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PostPoints tip: Microsoft-logo keys aren't useless (on netbooks, at least)

By Rob Pegoraro

The two keys on PC keyboards that sport Microsoft logos--one with the Windows icon, the other with a menu graphic--go ignored by many users. On a desktop and larger laptops, that's understandable; it's just easier to keep using a mouse or a touchpad. But on a netbook, switching between the keyboard and the tiny touchpad crammed in front of it can get so physically uncomfortable that it's worthwhile to take a little time reacquainting yourself with these two keys. As a reminder, the Windows key pops up the Start menu and, when combined with other keys, executes a variety of desktop and program actions. The menu key takes the place of a mouse or touchpad's right-click button; to select the command you want faster, skip the cursor-arrow keys and instead hit the key corresponding to the underlined letter in the appropriate menu item. Practice using each of these keys, and you may find that your wrists don't feel as bad after a few hours of netbook computing--and that you start to use these shortcuts on bigger computers too.

(What's this "PostPoints tip" business about? Since July, I've been archiving each tip-of-the-week e-mail we send to PostPoints members under this blog's "Tips" category. Today's item went out on Nov. 2.)

By Rob Pegoraro  | November 8, 2010; 6:37 AM ET
Categories:  Tips  
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Next: Windows Phone 7 launch-day roundup


I'm a big apple fan, but the WinOS has some keyboard shortcuts I do appreciate:

Win-E -> Explorer
Win-M -> Hide Desktop
Win-Tab -> Alt-Tab with pictures
Win-F -> Search (but I prefer EVERYTHING for searching, and I use ctl-space to summon that)

Win-Tab is a nice Win7 feature; haven't checked to see if Compiz has a similar setting for my linux boxes.

Posted by: Bush--notrelated | November 8, 2010 8:46 AM | Report abuse

In addition to the shortcuts allowed by the Windows key (and the CTRL key), any menu options that show an underlined letter can be toggled on by pressing and releasing the ALT key, even commands that are hidden behind the Office ribbon.

Posted by: rrgeek | November 8, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

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