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Create a Keyboard Shortcut to Your Favorite Programs

by Oscar Sodani
June 10, 2003

Oscar Sodani is a founder of Help2Go and owner of Help2Go Networks, an IT consulting firm in the Washington D.C. area. Oscar holds the CISSP certification as well as industry certifications from Microsoft, Cisco and Novell.

In Windows 2000 or XP, you can create quick keyboard shortcuts to your most often used programs. For instance, I'm constantly using Dreamweaver in my job to create web pages. By hitting Ctrl-Alt-D on my keyboard, Dreamweaver automatically starts. Ctrl-Alt-M opens my e-mail program (Mozilla). Here's how to set it up:

-First, right-click on whatever icon you use to start your program, whether it's on the Desktop, or in the Start Menu.
-When you right-click on it, you'll see a pop-up menu. Choose Properties from this menu.
-Find the option marked Shortcut Key (for XP, it's on the Shortcut tab).
-Next, press the keys (in unison) that you want to use to start this program.

Your keyboard combination has to be one letter, number, or other character, and 2 of these keys (SHIFT, CTRL, ALT). So for instance, you could use Ctrl-Alt-K to be your combination, or Shift-Ctrl-9, but you can't use just Shift-5, or Alt-H, since these are already reserved for different uses.

Once you're done, hit the OK button. Now test our your new shortcut by hitting those keys again.

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