I had to grin when I learned that a cool keyboard shortcut was literally right under my nose.

Clicking on the right mouse button brings up context menus everywhere in Windows. The right-click menus have been enhanced in the Windows 7 taskbar to display previously-used documents and shortcuts and more.

Look at your keyboard – the lower right, to the right of the spacebar, in between the right Alt and Ctrl keys. See the special key (in the picture above)? Nope, I’d never noticed it before either.

It brings up a right-click context menu for whatever object is currently selected.

It’s been on most keyboards for years. Isn’t that marvelous? I don’t know if it’s a key we’ll start using frequently but I love the idea of a key under our fingers every day that we’ve never noticed.

I’ve written about the keyboard and mouse shortcuts that are important to me: basic Windows keyboard shortcuts, middle mouse button tricks, the Alt key, Outlook shortcuts, and Windows Snap keyboard commands for dual monitors, among others. You might want to browse through this comprehensive list of keyboard shortcuts from Microsoft, in case there are any that might become part of your daily routine. Here are three examples using the Windows logo key (between the left Ctrl & Alt keys) :

  • Press Windows logo key + L to lock your computer. All programs are still running but your computer cannot be used without entering your password. It’s the fastest way to secure your computer when you leave your desk!
  • Press Windows logo key + M to immediately minimize all windows.
  • Windows 7 / Vista: Press Windows logo key + F to open a search window covering Outlook and local files.
    • Don’t overlook the preview pane for displaying each item in the search results – find the Preview Pane button in the upper right or look on the menu under Organize / Layout.
    • If Acrobat PDF files don’t preview correctly on a Windows 7 64-bit system, look into the fix described here.
    • Search for files in a network share separately – here are some tips about searching for network files.
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