I’ll be posting series of “Productivity Tips for Geeks” on a on-going basis targeted toward geeks who spend lot of time in front of the computer.
I hate to use the mouse and use keyboard intensively for all my work. If I perform a single action more than few times using mouse, I’ll try to find a corresponding keyboard shortcuts and use it. Using keyboard instead of mouse can be a immediate productivity booster for most of the people. In this post, let us review how to launch the frequently used software on your Windows operating system using keyboard.
One of my frequently used program is notepad++ and I don’t want to click on the “Start -> All Programs -> Notepad++ -> Notepad++”, every time I want to launch Notepad++. Following 5 steps explain how to setup the shortcuts and launch any software using keyboard quickly.
1. Create a desktop shortcut for your corresponding program as shown below. i.e “”Start -> All Programs -> Notepad++ -> Notepad++ -> (right mouse-click) -> Send To -> Desktop (create shortcut)”
2. Move the desktop shortcut to “C:\shortcuts”. i.e Move the Notepad++ shortcut from the desktop to C:\shortcuts directory. You can choose any directory you want to use. I put all my shortcuts under C:\shortcuts.
3. Rename the shortcut to something short and easy to remember. For e.g. I have renamed my “Notepad++” shortcut to “np”
4. Add the C:\shortcuts to your PATH. On Windows XP click on “Start -> Control Panel -> System icon -> Advanced Tab -> Environment Variables -> Select PATH -> Click on Edit”. Add “;C:\shortcuts” at the end of the “Variable Value” as shown below. You need to perform this step only one time for all your shortcuts.
5. Use keyboard to Launch Notepad++. Hold down the “Windows” key and press “r” key. i.e Press “Win + R” key. This will launch the run dialog as shown below. Type “np” and hit enter. This will launch the Notepad++ application without using mouse.
Now, repeat the step#1, 2 and 3 to create shortcuts for all your frequently used programs. I have more than 30 shortcuts in the C:\shortcuts folder. I listed the names of some of the shortcuts that I have under my C:\shortcuts directory. It is very important to choose the shortcut names that are easy for you to remember. Be as creative as you can be in this part.
- np = Notepad++
- ff = FireFox
- ie = Internet Explorer
- fm = Free Mind
- excel = MS Excel
- word = MS Word
- ol = MS Outlook
- p = Putty
- ssh = SSH Client
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