Create Hot Keys to Open Windows Programs

Did you know that you can create a keyboard shortcut to open any Windows program?

Find the program you want to open (Start menu for pre-Windows 8 users; here are instructions for Windows 8 users). Right-click on the program and select “Properties.”

Select the “Shortcut” tab, then click in the “Shortcut key” box.

Type what you want your keyboard shortcut to be. Pick something you won’t hit accidentally or that you don’t already use as a keyboard shortcut. If you do try to use something that’s already a Windows shortcut, Windows will provide you with an alternative. In this case, I pressed CTRL, SHIFT and ‘w’ simultaneously on my keyboard. Click “Ok”.

Now any time I want to open Word, I just hit CTRL + SHIFT + w, and Word will launch.

Bonus tip: ALT-F4 will close the program you currently have open. I know, there’s nothing intuitive about that. Write the keyboard shortcuts you want to learn on little sticky notes and put them on your monitor. Practice them. Before too long you’ll have them down and be ready to learn more.


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