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Create shortcuts with customized key sequences

If you frequently open certain applications, documents, folders, Control Panel applets, or Web addresses, you can avoid digging through several levels of menus to find them by assigning a unique keyboard sequence to each.  Here's how to get the most from this useful feature.

Get Started.  You can assign a key sequence only to a Windows shortcut, not to any other type of file.  If you don't have a shortcut to the item you want to open, create one by using the right mouse button to drag and drop its icon at a convenient location, and choose Create Shortcut's) Here.  The shortcut must be located either on the desktop or in a folder within the Start Menu folder.  Right-click the shortcut and choose Properties.  Make sure the Shortcut tab is in front.  Click the Shortcut Key box and press your desired shortcut key combination.  If you want to use a key on the main portion of the keyboard, your shortcut must begin with Ctr-Alt, Ctrl-Shift, Alt-Shift, or Ctrl-Alt-Shift.  unfortunately, you can't use the Windows key (assuming your keyboard has one).  Once you se your shortcut displayed in the box, click OK and away you go!

Make shortcuts even shorter.  If pressing a bunch of keys at once isn't your idea of sped, here are two alternatives.  First, if your shortcut key sequences uses a function key (one of the numbered F keys along the top or side of your keyboard), the modifier keys Ctrl, Alt, and Shift are optional.  Second, if you never use your numeric keypad (the number keys to the right), you can assign a single key from the numeric keypad for one-key launching.  Just open a shortcut's Properties sheet to the Shortcut tab, click the Shortcut Key box to make the cursor active there, and press the numeric key or function key of your choice.  Numeric keys appear in the box as "Num 1", "Num 2", and so on.  Just remember that numeric shortcut keys will not work unless you activate Num Lock on your keyboard.  Also bear in mind that the key sequence you assign to a shortcut overrides the same sequence in any application that uses it. 

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