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January 1, 2011

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Windows 7 Keyboard Shortcuts

Mouse-less Computing With Windows 7 Keyboard Shortcuts

Scoroncocolo, Scoroncocolo Tech Pages, ScarewareStop messing around with your mouse. Be a Geek and use your keyboard to be more productive. Check out these new Windows 7 Keyboard Shortcuts

Windows 7 Keyboard Shortcuts

The New Windows 7 Keyboard Shortcuts Are Awesome

If you got a new PC for Christmas this year, it's going to have Windows 7 installed on it so here's a quick rundown on the new Windows 7 Keyboard Shortcuts.

A few of these keyboard shortcuts work in Vista as well as Windows 7 but most of the shortcuts I'll be talking about on this page will only work on Microsoft's newest Operating System which is Windows 7.

I love keyboard shortcuts. And one reason I love them so much is that I work more efficiently while lounging in my recliner (made not of leather, by the way, but genuine Naugahyde), and boy do I hate it when I have to get up from my recliner to go to my desk to click the stupid mouse. Fortunately, now that Micosoft has added some awesome keyboard shortcuts to Windows 7 to compliment all the old standbys, that doesn't happen as much as it once did.

Back in April of 2009 I posted an article on this site called Keyboard Shortcuts in which I discussed some basic Windows keyboard shortcuts that everyone who works with a PC really ought to know and use. In this article, I'd like to introduce you to some really cool keyboard shortcuts that you might not be aware of because they are new. They are new because they are specific to Windows 7. If I've left out one of your favorite new Windows 7 keyboard shortcuts, let me know by sending an email to me at and I'll add it to an addendum to this article.

As you no doubt know, Windows 7 has an almost transparent Show Desktop Button to the right of the clock on the far right end of the taskbar. Hovering your mouse over this button will allow you to get a peek at your Desktop without actually going there. If you click this button, you will actually go to your Desktop and all of your open windows will minimize to the taskbar. Almost everyone who has worked with Windows 7 for any length of time knows about this Show Desktop Button but what you probably didn't know is that there is a keyboard shortcut for this handy Window 7 feature. The Windows 7 keyboard shortcut for this is Win-key + Spacebar. This, like mousing over the Show Desktop Button just gives you a peek at your Desktop. If you want to actually go to the Desktop you could click the Show Desktop Button rather than just mousing over it or you could use the keyboard shortcut Win-key + d. The keyboard shortcut Win-key + d is one of the most useful Windows shortcuts there is and it's been around forever, perhaps as far back as Windows 95. But a lot of people don't realize that it works as a toggle. By that I mean, you can use it to immediately minimize to the taskbar all open windows revealing your Desktop but if you use Win-key + d again, it re-opens all those windows the way they were before you used it the first time. Win-key + m will also minimize all open windows to the taskbar but re-typing it won't toggle them back into place. So, Win-key + d is the more powerful keyboard shortcut of the two.

A cool thing about the peek at the Desktop feature in Windows 7 is how you can see the outlines of all your less than full-sized open windows on the desktop. Try if yourself. Open a few windows (including this page, of course) and minimize them so that none of them take up the whole screen. (I'll show you how to make a full size window smaller using a new windows 7 keyboard shortcut later in this article.) Now, mouse over the Show Desktop Button or better yet, type Win-key + Spacebar and have a look at what I'm talking about. I don't know how useful this feature is but it looks kind of cool.

At any rate the Win-key + Spacebar Windows 7 keyboard shortcut is one I use fairly frequently like when I want to check to see if something I'm looking for might be on the Desktop and I don't want to close or minimize my open windows to the taskbar by using Win-key + d.

Windows 7 Shortcuts Using the Win-key With the Arrow Keys

Windows 7 Keyboard Shortcuts

Here Is the Win-key On Your Keyboard

To re-size a full-size window so that it takes up less than all of the screen, we all know that we can click that little double-square box icon in the upper right-hand corner of the page that's just to the left of the X icon that we use to close a page. In Windows 7, you no longer have to click that little icon to cause an open window to take up less real estate on your screen. In Windows 7 you can use the keyboard shortcut win-key plus the down Arrow-key to accomplish this task. So if you are reading this on a Windows 7 set-up, go ahead and try it now. Hold down the Windows-key on your keyboard and type the down arrow. To restore the window to its original full size, use the keyboard shortcut win-key pluse the up Arrow-key. Cool huh?

O.K. now let's say you've opened a new window that covers completely a window you want to get access to. You could use your mouse to make that window smaller and then grab the titlebar of the window you want to move and mouse it out of the way. But there are Windows 7 shortcuts that will allow you remain in your genuine Naugahyde recliner and accomplish the same task with your keyboard. Just use the shortcut I described in the above paragraph to make the new page smaller and then use Win-key along with the left or right arrow key to move the newly minimized page to the left or the right of your screen.

If you've got a duel monitor setup, Win+Shift+Right/Left arrow will move the window currently in focus to the monitor on the left or right.

And then, Win-key + t allows you to use your arrow keys to scroll through items on the taskbar. When you land on one you want to open, just hit your Enter key. This new Windows 7 keyboard shortcut trick comes in handy when you have more than nine items on the taskbar. Otherwise, you can open the third item on the taskbar using Win-key plus 3. The Windows key plus any number (1-9) will open the corresponding item on your taskbar from left to right.

And Win-key + b allows you to use your arrow keys to scroll through your System Tray icons.

More Windows 7 Keyboard Shortcuts

Windows 7 Keyboard Shortcuts

Windows 7 Keyboard Shortcuts Are Cool

Another cool Windows 7 keyboard short allows you to use Ctrl plus Shift and n to create a new folder anywhere where a folder can be created - on the Desktop, let's say, or anywhere in Windows Explorer or in any folder like your Pictures Folder etc. Please note that this particular new Windows 7 keyboard shortcut involves using the Ctrl key rather than the Win-key.

So, O.K. this one involves the mouse but it's too cool not to mention. Remember adding stuff to the Send To folder in XP and Vista so that when we right-click on a file we would have more places we could move a file to. In Windows 7, hold down the Shift key and right-click a file's icon then mouse down to Send To. Wow! Now that's cool.

As I mentioned before, you can use Win-key + (number 1 through 9) to open any of the programs pinned to your taskbar. For insance, Win-key + 5 will open the fifth program on your taskbar. The numbers correspond to the way they appear from left to right. This does NOT WORK for the number pad, only the numbers on the top row of the keyboard.

If you want to put shortcuts to more programs on your taskbar, just drag and drop them there with your mouse or use the Start button to find the application or program you want to pin and then right-click it and click Pin to the taskbar.

Next there's Alt + Win-key + (number 1 through 9). This new Windows keyboard shortcut opens the Jump List for the program pinned to the taskbar in the position indicated by the number.

And, Win-key + Tab is the shortcut for Flip 3d. And Ctrl + Win-key + Tab makes the Flip 3d mode freeze on your Desktop. To get out of Flip 3d mode, use the Esc key or click one of the frozen windows. This works in Vista as well as Windows 7 but it's just too cool and useful to leave off this list.

And finally, speaking of too cool to leave off this list, a lot of people don't know that you can use the Tab key to highlight your Desktop icons. Once you have a Desktop icon highlighted, use your down and up Arrow keys to scroll through them. Once you have the program or application you want to open highlighted, just hit your Enter key to open it. You may have to type your Tab key two or three times before a Desktop icon becomes highlighted.

Well, that's it for the new Windows 7 keyboard shortcuts. Below you'll find a handy reference list of all of the shortcuts I've talked about in this post. If I've left out something important, please let me know by emailing me at In the meantime, I'll be working on my next Scoroncocolo TechPage post while chilling out in my genuine Naugahyde recliner waiting to hear from you.

Scoroncocolo's List of Windows 7 Keyboard Shortcuts

Show the Desktop Shortcut

  • Win-key + Spacebar···Peak at the Desktop without actually going there.
  • Win-key + d···Toggle back and forth from your Desktop to your open windows.

Windows Keyboard Shortcuts Using the Arrow Keys

  • Win-key plus the down Arrow-key···Makes a window less than full-screen.
  • Win-key pluse the up Arrow-key···Makes the window full-size again.
  • Win+Shift+Right/Left arrow···If you have more than one monitor, moves the current window left or right.
  • Win-key pluse the left Arrow-key···Docks a less than full-size window to the left side of the screen.
  • Win-key pluse the right Arrow-key···Docks a less than full-size window to the right side of the screen.
  • Win-key pluse t···Allows you to use your Arrow keys to scroll through the taskbar.
  • Win-key pluse b···Allows you to use your Arrow keys to scroll through your Systems Trey.

More Cool Windows Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Win-key plus (1 through 9)···Opens the corresponding program on your taskbar.
  • Alt plus Win-key plus (1 through 9)···Opens the Jump List of the corresponding program on your taskbar.
  • Win-key plus Tab···Activates Flip 3d.
  • Ctrl plus Win-key plus Tab···Freezes Flip 3d. Use Esc key or click a window to deactivate Flip 3d.

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