Top Windows 7 Keyboard Shortcuts

November 3, 2010, By Christian Cawley

You’ve got a nice new shiny Windows operating system, a keyboard for typing and a mouse for pointing and clicking. There’s very little you can’t do with that mouse, in fact, and the rate and ease with which you can open the start menu or view the Windows 7 clock widget simply by turning the entire collection of open windows invisible is staggering.

Windows 7 features a lot of new user interface options – some of which negate the use for various keyboard shortcuts and previous functions. Nevertheless, many of the these keyboard shortcuts still exist, and you should be pretty clued up and familiar with which ones can still be used – after all, you might need them some day!

Windows 7 Keyboard Shortcuts You Should Know

A considerable amount of new keyboard shortcuts are available in Windows 7, representing the changing way in which we use PCs and laptops. These range from the useful Win + Home keyboard combination to clear the desktop of all but the active window to using the Win + (+/-) combo to zoom in or out of the desktop, a vital accessibility option.

You might be aware of the Aero tab in the Windows System Tray that can be used to make all of your open windows transparent – this is particularly useful if you have a busy desktop and want to check one of your desktop gadgets. A keyboard shortcut of this feature is also available tap Win + Space to make you open applications “see-thru”. They will remain in this state until both keys are released.

Probably the most famous Windows 7 keyboard shortcut is Win + Tab. Like the Alt + Tab of old, this allows you to check your list of open applications, but rather than cycling through them they are all displayed in a 3D view for you to choose from with your mouse.

If you have a multi-display setup – using a laptop with a monitor, employing two monitors or using a projector – you can scroll these configurations using the Win + P shortcut.

Classic Windows Shortcuts You Can Still Use

As well as the new Windows 7 keyboard shortcuts listed above you should find that a whole host of legacy keyboard shortcuts are available.

My favourite of these is Win + R – this opens the Run box, and while its function is pretty similar to that of the new Search box, there are times when it is pretty useful.  Similarly, while you can find all about your PC’s hardware and Windows version via the System Properties option by right-clicking Computer, you can also tap Win + Break to display your various properties related information, such as the Windows Experience Index.

Win + D meanwhile will still minimize every open window, while Win + E will open Explorer/My Computer. Most famous of all the Windows keyboard shortcuts is Alt + Tab, which you can use to cycle through all open Windows applications.

Did I miss one of you favourites, or is there a Windows 7 keyboard shortcut you think should be included in this list?

Let me know!

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