Macros & Shortcuts

Windows 10 tip: Learn the secret shortcuts to jump straight to system folders

Posted on September 28, 2017. Filed under: Macros & Shortcuts, Windows 10 | Tags: , , |

ZDNet has a post: Windows 10 keeps a collection of shortcuts to system and user folders. If you know the registered name of one of those folders, you can get to it easily using shell: commands. Here are some useful ones.

Source: Windows 10 tip: Learn the secret shortcuts to jump straight to system folders | ZDNet

Especially useful (IMHO):

shell:Desktop to show the contents of your Desktop folder

shell:Downloads to find where things go to when you download

shell:SendTo to add or remove shortcuts to that right-click menu

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Windows 10 tip: Pin your favorite folders to the Start menu

Posted on October 18, 2016. Filed under: Everything, Macros & Shortcuts, Windows 10 | Tags: , , |

ZDNet has a post: Windows 10 includes a well-hidden option that gives you quick access to common folders. This secret shortcut list appears on the left of the Start menu. Here’s how to customize that list.

Source: Windows 10 tip: Pin your favorite folders to the Start menu | ZDNet

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How to Remove Programs from the “Open With” Context Menu in Windows

Posted on October 18, 2016. Filed under: Everything, Macros & Shortcuts, Techniques | Tags: , , , |

HowToGeek has a post: If your “Open With” right-click menu is getting a little cluttered, why not get rid of entries you don’t use? With a little Registry hacking, it’s easy to do.

Source: How to Remove Programs from the “Open With” Context Menu in Windows

Remember: making changes in the Registry is a tricky business and it’s a good idea to make a backup first!

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SwiftKey Keyboard (for Android) Review & Rating

Posted on June 19, 2014. Filed under: Android, Macros & Shortcuts | Tags: , , |

PCMag offers their SwiftKey Keyboard (for Android) Review & Rating.

Remember to check the source and the latest comments to avoid apps which may have been tampered with.

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Hands-on with Linux Mint Cinnamon’s Hot Corners

Posted on May 21, 2014. Filed under: Linux, Macros & Shortcuts | Tags: , , , , , |

ZDNet has a post for Hands-on with Mint Cinnamon’s Hot Corners.

If you’re using Linux with the Mint Cinnamon interface, this is a neat shortcut technique.

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WMP Keys – Microsoft© Windows Media Player Global Hot Keys

Posted on April 10, 2013. Filed under: Freeware/Shareware, Macros & Shortcuts, MP3, Music | Tags: , , , , , |

WMP Keys – Microsoft© Windows Media Player Global Hot Keys is a free add-on that adds hot keys to WMP.

Play/Pause, Next, Previous, Volume Up, Volume Down, Fast Forward, Fast Backward, Rate [1-5]
Recommended by MakeUseOf.
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Siine Keyboard: A unique, effective mobile keyboard

Posted on December 3, 2012. Filed under: Android, Freeware/Shareware, Macros & Shortcuts | Tags: , , , |

TechRepublic suggests the Siine Keyboard app: A unique, effective mobile keyboard.

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The 40 most important Google Apps keyboard shortcuts

Posted on February 22, 2012. Filed under: Gmail (Google Mail), Google, Macros & Shortcuts | Tags: , , , , , , |

TechRepublic has The 40 most important Google Apps keyboard shortcuts for Google+, Calendar, Docs and Gmail.

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Swype has Text Input for smaller screens

Posted on April 2, 2011. Filed under: Macros & Shortcuts, Phones | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Swype is a text input utility to help enter text on small screens: smartphones, pads/tablets/slates, or anything without a regular keyboard.

At present, this is freeware.

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Three timesaving Ctrl-key tricks in Excel

Posted on March 28, 2011. Filed under: Macros & Shortcuts, Microsoft Excel | Tags: , , |

TechRepublic has Three timesaving Ctrl-key tricks in Excel.

 

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The 10 most useful Windows 7 keyboard shortcuts

Posted on February 14, 2011. Filed under: Macros & Shortcuts, Windows 7 | Tags: , , , |

TechRepublic offers The 10 most useful Windows 7 keyboard shortcuts.

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Remapping the keyboard

Posted on February 14, 2011. Filed under: Hardware, Macros & Shortcuts | Tags: , , , , |

Over the years, hardware and software vendors have come up with their own key-remapping approaches, all of which are convoluted, slow, and prone to errors. Microsoft addresses the remapping problem — to a first approximation, at least — in Windows NT, 2000, XP, and Vista by adding this Registry key (not to be confused with an actual physical key on your keyboard):

HKLM \ SYSTEM \ CurrentControlSet \ Control \ Keyboard Layout \ Scancode Map
If this Registry entry exists, Windows consults the contents of the Scancode Map every time you press a key on your keyboard and follows the value of that key as set in the Registry.

Editing the Registry is rarely easy, and the keyboard-mapping hack is more perilous than most such customizations. The Registry’s keyboard settings reek with geek, making what should be a straightforward task ridiculously Byzantine. Randy at RandyRants.com describes his descent into the nitty-gritty in a recent blog post.

Microsoft offers a free remapping tool called the Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator, but I found the program to be incomplete and very difficult to use. Fortunately, there’s a much easier — and free — alternative.

Free download automates your key remapping
My favorite keyboard remapper is SharpKeys, from the aforementioned RandyRants.com. The program makes remapping keys a breeze on almost any keyboard.

For example, to kill your Caps Lock key, follow these steps:

  • Step 1. If you run Windows XP and don’t already have the .NET Framework, download and install it. (Vista users needn’t bother because the .NET Framework is built into that OS.)
  • Step 2. Download and install SharpKeys.exe. You may need to use an account with administrator privileges or supply an administrator password for the installer to run.
  • Step 3. Before you run SharpKeys, create a System Restore point to protect against inadvertently remapping keys that are necessary for you to log on to your computer. Click Start, All Programs, Accessories, System Tools, System Restore; choose “Create a restore point”; click Next; and then step through the rest of the wizard.If something goes wrong, reboot your PC, press the F8 key repeatedly, choose Last Known Good Configuration from the list of options that appears, reopen System Restore, and select the restore point you created previously.
  • Step 4. Run SharpKeys by clicking Start, All Programs, RandyRants.com, SharpKeys. If you use Vista and aren’t logged on to an administrator account, right-click the SharpKeys shortcut on the Start menu and choose Run as Administrator.
  • Step 5. Click the Add button. On the left, click the Type Key button. Press the Caps Lock key on your keyboard and click OK. On the right, make sure that you’ve selected the following option (which is the default, as shown in Figure 1) and click OK:— Turn Key Off (00_00)
  • Step 6. Back in the SharpKeys main window, verify that SharpKeys is ready to map the Caps Lock key to Turn Key Off. Click Write to Registry. When the warning appears, click OK.
  • Step 7. Back in the SharpKeys main window again, click Close.
  • Step 8. Log off your computer and then log back on (or restart the system). Verify that your Caps Lock key doesn’t work anymore.

AutoHotKey is for both mouse and keyboard: ”

AutoHotkey is a free, open-source utility for Windows. With it, you can:

  • Automate almost anything by sending keystrokes and mouse clicks. You can write a mouse or keyboard macro by hand or use the macro recorder.
  • Create hotkeys for keyboard, joystick, and mouse. Virtually any key, button, or combination can become a hotkey.
  • Expand abbreviations as you type them. For example, typing “btw” can automatically produce “by the way”.
  • Create custom data-entry forms, user interfaces, and menu bars. See GUI for details.
  • Remap keys and buttons on your keyboard, joystick, and mouse.
  • Respond to signals from hand-held remote controls via the WinLIRC client script.
  • Run existing AutoIt v2 scripts and enhance them with new capabilities.
  • Convert any script into an EXE file that can be run on computers that don’t have AutoHotkey installed.

Getting started might be easier than you think. Check out the quick-start tutorial.”

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Vista shell commands

Posted on February 14, 2011. Filed under: Macros & Shortcuts, Windows Vista | Tags: , , , , , , , |

TechRepublic has a Windows tip on using Shell commands in Vista:

“Using Shell command shortcuts

While you can use Explorer, the Control Panel, or the Start menu to access key features in Windows Vista, sometimes a shortcut can be more useful. Hidden underneath the Windows Vista architecture are a whole host of special shortcuts known as Shell commands. To use a Shell command, all you need to do is press [Windows]+R to access the Run dialog box and then enter the word Shell followed by a colon (:) and then command as in:

Shell:command

As you can see there are no spaces between the word Shell and the colon and the command — it is essentially one word.

While there are close to 100 Shell commands, not all of them are very useful. As such, I won’t actually list them. I’ll just discuss the ones that I find most useful in everyday situations first and then I’ll list the other ones that I find occasionally useful.

Keep in mind that not all of these Shell commands will work in all versions of Windows Vista.

Most useful Shell commands

  • shell:ChangeRemoveProgramsFolder – opens the Programs and Features (Add/Remove Programs) window.
  • shell:Sendto – opens the SendTo folder so that you can easily add more locations to the Send To list.
  • shell:Common Administrative Tools – opens the Administrative Tools menu as a folder
  • shell:Desktop – opens the Desktop as a folder.
  • shell:Downloads – opens your Downloads folder.
  • shell:Quick Launch – opens the Quick Launch folder.
  • shell:Searches – opens the Search folder showing all your saved searches.

The other useful Shell commands

  • shell:AppUpdatesFolder – opens the Installed Windows Updates location in Program and Files.
  • shell:Cache – opens Internet Explorer’s temporary Internet files folder.
  • shell:CD Burning – opens the folder where Windows Vista temporarily stores files to be burned to a CD.
  • shell:Common Desktop – opens the Public User’s Desktop folder.
  • shell:Common Documents – opens the Public User’s Documents folder.
  • shell:Common Programs – opens the Start menu shortcuts folder.
  • shell:Common Start Menu – opens the Start Menu as a folder.
  • shell:Common Startup – opens the Startup folder.
  • shell:Common Templates – opens the Templates folder.
  • shell:CommonDownloads – opens the Public User’s Downloads folder.
  • shell:CommonMusic – opens the Public User’s Music folder.
  • shell:CommonPictures – opens the Public User’s Pictures folder.
  • shell:CommonVideo – opens the Public User’s Video folder.
  • shell:ConflictFolder – opens the Sync Center Conflicts folder.
  • shell:ConnectionsFolder – opens the Network Connections folder.
  • shell:Contacts – opens your Contacts folder.
  • shell:ControlPanelFolder – opens the Control Panel.
  • shell:Cookies – opens the cookies folder
  • shell:Favorites – opens your Favorites folder.
  • shell:Fonts – opens Vista’s Fonts folder.
  • shell:Gadgets – opens your Windows Sidebar Gadgets folder.
  • shell:History – opens the Internet Explorer history folder.
  • shell:InternetFolder – opens Internet Explorer.
  • shell:Links – opens your Links folder location.
  • shell:MyMusic – opens your Music folder.
  • shell:MyPictures – opens your Pictures folder.
  • shell:MyVideo – opens your Video folder.
  • shell:MyComputerFolder – opens Computer window.
  • shell:NetHood – opens Network Shortcuts folder.
  • shell:NetworkPlacesFolder – opens the Network Places location.
  • shell:Original Images – opens Windows Photo Gallery Original Images folder.
  • shell:Personal – opens your Documents folder.
  • shell:PhotoAlbums – opens your Slide Show folder.
  • shell:Playlists – opens your Playlists folder.
  • shell:PrintersFolder – opens Printers in the Control Panel.
  • shell:Profile – opens your main folder.
  • shell:ProgramFiles – opens the Program Files folder.
  • shell:Public – opens the Public User folder.
  • shell:Recent – opens the Recent Items folder.
  • shell:RecycleBinFolder – opens the Recycle Bin folder.
  • shell:Start Menu – opens the Start Menu folder.
  • shell:Startup – opens the Startup folder
  • shell:System – opens the System32 folder location.
  • shell:Templates – opens the Templates folder location.
  • shell:UserProfiles – opens the Users folder.
  • shell:UsersFilesFolder – opens your main folder.
  • shell:Windows – opens the Windows folder.”
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SharpKeys 3.0

Posted on September 27, 2010. Filed under: Freeware/Shareware, Macros & Shortcuts, Utilities | Tags: , , , , , , |

Randy Rants has SharpKeys 3.0 for remapping your keyboard.

FriedBeef has a tutorial on how to use Sharpkeys to change the keys to something you prefer.

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High Sign – Increase Productivity Using Mouse Gestures

Posted on April 19, 2010. Filed under: Freeware/Shareware, Macros & Shortcuts | Tags: , , , , , , |

High Sign is software to help you to Increase Productivity Using Mouse Gestures.

High Sign “allows you to easily create and map custom gestures to perform common actions on their Windows PC. Unlike some other mouse gesture recognition software, you are not limited to a set of predefined gestures; you are free to create any gesture you can think up.”

So, in theory, you could invent a mouse movement unique to you, and use it to trigger some specific action in a program, or start/close a program, or … whatever you want.

Freeware for Windows.

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AutoHotkey AutoInclude Organizes, Consolidates Your Scripts

Posted on March 15, 2010. Filed under: Freeware/Shareware, Macros & Shortcuts | Tags: , , , , |

Lifehacker has a how-to post on how AutoHotkey AutoInclude Organizes, Consolidates Your AHK Workflow.

” AutoInclude script scans a list of folders for *.ahk, and creates a temporary AHK file that includes them all, and then executes the temporary file. It allows me to keep all my scripts VERY organized, allows me to determine which scripts are appropriate for each computer, and lets me edit my scripts very easily! Finally, I put all my AutoHotkey scripts into a Live-Mesh-Synchronized folder and share it across all my PC’s.”

Freeware.

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Perfect Automation automates functions

Posted on March 15, 2010. Filed under: Freeware/Shareware, Macros & Shortcuts, Microsoft Windows | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Perfect Automation is a Script Editor + Launcher + Scheduler + Keyboard/mouse recorder.

“You can use Perfect Automation as a launcher, a scheduler, a mouse & keyboard recorder and a powerful script editor. You do not need to install and use four different applications. All modules are combined into one single program.”

Freeware for Windows 2000/XP/2003/Vista and Windows 7.

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bit.ly, a simple url shortener

Posted on February 21, 2010. Filed under: Macros & Shortcuts, searching, Utilities | Tags: , , , , , , |

bit.ly is a simple url shortener.  Enter your long Internet URL and it gets shortened to something easier to handle, especially when tweeting.

Note: due to spammers abusing TinyURL, a number of places have blocked those.  This will be an alternative, at least until the spammers manage to misuse it sufficiently.

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Outlook essential shortcuts from Office Watch

Posted on February 15, 2010. Filed under: Macros & Shortcuts, Microsoft Outlook | Tags: , |

Outlook essential shortcuts from Office Watch.

All the keyboard shortcuts to Microsoft Outlook.

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How do I create shutdown shortcuts in Microsoft Windows 7?

Posted on February 15, 2010. Filed under: Help, Macros & Shortcuts, Windows 7 | Tags: , |

TechRepublic has a post on How do I create shutdown shortcuts in Microsoft Windows 7?

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