Tech Strategy Trends

Sep 20 2009   8:52PM GMT

Making Use of the Windows Key

Tony Bradley Tony Bradley Profile: Tony Bradley

Apple has the Apple Key. So, at some point way back when Microsoft decided that they needed to follow suit and include a Windows Key on the PC keyboards. The problem was that they never seemed to really figure out *why* they needed a Windows Key (aside from emulating features from Apple).

Granted, the Windows Key has done *something* in previous versions of Windows–just nothing of any actual use or concern. With Windows 7, Microsoft has finally figured out how to embrace the productivity potential of the Windows Key by designing a variety of keyboard hotkeys or shortcuts using the Windows Key to accomplish a variety of tasks.

Here is a listing of the Windows Key shortcut combinations and their functions:

  • Win+Up Arrow. Maximizes the current window
  • Win+Down Arrow. Restore or minimize the current window
  • Win+Left Arrow. Snaps current window to the left half of the screen
  • Win+Right Arrow. Snaps current windo to the right half of the screen
  • Win+Shift+Left Arrow. Jumps focus to left monitor for multiple monitor configurations
  • Win+Shift+Right Arrow. Jumps focus to right monitor for multiple monitor configurations
  • Win+Home. Minimize all other windows beside the window with current focus
  • Win+T.  Brings focus to taskbar. Hitting Win+T repeatedly will cycle through the taskbar icons (once Win+T moves focus to taskbar you can also move between icons with the arrow keys)
  • Win+Shift+T. Same as Win+T but it cycles through the icons in the opposite direction
  • Win+Space. Provides a peek at the desktop. Focus returns to current window when you let go of the keys
  • Win+G. Brings active desktop gadgets to the  top view
  • Win+P. Activates external display options such as Duplicate or Extend
  • Win+X. Opens Windows Mobility Center
  • Win+#. Launches an instance of the application in the Nth position on the taskbar where the number pressed = N
  • Win + – (plus or minus key) Zoom in or out.

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