Navigating Windows through shortcuts

Windows shortcuts are handy ways to perform routine tasks. This week, we look at a few favorites.

Across the top of most keyboards are function keys labeled F1, F2, etc. Many users know tapping F1 opens the "Help" function but how many know F2 allows faster renaming of a file or folder? Select the item to be renamed and tap on F2 to use it. Another handy function key is F5 which will refresh the currently open window. Ebay shoppers coming to an end of an auction will find tapping on F5 to refresh the page much simpler than other ways.

The Windows Key, between the Ctrl and Alt keys on the left of the space bar, opens the Start menu, which is then easily navigated with the arrow keys. Once the destination program or file is reached tap on Enter to open it. If the keyboard is missing, the Windows key use the combination of Ctrl+Esc (hold down Ctrl and tap once on the Esc key).

Leaving the PC for a while? The Windows key+L quickly locks the system while away. Disliking the usual method of shutting down a Windows XP system, I maintain a desktop shutdown that easily shuts down the system. Create the shortcut by right-clicking a blank area on the desktop and selecting "New", "shortcut."

Into the "Type the location of the item" box, enter:

%windir%\\system32\\shutdown.exe -s -t 15 -c "SHUTDOWN IN 15 SECONDS" and click next.

Then, give it a name like "shutdown.exe" and click finish.

Double-click the shortcut and the system will shut down in 15 seconds (which can be modified to any value desired).

Mind change? Create another shortcut that aborts shutdown by repeating the above steps - this time enter:

%windir%\\system32\\shutdown.exe -a and give it a different name.

Ron Poland is a professor in the Computer Information Systems AAS program at Clinton Community College. Poland is certified in company repair and networking by the Computer Technology Industry Association (CompTIA). He is also a Cisco certified network assistant. Questions may be sent to him via e-mail at ron@ronpoland.com.

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