excel (if installed) – excel
Microsoft Movie Maker – moviemk
Microsoft Paint – mspaint
Microsoft Powerpoint (if installed)- powerpnt
Microsoft Word (if installed)- winword
Minesweeper Game – winmine
Mouse Properties – control mouse
Notepad – notepad
Network Connections – control netconnections
Paint – pbrush
Outlook Express – msimn
Pinball Game – pinball
Real Player (if installed)- realplay
Registry Editor – regedit
Scanners and Cameras – sticpl.cpl
Security Center – wscui.cpl
Windows Explorer – explorer
Windows Firewall- firewall.cpl
Task Manager – taskmgr
Shuts Down Windows – shutdown
Windows Media Player – wmplayer
Windows Messenger – msmsgs
Wordpad – write

Note for Windows 7 users: Please note that these application shortcuts are made for the ‘run’ window. In Windows 7, you can also type these shortcuts in “search programs and files” box found in the start menu. But some results may vary. Since the search box will just find matching applications but not the right one. For example. If you type “mouse control” you will not get the mouse properties. But if you type “mouse control” in run window then you will get the mouse properties dialog box. So i recommend you to type these shortcuts using the run window. 

Listed below are my previous posts which you may like to read :

Do you have any shortcuts to share? Please comment below.

A few basic windows keyboard shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts are the combination of keys which help you to run a particular program or application on your Windows computer. Keyboard shortcuts play a very important role in determining how well you can control your PC. It helps you to save plenty of time since you can access programs or your desired applications faster than ever.

Please note that this is one of my articles which may seem silly to computer experts out there. But most of my articles are basically focused on helping beginner level users.

Also note that the shortcuts i share in this post are not the only ones. You can find plenty of other shortcuts over the internet. But i am just going to share the basic shortcuts which will help you to carry out your daily tasks at a much faster rate than usual.

CTRL + C = Copy Selected Content

CTRL + X = Cut Selected Content

CTRL + V = Paste Selected Content

CTRL + A = Select All

CTRL + Z = Undo previous action

CTRL + Y = Redo previous action

SHIFT + DELETE = Delete selected content permanently

ALT + F4 = Terminate current program / Initialize Shutdown

ALT + F = File menu of current program

ALT + E = Edit menu of current program

CTRL + S = Saves current document

CTRL + B = Bold the font

CTRL + I = Italic the font

CTRL + U = Underline the font

CTRL + F = Find the content (works almost everywhere, universal shortcut)

CTRL + P = Print the current document

Windows Key = CTRL + ESCAPE = Start menu

Windows Key + D = Show the desktop

Windows Key + R = Open the Run dialog box

Windows Key + L = Lock your computer

Windows Key + E = Open My Computer Directly

ALT + TAB = Switch between current active programs

CTRL + TAB = Switch to the next tab. (Works in Internet Browsers)

CTRL + SHIFT + TAB = Switch to the previous tab. (Works in Internet Browsers)

CTRL + ALT + DELETE = Open Task Manager (in Windows XP)

CTRL + SHIFT + ESCAPE = Open Task Manager (in Windows 7)

TAB and SHIFT relation :

Note: TAB acts as forward command. While using SHIFT + TAB reverses the command.

Tab and Shift keys play a very important role. If you lose your mouse, shift and tab keys will help you to navigate through your computer.

You can find more info at : How to navigate windows using a keyboard

You may also like to read: Windows 7 Useful Keyboard Shortcuts

How to navigate windows using a keyboard

Sometimes a situation may arise when your mouse stops working or you might have to work on a computer which has no mouse attached to it. Are you prepared for facing such situation? Perhaps not.

I have undergone such situation. I had to live without a mouse for about a week. In the beginning it was total frustration to use a PC without the mouse. But then i figured out how to operate and navigate around my computer just by using my keyboard.

In this post i will share some important tips on how to navigate your computer using a keyboard. Lets begin with the very basic thing.. The Start menu !

Open the Start Menu

To open the start menu you can either press the Windows Key on your keyboard or just use the key combination of CTRL + ESCAPE. Once your start menu is open, you can navigate by using the Arrow keys!

Access Desktop

If you are not on the desktop then you can access desktop by holding down Windows Key + D.

Opening the shortcut / program on your Desktop

If you are currently on the desktop and want to execute certain shortcut or program on your desktop. Then TAB key will help you out. First of all you have to understand that your desktop is divided into different areas. I don’t know how do i exactly define them. So i would use my own language for defining these areas. They can be classified as icons area, start menu area, taskbar tray area.

If you press TAB key then you will switch between these areas. You might have to press TAB key several times to access the icons area on your desktop.

If you press TAB key and a desktop icon gets selected then it indicates that you are currently on the icons area. Pressing TAB key again will switch you over to start menu area. Pressing the TAB key once again will switch you over to the taskbar tray area.

Once you get on your desired area, you can navigate using the Arrow keys. And then when you have selected your desired shortcut, you can just hit enter on your keyboard to run that shortcut or program!

Closing, Minimizing, Maximizing, Moving a Window

Closing a window is very easy. All you have to do is press CTRL + F4 and you are done! In addition, you can even close the window by hitting ALT + SPACEBAR and then choosing the “close” option from the drop down menu.

Minimizing, Maximizing and Moving the Window, These options can be made available by hitting ALT + SPACEBAR. This combination will trigger a drop down menu of the current window.

Note that: If window is maximized then a ‘restore’ option will be available. And if it is in windowed mode then a ‘maximize’ option will be available. In order to move a window your current window must not be in ‘maximized’ state.

Switching between open windows, applications and programs

To switch between any program running on your screen you can use the very popular key combination – ALT + TAB. Hold down ALT + TAB to see all the open windows. Pressing TAB key while the ALT key is held will select the next open window. Letting go off ALT + TAB will switch over to the currently selected window. Experiment it yourself for better understanding !

Scrolling in a Window

You scroll the window or the page with the help of PAGE UP, PAGE DOWN, HOME, END, or with the help of Arrow Keys.

Right Clicking on an icon

If you want to click on any icon without the aid of a mouse. Then you should first select your desired icon on which you want to perform the right click operation. Then after just hold SPACEBAR + F10 and your right click operation will be performed.

Also Check out: Windows 7 Useful Keyboard Shortcuts

The astounding features of Windows 8

Windows 8 is the newest operating system developed by Microsoft. The beta version of this operating system has been released for live preview. However the final release is expected to be on 26th of october 2012.

In this post, i will share some amazing features of windows 8 based on my experience. First lets have a quick flashback at the previous series of OS.

The first impressive and stable version of windows which is still living among us is the amazing Windows XP. It has got incredible simplicity and stability. Next came Windows Vista, which proved to be a flop to a certain extent. To cover up all the disappointment given by Windows Vista, Microsoft launched Windows 7. This proved to be far better version than Vista. Windows 7 was certainly the best but now its time for the beast. There comes Windows 8.

Windows 8 is claimed to be the fastest operating system as compared to its predecessor Windows 7.  It loads in an amazing time window of 8 seconds as per the reports. My personal experience wouldn’t give me 8 seconds but it was around 6 seconds !!

 Speed of Windows 8: The performance of windows 8 in terms of speed is mind blowing. Its speed is comparable to Chrome OS. Are you frustrated with your computer booting slow? Then windows 8 is definitely going to amaze you.

Well if you don’t believe me, you can watch this short video demonstration :

User Interface: The user interface is something of its own. There are two interfaces, desktop and metro. Metro UI is the new look and style of Windows. Its definitely catchy for someone who is into graphics. But if you are one of the people who doesn’t like the Metro UI, then you can always switch over to desktop interface. The Metro UI is basically developed for tablet computers for ease of use.

Click here to see the all new METRO UI 

Metro Applications: Windows 8 has not only switched to Metro UI, but also has some amazing and useful metro applications. Some of them are the old classical apps we have been using since ages. To see some killer apps, you can read this superb article at tech crunch dot com : Where Are The Killer Apps For Windows 8 Metro?

Transparent Overlay icons: This is one of the feature which i like. Moving your mouse over the bottom right corner will display a transparent pop up with 5 useful icons. These are search, share, start, devices, and settings respectively.

Start Menu Overview Mode: Moving your mouse over the bottom left corner will trigger a small screen. If you click over there, then it will take you to the start menu option. If you have loaded many applications then this start menu overview mode will allow you to look at all of them at a glance. I loved this.

“Copying” Dialog Box: An amazing new look of copying files. It will display all the stats more accurately. What i loved is the beautifully designed dialog box plus the option to pause the transfers in order to fasten other file transfers.

Amazing Task Manager: Our all time friend mister task manager is improved to a whole new level. Its so simple and stylish. I am just loving this. Its not just improved but also simplified. I am sure you are going to love it as much as i do.

For now i am stopping right here. Since i still haven’t explored everything in windows 8. There’s so much to look at. I’l probably write more about this on the final release of Windows 8. Till then keep following my blog. And thanks for reading.

Update: Whats new in Windows 8 Professional ?

Windows 7 Bootable USB using DVD Tool

Click here to read method 1

In order to follow this guide, you’ll need a USB flash drive with at least 4GB of free space and a copy of the Windows 7 Retail version.

Using Windows 7 USB DVD Download Tool

The easiest way to turn a USB flash drive into a bootable Windows 7 installer is by using the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool. To get started, download   the installer [.exe] from Microsoft.com and follow the basic steps:-

Once it is installed, it should create an icon on your desktop, so double-click that to open.

Launching it should give you the screen (refer fig. 1),

NOW FLOLLOW THE FOLLOWING STEPS ::-

1) Find the Windows 7 .ISO file that you have in retail version. The tool only accepts .ISO images, so we recommend that you convert yours if it’s in a different  image format. ( refer fig. 2)

2) Now simply choose USB device. ( refer fig. 3)

3) Now make sure that you are choosing the correct USB device. If you have other data on the device, move it to your hard drive or any other device.

The tool will prompt you if it detects data on the device. Once your data is backed up elsewhere, click Erase USB Device.

You will get another prompt warning you that all the data will be wiped. Click Yes to continue.

The format will be very quick, while the copying of the files will take a little bit more time (about 10 to 15 minutes). ( refer fig. 4)

Once the process is complete, you should get the above confirmation message. At this point you can close the tool and use the USB drive to install Windows 7. Remember that you’ll have to choose to boot off the USB drive. Before doing so, you may want to open up the USB drive and double click on setup.exe to see if everything looks okay.

AND IT’S DONE…

Windows 7 Bootable USB using Command Prompt

There are basically two easy methods to create the bootable windows  7 USB flash drive. The first method is simply using CMD window with some commands and the second is using a microsoft’s windows 7 USB DVD download tool. The methods are as given following …

Method 1

fig 1

1) First of all open the CMD window (Command Prompt Window, if you use UAC make sure to right click it and choose “Run as administrator”).

Now type “disk part” without the quotation marks and hit enter. You can also get here by simply typing “diskpart” without the quotes.( refer  fig.1 )

fig 2

2) The second command is “list disk” ( refer FIG. 2). Now enter that command without the quotes and press enter. Take a look at the Size column and figure out which disk number your USB drive is. Ours is number 1, so we’re going to type “select disk 1” without the quotes and hit enter. Now we are going to wipe it by typing “clean” command without the quotes and hitting enter  (make sure to do a backup of the contents if you haven’t already) .( refer fig. 3)

fig 3

3) At this point we want to prepare the USB drive for the files and make sure it is bootable. Type “create partition primary” without the quotes and hit enter. Then type “select partition 1” without the quotes and hit enter. Next type “active” without the quotes and hit enter. Finally, type “format fs=fat32” without quotes and hit enter (if you choose to use ntfs, you’ll later have to run the “Bootsect.exe /nt60 G:” command to put boot manager compatible files onto your USB flash drive to make it a bootable device). When it’s done then  type “assign” command without the quotes and hit enter (this will assign a new drive letter to the USB flash drive). ( refer fig . 3)

An AutoPlay window like the one above will appear. Remember the drive letter (here its  H:) then  close the window, type “exit” command without the quotes and hit enter. If you are working with an .ISO image, the best way to do this last part is to mount the file with a program like VIRTUAL CLONE DRIVE. Alternatively, you can extract the files from the .ISO image and simply copy them to the USB drive, but since we’ve been using the command prompt up to this point, we’ll show you how to do the last step with it as well.

If you don’t have the command prompt open, open it with administrative privileges, type “xcopy f:*.* /s/e/f hg:” without the quotes and hit enter. Note that you will likely have to replace “f:” with the drive letter for your Windows 7 DVD and “g:” with the drive letter for your USB flash drive. Don’t worry if install.wim takes a while to copy.

AND IT’S DONE .. !

Click here to read the method 2

Hiding files and folders using command prompt

Previously i wrote about hiding files and folders in windows using two methods. One was the beginners way while the other was a bit difficult one.  The beginners way method was way too simple and almost every computer user know it. While the other one was way too complicated for a layman.

Now in this article, I am going to share a simple method to hide files and folders using command prompt. First lets have a look at the topics summary :

Task: Hiding files and folders using command prompt.
Difficulty: Easy+
Time: 5 minutes or less.

Suppose if you want to hide a folder named “Omkar” on your D drive.
( The path to Omkar folder is “D:Omkar” ).

To hide this folder, just open your command prompt. And Type the code given below and press enter.

attrib +s +h D:Omkar

To unhide this folder, type the code given below and press enter.

attrib -s -h D:Omkar

I don’t know if you noticed it or not. But this is the same code which was shared previously on this blog in an article named “How to create a password protected folder without any software“. That article was a little advanced and would take about 10-15 minutes for a beginner level user.
I just made it easier so even a layman could do it.

Since both these articles uses the same principle of ‘attrib’. They both have similar drawbacks.

  • One is that anyone who knows the folder name can access the folder by typing the directory in the address bar.
  • Second is that the folder contents are visible in windows search.
  • For example, if there is a file named abcd.txt in your hidden folder. And if you search for this file using windows search. Then you will get this file in the search results.

The solution to these drawbacks is just to change the folder name as well as filename to something abstract.

In my opinion these are not the best methods to hide files or folders on a secure level. If you are hiding any random file for limited time duration then these can be very useful. But if you are planning to hide the file on a very secure level then you might consider using a third party software. I would recommend a software named folder guard. Its quite good and provides encryption options as well.