B.1. Keyboard Accelerators Listed by Key
Tables B-1 through B-7 list keystrokes that will work in Windows Explorer and most of the components that come with Windows Vista. However, some applications (including Microsoft applications) don't always follow the rules.
Table B-1. Function keys
Start Help (supported in most applications).
Rename selected icon or file in Windows Explorer or on the Desktop.
Open Search (in Windows Explorer or on the Desktop only).
Open a drop-down list (supported in many dialog boxes)for example, press F4 in a File Open dialog to drop down the Look In list.
Refresh the view in Windows Explorer, on the Desktop, in the Registry Editor, and some other applications.
Move focus between panes in Windows Explorer.
Send focus to the current application's menu.
Table B-2. Miscellaneous keys
Basic navigation: move through menus, reposition the text cursor (insertion point), change the file selection, and so on.
Move up one level in the folder hierarchy (Windows Explorer only).
Delete selected item(s) or selected text.
Open a drop-down listbox.
Go to end of line when editing text, or to the end of file list.
Activate highlighted choice in menu or dialog box, or insert a carriage return when editing text.
Close dialog box, message window, or menu without activating any choice (usually the same as clicking Cancel).
Go to beginning of line (when editing text), or to the beginning of file list.
Scroll down one screen.
Scroll up one screen.
Copy entire screen as a bitmap to the Clipboard.
Toggle a checkbox that is selected in a dialog box, activate the command button with the focus, or toggle the selection of files when selecting multiple files with Ctrl.
Move focus to next control in a dialog box or window (hold Shift to go backward).
Table B-3. Alt key combinations
Alt (by itself)
Send focus to the menu (same as F10). Also turns on the menu in applications where it is no longer used by default, such as Windows Explorer and Internet Explorer.
Activate menu or dialog control, where letter x is underlined (if the underlines are not visible, pressing Alt will display them).
Alt-double-click (on icon)
Display Properties sheet.
Display Properties sheet for selected icon in Windows Explorer or on the Desktop. Also switches command prompt between windowed and full-screen display.
Drop active window to bottom of pile, which, in effect, activates next open window.
Close current window; if Taskbar or Desktop has the focus, exit Windows.
Open the current document's system menu in a multiple document interface (MDI) application.
When used with the numbers on the numeric keypad only, inserts special characters corresponding to their ASCII codes into many applications. For example, press the Alt key and type 0169 for the copyright symbol. See "Character Map," in Chapter 10, for details.
Copy active window as a bitmap to the Clipboard.
Same as Alt-Tab, but in the opposite direction.
Open the current window's system menu.
Switch to the next running applicationhold Alt while pressing Tab to cycle through running applications.
When the Taskbar has the focus, minimize all windows and move focus to the Desktop.
When the Taskbar has the focus, open the Start menu.
Table B-4. Ctrl key combinations
Select all; in Windows Explorer, selects all files in the current folder. In word processors, selects all text in the current document.
User-defined accelerator for a shortcut, in which x is any key (discussed at the beginning of this appendix).
Show the logon dialog when no user is currently logged on; otherwise, switch to the Windows Security dialog, which provides access to Task Manager and Log Off, as well as switching to another user, allowing you to change your password or lock the computer. Use Ctrl-Alt-Delete to access the Task Manager when Explorer crashes or your computer becomes unresponsive.
Scroll without moving selection.
Use to select multiple, noncontiguous items in a list or in Windows Explorer.
Copy a file.
Move to the end of a document (in many applications).
Open the Start menu; press Esc and then Tab to move focus to the Taskbar, or press Tab again to move focus to the Taskbar, and then cycle through the toolbars on the Taskbar every time you press Tab.
Close a document window in an MDI application.
Switch between multiple documents in an MDI application. Similar to Ctrl-Tab; hold Shift to go in reverse.
Move to the beginning of a document (in many applications).
Select or deselect multiple, noncontiguous items in a listbox or in Windows Explorer.
Switch among tabs in a tabbed dialog or Internet Explorer; hold Shift to go in reverse.
Copy the selected item or selected text to the Clipboard. Also interrupts some command prompt applications.
Open Search (in Windows Explorer or on the Desktop only).
Paste the contents of the Clipboard.
Cut the selected item or selected text to the Clipboard.
Undo; for example, erases text just entered, and repeals the last file operation in Windows Explorer.
Table B-5. Shift key combinations
While inserting a CD, hold to disable AutoPlay.
Select text or select multiple items in a listbox or in Windows Explorer.
Select all items between currently selected item and item on which you're clicking; also works when selecting text.
Shift-click Close button
Close current folder and all parent folders (Windows Explorer in single-folder view only).
Same as Alt-Tab, but in reverse.
Same as Ctrl-Tab, but in reverse.
Open the Task Manager.
Delete a file without putting it in the Recycle Bin.
Open folder in two-pane Explorer view.
Same as Tab, but in reverse.
Table B-6. Windows logo key (WIN) combinations
Open the Start menu.
If the Aero interface is active, this activates Windows Flip 3D.
Display System Control Panel applet.
Display the Sidebar.
Minimize all windows and move focus to Desktop.
Start Windows Explorer.
Search for a computer on your network (requires Active Directory).
Lock computer, requiring password to regain access.[a]
Minimize current window.
Undo minimize current window.
Display Run dialog.
Open the Ease of Access Center.
[a] You can also lock your computer by pressing Ctrl-Alt-Delete and clicking Lock this Computer.
Table B-7. Command Prompt keyboard accelerators
Move cursor backward/forward one character.
Ctrl + left/right arrow
Move cursor backward/forward one word.
Move cursor to beginning/end of line.
Scroll up (and back) through list of stored commands (called the Command Buffer or History). Each press of the up key recalls the previous command and displays it on the command line.
Recall oldest/most recent command in buffer.
Toggle insert/overtype mode (block cursor implies overtype mode).
Erase current line.
Repeat text typed in preceding line, one character at a time.
F2 + key
Repeat text typed in preceding line, up to first character matching key.
Repeat text typed in preceding line.
Change the template for F1, F2, and F3 (described earlier) so that earlier commands are used as the template; press F5 repeatedly to cycle through the entire command buffer.
Place an end-of-file character (^Z) at current position of command line.
Show all entries in Command Buffer (History).
Clear all entries in Command Buffer (History).
chars + F8
Entering one or more characters chars followed by F8 will display the most recent entry in the Command Buffer beginning with chars. Pressing F8 again will display the next most recent matching command, and so on. If no characters are specified, F8 simply cycles through existing commands in buffer.
F9 + command#
Display designated command on command line; use F7 to obtain numbers.
Interrupt the output of most Command Prompt applications.