There are several ways to launch apps quickly, using either mouse or keyboard.

Direct method: You can assign keystrokes to launch any shortcut. Right-click the shortcut and choose Properties. On the Shortcut tab, click in the Shortcut key box and then press the keys you want to use to launch the shortcut. Click OK.

A word of warning: Be careful not to reassign other useful keyboard shortcuts you may have already assigned. Also, you can assign keyboard shortcuts only to icon shortcuts — not the actual icon of a document or application.

Search method: In Vista and Win 7, press the Windows key to open the Start menu. Then type a few letters until the search tool finds the program you want to launch; press Enter. The catch — if you have several programs starting with the same characters, you end up taking more time typing than if you simply mouse-clicked the application’s icon.

Menu method: For me, the “classic” Start menu provides a better solution. If you organize shortcuts into a hierarchy of menus, each starting with a unique character, you can navigate the menus quickly and launch most programs with only 3 or 4 keystrokes. More »

One big improvement with Firefox 3 compared to previous versions, is with selecting multiple areas of text on a web page. In previous versions, if you wanted to select multiple text areas, you needed to find an add-on or deal with the limited built in functionality.

Now with Firefox 3, you can easily select multiple discontinuous areas at once, select an entire paragraph, or select multiple words.

Selecting Multiple Areas Of Text

With this new option you can make an initial selection as usual and keep adding text chunks by pressing the CTRL key (Command key on Macs) while making additional selections.

Just highlight an area, then move your mouse to another area of text that you want to select, press the CTRL key and drag the mouse over the area of text.

After selecting the text areas, right click on an area and select copy (or press CTRL+C) and the text will be copied to the clip board where you can paste it in a text file, document, etc… More »

If you get a brand new PC with Vista, the chances are that you will also have a new screen. That screen will most likely be a flat TFT screen with a huge resolution like 1440 x 900. You should always use TFT screens at their “native resolution” but some people then find that the writing is too small to read comfortably. DO NOT be tempted to change the screen resolution like you use to do with the old CRT screens. This may make the writing bigger, but it will be fuzzier.

You can make the writing and icons bigger whilst keeping the crispness by using the following procedure: More »

Do you know the fastest way to open a file location of any desktop shortcut? i.e the directory where that file is located.

The most simple method to do this is to right click on the shortcut and then select properties and click the open file location button.

But if you have noticed in vista this feature now comes integrated with windows vista itself More »

Microsoft Outlook

The Cranking Widgets blog runs down the steps to create and send a new email in Microsoft Outlook without using the mouse:

1. Use Alt+Tab to switch to Outlook.

2. If you’re looking at anything other than one of your mail folders (like your Calendar or Contacts), hit Ctrl+Shift+M to open a new mail message, otherwise just hit Ctrl+N.

3. You should now be looking at a blank email, with your cursor placed in the To: field. Type the recipients name (and if Outlook is connected to Microsoft Exchange Server and you’re emailing somebody in your organization, you can type their name and hit Ctrl+K, which will verify their address for you).
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