Top-secret Windows 7 keyboard shortcuts unmasked

Simply because I can, I herewith expose little-known but potentially powerful forces at work—in this case, five keyboard shortcuts that could simplify or enrich all our lives. I leave it to the world to decide what to do with this declassified intelligence.

Windows key+ Tab: Desktop Cirque de Soleil. Hold down the Windows keykey and begin tapping the Tab key, and be amazed as Aero Flip 3-D puts on an act that helps you move between open windows. No need to buy a costly ticket, and you still get to watch one of the best aerial acts around.


Windows Flip 3D

Ctrl + Esc: Start something new. We've talked before about keeping your mouse rested, and this one can really help since opening the Start menu is something most of us do frequently. Change your mind? Just hit Esc alone and the Start menu will go back to its hiding place, wherever that is.


Start menu

Spacebar: Toggling ambivalence. You won't even believe this one until you try it, and even then you may need to do some deep breathing to calm down. Get yourself into a dialog box that has a checkbox. Click the checkbox (in my example it's the Match case checkbox).
Now, change your mind by tapping the spacebar. Keep changing your mind—that is, keep tapping the space bar. The check in the checkbox will disappear and reappear as long as you don't run out of finger energy. Note: This also works if you tap the spacebar with your elbow.

Shift + F10: The shortcut to Shortcuts. This pair of keys, pressed with or without urgency, opens up the context or shortcut menu for the currently selected item (or for the current page if you're browsing). I use this handy, useful, helpful, practical, clever feature to find synonyms when I'm blogging. You might employ it to "view selection source" in Internet Explorer or duplicate a slide in PowerPoint. What a versatile shortcut!

F5: Our worst-kept secret. Okay, it's not even a secret: F5 refreshes the currently active window—notably, when that window is Internet Explorer. Despite all the non-secrecy, more than half of everyone currently within earshot of my cube didn't know about it.

You can explore all of the Windows 7 shortcuts. Do it! Because you can.


Comments (3)
  1. usman rana says:


  2. who cares says:

    dumb advice especially the last one

  3. Whatev says:

    Top secret? Sure.

Comments are closed.

Skip to main content