Monday, 17 September 2012

Windows 7 keystrokes

Having recently settled into regularly using Windows 8 I’ve also just bumped into a new Windows 7 keystroke that I hadn’t previously been aware of. It seems that the enhanced Task Bar, which you can pin application shortcuts to, has shortcut keystrokes related to those pinned items: Windows key + a digit, where the digit represents the pinned item’s position on the Task Bar. For a pinned item that is not running, the shortcut launches that app. If the pinned item is already running the shortcut switches to that item.

For example, if you have Google Chrome pinned as the third item on your Task Bar, then Win+3 will either switch to Chrome, or launch it if it’s not already running. Simple.

Inspired by this I did some digging to check out what other keystrokes were introduced by Windows 7 (granted some of them may have come from Vista, but I’m not sufficiently interested to work out which – let’s just say they are new when compared to Windows XP). It seems there are quite a few. I’d encountered most of them before, but some of them were definitely new to me. You can see what I’ve found below – I’ve also added them all to my Commands and Keyboard Shortcuts page. I’ll look at the new Windows 8 keystrokes in a separate post.

Note that this table uses the Windows key (or WinKey) character (ÿ). Since Unicode has no character for this image I’m explicitly referencing Microsoft’s WingDings font character 255 so it probably looks all yucky a Mac, given Macs don’t have the WingDings font available by default.

Shortcut    aka Meaning
ÿ+Tab WinKey+Tab Glitzier version of Alt+Tab
ÿ+Shift+Tab WinKey+Shift+Tab Glitzier version of Alt+Shift+Tab
ÿ++ WinKey+Plus Zoom in (via Magnifier)
ÿ+- WinKey+Minus Zoom out (via Magnifier)
ÿ+Esc WinKey+Esc Turn off zoom, if active
ÿ+G WinKey+g Cycle between the Windows Gadgets on the desktop
Alt+↑ Alt+Up Arrow In Windows Explorer navigate one folder up in the folder hierarchy
Ctrl+Shift+N   In Windows Explorer this creates a new folder
Shift+right-click on an item Enables extended Send To menu (has many more items in it). Also adds Copy as Path to the context menu.
Shift+right-click on a folder Adds in context menu command: Open command window here. This starts cmd.exe with the current directory being the folder in question.
Ctrl+Shift+Enter   In Start menu's search box launches as Administrator
Prt Sc Print Screen Copy a screenshot to the clipboard
Alt+Prt Sc Alt+Print Screen Copy a screenshot of just the focused window to the clipboard
Shift+Alt+Prt Sc left Shift+left Alt+Print Screen Toggle High Contrast mode
Ctrl+Alt+↑ Ctrl+Alt+Up Arrow Rotate screen to default orientation default
Ctrl+Alt+→ Ctrl+Alt+Right Arrow Rotate screen orientation 90 degrees from default
Ctrl+Alt+↓ Ctrl+Alt+Down Arrow Rotate screen orientation 180 degrees from default
Ctrl+Alt+← Ctrl+Alt+Left Arrow Rotate screen orientation 270 degrees from default
ÿ+Space WinKey+Space Makes all windows transparent so you can see the desktop until you release the keys. Equivalent to desktop peek button to right of Task Bar’s notification area. This is known as Aero Peek.
ÿ+↑ WinKey+Up Arrow Maximise window. Same as dragging window’s title bar to top of screen.
ÿ+↓ WinKey+Down Arrow Restore maximised window, or minimise restored window
ÿ+← WinKey+Left Arrow Alternately expand windows to fill left half of screen, expand to fill right half of screen or restore to previous size. Dragging window’s title bar to left edge of screen also expands window to fill left half of screen.
ÿ+→ WinKey+Right Arrow Alternately expand windows to fill right half of screen, expand to fill left half of screen or restore to previous size. Dragging window’s title bar to right edge of screen also expands window to fill right half of screen.
ÿ+Home WinKey+Home Minimise all but the active window. You can get the same effect by clicking on a window’s title bar and shaking it about (known as Aero Shake)
ÿ+Shift+↑ WinKey+Shift+Up Arrow Maximise window vertically (leave width unchanged). This is the same as double-clicking the window’s top or bottom resize border
ÿ+Shift+← WinKey+Shift+Left Arrow Move window to the monitor on the left
ÿ+Shift+→ WinKey+Shift+Right Arrow Move window to the monitor on the right
ÿ+T WinKey+t Give focus to Task Bar so arrow keys can move between Task Bar items, Enter can select them (like clicking them with the mouse), Shift+F10 can show context menu, Tab can move focus to notification area etc.
ÿ+B WinKey+b Give focus to Task Bar’s notification area so arrow keys can move between notification icons, Enter can select them (like clicking them with the mouse), Shift+F10 can show context menu, Shift+Tab can move focus to notification area etc.
ÿ+P WinKey+p Invoke the presentation menu to allow options of displaying on computer only, duplicating to external display, extending to external display or displaying on external display only
ÿ+<digit> WinKey+<a number> Start app pinned on the Task Bar at the position corresponding to the number pressed, or switch to it if already open
ÿ+Shift+<digit> WinKey+Shift+<a number> Start new instance of app pinned on the Task Bar at the position corresponding to the number pressed. Shift-clicking the item does the same.
Shift+click a Task Bar button   Same as ÿ+Shift+<digit>
Ctrl+Shift+click a Task Bar button   Open program as administrator
ÿ+Ctrl+<digit> WinKey+Ctrl+<a number> Cycle through open windows of app pinned on the Task Bar at the position corresponding to the number pressed
ÿ+Alt+<digit> WinKey+Alt+<a number> Show the Jump List for the item on the Task Bar at the position corresponding to the number pressed
Shift+right-click a Task Bar button   Show XP-style Window menu
Ctrl+click a grouped Task Bar button   Cycle through the windows of the group