Weekly Computer Tip # 239
26 July 2008

Assign a keyboard shortcut to your desktop shortcuts

If you use certain folders, files, programs or websites a lot you probably have shortcuts to them on your desktop. (I do!) Which means that if you want to open the folder or file all you have to do is double-click the shortcut icon that it represents. But if you love keyboard shortcuts (I do!) you might want to assign a keyboard shortcut to your desktop shortcut.

Here's how:

  1. Right-click the desktop shortcut you want to create a keyboard shortcut for.
  2. Select Properties from the menu options.
  3. Click in the Shortcut key box. (And no, you don't have to try and delete the word 'none'; you cannot.)
  4. Press your preferred key. (A shortcut key always automatically includes the CTRL+ALT key combination.)
  5. Click OK.

Say, you chose the letter 't' to launch the weekly tips page you no doubt have as a shortcut on your desktop. (You do, don't you?) Well, in future you can simple press CTRL+ALT+t to open your shortcut.

By the way, if your desktop shortcut represents a folder or file, rather than - say - a webpage, you might spot the 'Find Target' button on the Properties page. Which is great if you don't have a clue where these folders or files actually live. See tip 170 (tip_170.php) for further details.