How to Create Hotkeys

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Hotkeys, also called shortcut keys, are a feature of Microsoft Windows which allows users to create a keyboard command combination that will open a program. This is an alternative to scrolling through a large menu of programs or attempting to find the program's shortcut if it is clustered among several icons on your desktop. You don't need to use a hotkey to open a program and if you wish to change the hotkey you can do so with a few clicks.

  • Create a shortcut for the program that you wish to reach with a hotkey. Click on the "Start" button at the bottom, left corner of your screen and then "All Programs." Point at the program name. Right-click on the program name and click on "Create Shortcut." This will create a second menu listing for the program; this second listing is the shortcut. Drag the shortcut to its permanent location, for example, your desktop.

  • Right-click on the program shortcut. Click "Properties" on the menu that appears. This will open the "Properties" dialog box.

  • Click on the "Shortcut" tab in the "Properties" dialog box.

  • Click inside the "Shortcut Key" field. Since the program does not yet have a hotkey, the field will say "None." Hold down the "Ctrl" and "Alt" keys and type the final key to create your hotkey. For example, if you want the hotkey combination to be "Ctrl + Alt + 7," hold down the Ctrl and Atl keys while you type the "7." This combination should now appear in the "Shortcut Key" field.

  • Click "Apply" at the bottom, right corner of the "Properties" dialog box.

  • Test your hotkey by typing in the hotkey combination you've just created. For example, type "Ctrl + Alt + 7." The program should open accordingly.

  • Change your hotkey combination by right-clicking on the program's shortcut and typing a new hotkey combination in the "Shortcut Key" field in the "Shortcut" tab of the "Properties" dialog box.

References

  • Photo Credit David Sacks/Lifesize/Getty Images
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