If you’re a rather busy person like me, every single second you waste throws pennies down the drain. Those pennies gather up over a year, so making yourself more efficient at what you do on your computer should be at the top of your list. If you lose 2 cents for every second you lose and you waste 2 minutes of the day moving your mouse instead of pressing quick shortcut keys, that’s $864 every year you’ll never recover – almost one grand! Even if you don’t make money on your computer, think of how much time you can save to do other things like reading a book or playing ball with your kid that always complains about you being such a busy beaver.
1. Win + Tab (similar to Alt + Tab)
Many of you know that you can press the “Alt + Tab” shortcut key to switch between windows, but perhaps a few of you don’t know that you can press the “Windows Logo + Tab” key (next to the “Alt” key) for a similar effect, only more aesthetically pleasing. Some may argue that this is slower than using the mouse, and while I still use my mouse, I’ve heard of people who have trained themselves to use this feature with much better timing than others would with a mouse. If not for speed, at least you can enjoy the beautiful switching effect when you use the “Win” key, which lives totally up to its name.
If you’re really bored, just hold down both keys continuously. You’ll see the screen just cycle between windows endlessly in a marching parade of dialogs and text. I confess I’ve done this numerous times while waiting for a press release.
2. Win and + / –
If you’re coming of age, you might be bothered by the inability to comfortably read unmagnified text in a window. In that case, perhaps you already know of the “Ctrl” and “plus” key combination. If you don’t, jot it down. This also comes useful. “Ctrl + Plus” magnifies the window you’re currently in, depending on whether the program recognizes that combination or not. You can’t magnify all windows with this combination, though. Use the “Windows Logo” key mentioned earlier in place of the “Ctrl” key to magnify your entire screen.
3. Win + T
This key performs the same function as “Win + Tab,” except that it scrolls through taskbar icons of open windows – a much less invasive version of window swapping. There’s not much else to say about this one.
4. Win + 1-9
If you know what ordinal number you want to swap to, combine the “Win” key with any of the numbers of your keyboard to switch to it immediately. Pressing “Win + 4,” for example, switches to the window to which the fourth icon on the taskbar belongs. This proves an advantage when you have certain windows open in a particular order. Otherwise, you might fare better with the “Win + Tab” or “Win + T” options.
5. Win + Spacebar
If you ever need to take a quick glimpse at your desktop, but you don’t need to switch to it, try this: Hold down the “Win” key and press the Spacebar. Don’t let go of the “Win” key, though. You’ll notice your desktop appearing behind all the windows you have open. Once you let go of the “Win” key, you’ll see your active window again. You might need to use this feature if you’re looking for the name of a file on your desktop, and you need to type the name in the window you currently have open. You never know when you’ll need to see other aspects of your desktop without switching. By the way, you can switch to your desktop very quickly by clicking the lower right corner of the screen, where a small vertical bar shows up on your taskbar, just right of the clock.
6. Shift + Win + Left/Right Arrow
Using multiple monitors? Try this key combination to switch a window between monitors. The left arrow in the key combination moves a window in the right monitor to the left monitor, and vice versa.
7. Win + M
The task of minimizing all your windows can be disheartening, at best. That’s why Microsoft included this key combination, which allows you to minimize all your windows at your whim.
8. Win + L
A powerful key combination, “Win + L” allows you to lock your computer at the flip of a dime. This discourages people from smearing their noses on what you have on your screen. After all, your business is not theirs.
The Grand Finale
These are eight really simple time-saving keyboard shortcuts that might actually save you some day from ever thinking of what you could have done to cherish every moment in your life. Time is something precious, more so if you approach a ripe old age or own a business. Now, for your next goal: putting your saved time to good use!
Photo Credit: flickr