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Windows XP Shortcut Key Combinations

Windows 7’s new shortcut keys get all the attention these days. Many people forget that every version of Windows has offered hundreds of shortcut keys. For example, here are some of Windows XP’s most popular keyboard shortcuts, separated into categories. (Extra perk: Most of Windows XP’s keyboard shortcuts work in Windows 7, as well.)

Cutting, pasting, and deleting shortcuts

CTRL+V Paste
SHIFT+DELETE Delete the selected item permanently without placing the item in the Recycle Bin
CTRL while dragging an item Copy the selected item
CTRL+SHIFT while dragging an item Create a shortcut to the selected item

Moving the cursor in Windows

CTRL+RIGHT ARROW Move the insertion point to the beginning of the next word
CTRL+LEFT ARROW Move the insertion point to the beginning of the previous word
CTRL+DOWN ARROW Move the insertion point to the beginning of the next paragraph
CTRL+UP ARROW Move the insertion point to the beginning of the previous paragraph

Dialog box Windows shortcuts

CTRL+TAB Move forward through the tabs
CTRL+SHIFT+TAB Move backward through the tabs
TAB Move forward through the options
SHIFT+TAB Move backward through the options
ALT+Underlined letter Perform the corresponding command or select the corresponding option
ENTER Perform the command for the active option or button
SPACEBAR Select or clear the check box if the active option is a check box
Arrow keys Select a button if the active option is a group of option buttons
F1 key Display Help
F4 key Display the items in the active list
BACKSPACE Open a folder one level up if a folder is selected in the Save As or Open dialog box

Windows Key shortcuts

Windows Logo Display or hide the Start menu
Windows Logo+BREAK Display the System Properties dialog box
Windows Logo+D Display the desktop
Windows Logo+M Minimize all of the windows
Windows Logo+SHIFT+M Restore the minimized windows
Windows Logo+E Open My Computer
Windows Logo+F Search for a file or a folder
CTRL+Windows Logo+F Search for computers on a network
Windows Logo+F1 Display Windows Help
Windows Logo+ L Lock the keyboard
Windows Logo+R Open the Run dialog box
Windows Logo+U Open Utility Manager

Stuck with an older keyboard that lacks a Windows Key? Hold down CTRL and ESC simultaneously, instead. That key combination is the same as pressing the Windows Key.

Windows Explorer keyboard shortcuts

END Display the bottom of the active window
HOME Display the top of the active window
NUM LOCK+Asterisk sign Display all of the subfolders that are under the selected folder
NUM LOCK+Plus sign Display the contents of the selected folder
NUM LOCK+Minus sign Collapse the selected folder
LEFT ARROW Collapse the current selection if it is expanded, or select the parent folder
RIGHT ARROW Display the current selection if it is collapsed, or select the first subfolder

Miscellaneous keyboard shortcuts for Windows computing

F2 key Rename the selected item
CTRL+SHIFT with any of the arrow keys Highlight a block of text
SHIFT with any of the arrow keys Select more than one item in a window or on the desktop, or select text in a document
CTRL+A Select all
F3 key Search for a file or a folder
ALT+ENTER View the properties for the selected item
ALT+F4 Close the active item, or quit the active program
ALT+ENTER Display the properties of the selected object
ALT+SPACEBAR Open the shortcut menu for the active window
CTRL+F4 Close the active document in programs that enable you to have multiple documents open simultaneously
ALT+TAB Switch between the open items
ALT+ESC Cycle through items in the order that they had been opened
F6 key Cycle through the screen elements in a window or on the desktop
F4 key Display the Address bar list in My Computer or Windows Explorer
SHIFT+F10 Display the shortcut menu for the selected item
ALT+SPACEBAR Display the System menu for the active window
CTRL+ESC Display the Start menu
ALT+Underlined letter in a menu name Display the corresponding menu
Underlined letter in a command name on an open menu Perform the corresponding command
F10 key Activate the menu bar in the active program
RIGHT ARROW Open the next menu to the right, or open a submenu
LEFT ARROW Open the next menu to the left, or close a submenu
F5 key Update the active window
BACKSPACE View the folder one level up in My Computer or Windows Explorer
ESC Cancel the current task
SHIFT when you insert a CD-ROM into the CD-ROM drive Prevent the CD-ROM from automatically playing
CTRL+SHIFT+ESC Open Task Manager
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