In this guide, we will show you how to create custom keyboard shortcuts. If there is a tool or program that you use regularly then this is a fast and efficient way to open the program. Below are instructions on how you can create your own custom keyboard shortcuts as well as information on alternative options and a list of all existing keyboard shortcuts.
How to create custom keyboard shortcuts
In the below example, I will show you how to create a shortcut to the Windows Paint program but you can replace the Windows Paint program with any tool or program you like.
- Open the Start Menu by pressing the Windows key on your keyboard
- Start typing PAINT
- Right-click the Paint icon as shown below
- From the Menu select ‘Open file location’
- Windows Explorer will open and show you the file location
- Right-click the Paint icon and select ‘Properties’
- The Properties window will open. You want to select the Shortcut tab as shown below.
- Type the letter you wish to use for the shortcut in the text box called Shortcut Key as shown below. You should be aware of existing keyboard Shortcuts (see lower down) and note that if you select a letter from the keyboard it will automatically place (CTRL + ALT + your letter) but if you would like to use a different key combination press and hold the keys, for example, CTRL + SHIFT + P
- Click the OK button to create your new custom keyboard shortcut key.
Are there alternatives to creating custom shortcut keys?
Keyboard shortcuts are great but require memorizing different key combinations. Instead, you could use custom desktop shortcuts to launch your programs or even have the programs start when you turn the computer on.
Once you have created desktop shortcuts you can leave them on your desktop or pin them to your Taskbar. Another option would be to customize your Windows Start menu so that the programs you use the most are all in one place. Below are some links which you might find useful.
- How to create a desktop short cut?
- Add or remove a program on the taskbar?
- Customizing the Start Menu for Windows 10
List of existing keyboard shortcuts
Lots of programs use different shortcut keys but below I have compiled the most common keyboard shortcut key combinations.
- F1 = Opens the Help Menu
- F2 = Renames the item
- F3 = Opens Search window
- F4 = Shows Address bar
- F5 = Refresh
- F6 = Tabs between window elements
- F7 = Spellcheck
- ALT + TAB = Moves through open programs
- ALT + ESC = Moves through items in the order that they were opened
- ALT + ENTER = Opens the Properties Window of an item
- CTRL + A = Selects all
- CTRL + B = Makes highlighted text bold
- CTRL + C = Copy
- CTRL + V = Paste
- CTRL + P = Print
- CTRL + X = Cut
- CTRL + Z = Undo
- CTRL + Y = Redo
- CTRL + S = Save
- CTRL + F = Find
- CTRL + ESC = Opens the START menu
- CTRL + N = New window
- WIN + E = Open Windows Explorer
- WIN + L = Lock screen
- WIN + R = Open Run Box
- WIN = U = Opens Ease of Access center
- WIN + D = Show Desktop (When pressed again hides desktop)
- WIN + TAB = Shows everything open and then using directional arrows lets you select by pressing Enter
- WIN + HOME = Will minimize all except the active window
- WIN + X = Open administartive Windows menu.
To open items on the taskbar Press WIN + the number from left to right of items on the taskbar.
Directional keyboard shortcut keys
- ALT + LEFT ARROW = Back
- ALT + RIGHT ARROW = Forward
- CTRL + 0 resets zoom level to default
- CTRL and + = Zoom
- CTRL and – = Zoom out
- CTRL and Mouse Wheel = Zoom in/out
- TAB = Move forward
- SHIFT + TAB = Move backward
- HOME = Go to start of window/page
- END = Go to end of window/page
- WIN + ARROW = Will move/snap open window to choose direction.
Additional information on keyboard shortcuts
If you would like more information on keyboard short cuts then Wikipedia has more keyboard shortcut keys which you can access by clicking here. Microsoft also has a page dedicated to keyboard shortcut keys which you can access by clicking here
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