Tuesday, 28 August 2007

List all your custom Windows hotkeys

Inspired by my previous blogs about using Windows hotkeys, by now you have created many useful shortcut key combinations, I am sure. In fact you have so many of them, that you don't find them all back. Some of the shortcuts are on your desktop, some on your Quick Launch Bar, others in your Start Menu. You don't know which key combinations are still free to use.
Use this little program to find them all back. Free for you.

You might want to read my other articles on Windows custom hotkeys

Windows hotkeys bug remedy

In an earlier article I wrote about how to use keyboard key combinations together with vbs scripts to make your life easier. Using windows hotkeys can speed up significantly your daily tasks. In general, using the keyboard rather than the mouse will also help you to avoid repetitive strain inuries, especially if, like me, you work at a computer all day long.

Unfortunately, some people have given up using windows hotkeys, because there is a little bug (in Microsoft Windows 2000 and XP, I haven't tested it in Vista). Today I want to present you a programme (vbs script) that remedies this bug. But let me first describe the bug.

Let's say, you have created a shortcut on your desktop to your favorite program (Internet Explorer?) and assigned the key combination Ctrl+Shift+X to it (x for x-plorer). So now, every time you press Ctrl+Shift+X, Internet Explorer pops up (re-read my blog on shortcuts if you want to know how to create such PC keyboard shortcut keys).
Now let's say, you have become weary of Internet Explorer and you don't need that shortcut anymore. So you delete it and you also empty your Recycle Bin immediately afterwards, because you like to keep your computer clean. So far, so good.
In the meantime, MS Excel has become very important to you. So, naturally, you create a shortcut to Excel on your desktop and you want to assign Ctrl+Shift+X to it (x for x-cel). It won't work. No matter how hard you try, Windows won't accept Ctrl+Shift+X as a hotkey combination anymore. That's the bug.

My solution to this problem is this script: RepairHotkeys. It makes the key combination available again. As always, this is free.

Now, you may wonder what the proper way of deleting a shortcut is. According to Microsoft, you need to "unassign" the key combination (i.e. assign the "space" key) before deleting the shortcut. Not very intuitive, is it?

So now you don't have an excuse anymore, use the hotkeys!

You might want to read my other articles on Windows custom hotkeys