#178: Make Your Own Application Shortcuts

Most of us have a few programs we use much more frequently than most others. For me, it’s email (despite my best attempts to the contrary), PowerPoint, and my web browser.  Wouldn’t it be handy to have a super quick way to launch those programs you’re into and out of all the time? Of course, you could drag its icon to your Quick Launch toolbar, but then you still have to reach for the mouse every time you want to run it.

If you’re a keyboard person like me there’s another great option: assign your favorite program(s) a keyboard shortcut.

How to assign a keyboard shortcuts:

  1. Right-click the desktop icon for the program in question and then choose Properties.
  2. Click inside the Shortcut key field, then press whatever key combination you want to assign to that program. For iTunes, you might use Ctrl-Shift-I or Alt-Shift-A (as in Apple). The only requirement is that the shortcut start with Ctrl-Shift, Ctrl-Alt, or Alt-Shift. (You can’t, for example, just go with Ctrl-I.)

  3. Click OK and you’re done!

Now just press that key combo and bing, bang, zoom…your software launches.  No mouse, no muss, no fuss! You can set up as many of these shortcuts you want — as long as you can remember what all the shortcuts are!  What are your “go to” apps that you use  most often?


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