Academic Technology @ Palomar College

Win Key Taskbar Shortcut

Does the arrangement of the icons on your Windows 7 taskbar matter?  It does if you want to use a really nifty keyboard shortcut.

If you arrange the icons on your taskbar so that the first 10 are the programs you use most frequently, you can launch the programs by holding down the Win key and pressing the numbers 1-0, corresponding to the position on the taskbar of the programs’ icons.

The win key is the one the lower left of your keyboard with the little Windows flag icon on it and (maybe) the word “Start”—press it alone and it should bring up the Start menu.

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Holding down Win and pressing 1, as in the illustration above, will invoke the first program on the taskbar.

Here are the first 10 icons on my taskbar.  They are the programs I use every day, multiple times per day.

By holding down the Win key and pressing 1 I can invoke the Windows Control Panel—you wouldn’t think I would have to resort to the control panel as often as I do, so maybe I’m not that typical, but perhaps not—Win + 2 will invoke the Windows Explorer, Win + 3 will invoke the Calculator, and so on.  Win + 0 will invoke the tenth program on the list, in my case Expression Web 4.  You can rearrange your icons as you wish by simply dragging them around the taskbar (but I think most of us have 10 programs we use constantly and do not WANT to rearrange them).  Once you get used to it, you’ll be launching your commonly used programs this way,and it will become a natural part of your workflow.

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