Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

Tip: Keyboard Shortcuts – Manage Your Windows with Alt

There’s no doubt that knowing a few keyboard “shortcuts” can enhance your computing and save you time.. and make you appear the Über Geek to friends and coworkers. My favorite is Ctrl+Z, aka “Undo”. It has saved my bacon more than once!

Today’s tip focuses not on the Ctrl key, but the Alt key, and managing your open windows. Start today’s lesson by hitting your Alt+spacebar. Keep the Alt key depressed..

Alt_spaceIf you had a window open – your web browser, or Word, say – a little window will have opened. Here are some more shortcuts.

Alt+X will “maximize” your active window to “full screen” mode, and Alt+R will get it back to the size-adjustable “windowed” mode.
Alt+C will close the window. As will Alt+F4 .. if you can remember that.. (I remember “c”-for-“close”.)

Alt+Tab will switch between your open windows (jumping from Word to your browser, for example), which is a fast way to do your Copy (Ctrl+C) from here and Paste (Ctrl+V) to there operations. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist a few Ctrl’s…)

Using keyboard shortcuts takes a little getting used to, but once you do, you will (probably) never go back to reaching for the mouse. Try it and see how much quicker it is for yourself.

And remember folks: Ctrl+Z un-goofs many goofs.

** Software License Giveaway Drawing **

The folks at Codyssey have generously donated 10 licenses for CodySafe Σ (Sigma) to me, to award to my readers. I sincerely thank them for that. So I am having a random drawing¹ contest from folks who “enter”. The drawing will close  midnight Thursday, July 22nd, and the winners announced Friday. So act now.

CodySafe is essentially a portable applications launcher and portable drive management tool for use with USB drives, and making them into a “computer on a stick”.  With it, you launch your “portable” programs and files from a Vista-like menu. For details (and to enter), click here.

Today’s reco’d reading: The Helplessness of a Father in the Internet Age

Copyright 2007-2010 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved. jaanix post to jaanix.

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July 21, 2010 - Posted by | computers, tech, Windows | , , , , , , , , ,


  1. Paul,
    Yep. Knowing some keyboard shortcuts can really speed up your work. In fact, these days, i’m tending to use keyboard more than mouse for scrolling, closing windows, switching, minimizing etc etc…
    And like you, Ctrl+Z (undo) is my favourite too.. It can be a life saver at times…


    Comment by Ranjan | July 21, 2010 | Reply

    • Ranjan,
      To me, the copy command simply is Ctrl+C. I don’t know when that came to be “hardwired into my brain”…

      There are people who say that to truly achieve Geek Super-stardom, one must be able to compute solely with the keyboard (pointing devices are for wimps), but I’m not ready to give up my mouse just yet..


      Comment by techpaul | July 21, 2010 | Reply

  2. Some don’t work in Win7


    Comment by " old Salt" | July 22, 2010 | Reply

    • “old Salt”,
      Ummm… which ones?


      Comment by techpaul | July 22, 2010 | Reply

  3. Hi Paul
    “to truly achieve Geek Super-stardom, one must be able to compute solely with the keyboard” I agree and i m trying to achieve it.. :P

    Alt+X, Alt+R, Alt+C — These aren’t working, at least for me.


    Comment by Ranjan | July 22, 2010 | Reply

    • Ranjan,
      I think the step you’re missing is keeping the Alt key depressed after the Alt+spacebar.
      It’s kinda Alt+spacebar+Alt+X.. Or, Alt+spacebar+X

      I do this on XP/Vista/Win 7, so..


      Comment by techpaul | July 22, 2010 | Reply

  4. Oh, its working now. I was directly pressing Alt+X and so on. . . :P
    Thanks for clarifying, Paul.


    Comment by Ranjan | July 22, 2010 | Reply

    • Well.. I will alter the article in an effort to make it clearer, so thanks Ranjan!


      Comment by techpaul | July 22, 2010 | Reply

  5. Thanks Paul.

    well this is a news to me:

    Alt+C will close the window



    Comment by Grr | July 22, 2010 | Reply

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