Hi guys. In this video I have two tips I’d like to share with you, and they’re dealing specifically with how to make the properties dialog appear faster in Windows. You’re probably all familiar with right-clicking files in Windows and selecting Properties. What I’d like to show you is a quicker way of doing that – two quicker ways of doing that, actually.
The first way involves hovering your mouse over any file on the desktop or anywhere else in Windows, and simply holding ALT and double-clicking the file of your choosing. That will make the properties appear.
The other way involves clicking on the file, actually selecting it – not just hovering over it – and then simply pressing ALT+ENTER. Now, I prefer this ALT+ENTER method because it allows me to step through files using the arrow keys, and then when I get to the file I want to see, I just press ALT+ENTER.
And, as always guys, if you have any comments or questions, please feel free to leave them below – I’ll be happy to answer them.
Thanks to Marc K. for bringing the ALT double-click trick to my attention.
When I use a browser, I typically focus on using keyboard shortcuts, rather than the user interface. Since I’ve been using Google Chrome so often, I thought I would reveal the shortcuts that I’ve been using. Most of these shortcuts should work in other browsers as well, whether natively, or through the use of extensions.
CTRL + T
Opens a new tab in the current window.
CTRL + SHIFT + T
Opens the most recently closed tab. Chrome will actually remember the last ten tabs you closed, and work its way back in time with repeated keypresses.
CTRL + W or CTRL + F4
Closes a tab in the current window. If you close the last remaining tab, the window will close as well.
CTRL + 1, CTRL + 2, CTRL + 3, etc
Allows you to switch to a specific tab within a given window. To better illustrate this, see the following image:
Pressing CTRL+1 will do nothing, because in the image I’m already on tab 1. Pressing CTRL+2 will switch to Wikipedia, and CTRL+3 will switch to Microsoft.
CTRL+9 is a special shortcut that will actually move you to the last tab, regardless of the number of tabs. In the example above, pressing CTRL+9 would bring me to tab 3.
CTRL + TAB
Switches to the next tab.
CTRL + SHIFT + TAB
Switches to the previous tab.
CTRL + N
Opens a new window.
CTRL + SHIFT + N
Opens a new incognito window. I use this shortcut whenever I access my e-mail from a shared computer, to help protect my account.
ALT + F4
Close the current window, regardless of how many tabs are open.
ALT + HOME
Loads your homepage in the current tab.
For a full list of shortcuts in Windows, see the Google Chrome Keyboard and mouse shortcuts page.
In a post titled New Folder Shortcut in Windows, I explained how accelerator keys could speed up the process of creating new folders. The key combination that needs to be pressed depends on which letters are underlined in the Windows menu; however, starting with Vista, Microsoft decided to hide these hints, by default. You can still use the key combinations if you know them, but if you don’t, here’s how to make to the underlined letters always visible in Windows 7:
- Click Start, and launch the Control Panel.
- Click Ease of Access.
- Click Change how your keyboard works.
- Locate the Make it easier to use keyboard shortcuts section.
- Enable the Underline keyboard shortcuts and access keys checkbox.
- Click OK.
That’s it. After that change, menus will reveal which characters are accelerator keys by underlining them, just like in older versions of Windows.
I’m constantly on the lookout for quicker ways to perform everyday tasks in Windows. That said, when I needed to create multiple empty folders at different folder depths, I questioned how I would do so with keyboard shortcuts. Windows 7 already facilitates the process of creating new folders, but most of the visible options are mouse-powered:
Despite these mouse-powered shortcuts, I’ve always felt that keyboard shortcuts were faster. With that in mind, I took my search to Google, and eventually and found what I was looking for:
CTRL + SHIFT + N
Great shortcut… after you press it, you can immediately start typing the folder name. No need to use the mouse in between creating the folder, and typing the name. There’s just one unfortunate catch – the shortcut only works in Windows 7. Seeing as I needed something that worked across Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, and Windows 7, I returned to Google for an alternative. Here’s what I found:
ALT + FWF
Certainly an awkward looking shortcut, but it works just like CTRL + SHIFT + N. The only difference is that it uses accelerator keys, a long-supported feature of Windows. Back in Windows Server 2003, accelerator keys were easy to recognize visually:
All you had to do was look for underlined letters in the menu options. As can be seen above, the File menu option has the F key associated. If you hold ALT, the key combination you press will be sent to the menu bar. This also works in Windows Vista, and Windows 7 – though, by default, the underlined letters and menu bar are hidden. So, for example, you can follow the ALT + FWF path. Holding ALT, first press F to select File, then W for New, and F for Folder. After that, just type the name of the new folder, and press ENTER.
Interested in making the underlined letters always visible in Windows 7? If so, read How to Restore Underlined Shortcuts in Menus.