Marshall Adult Education




TECH TIP:  Keys on the Keyboard Part 2
There are some very useful keys on the keyboard that youve seen for years and maybe never used and you may not even know what they are used for.  Here are some keys that are very useful.

 The End Key

In most applications, the End Key is used to immediately move the cursor to the end of the line.  If you hold down the Control key and press End, you will go to the end of a document.  This is a great key (if you remember to use it) that will help you save time when creating or editing a document. 


The Home Key

This is the brother of the End key.  When you press it, you go to the beginning of the line.  If you hold down the Control key and press Home, you will go to the beginning of a document


Note:  My philosophy is that anytime you can use the keyboard to accomplish a task instead of using the mouse, that is a time saver and a good thing.  These two keys will help you do that.


The Windows Key

This key is usually located between the Control Key and the Alt key and it has a little Microsoft Windows logo on it.  Some keyboards have a Windows key on each side of the Space Bar.  The Windows key is used as a shortcut key to accomplish many different tasks.  Here are some of the tasks it will do the best ones.  Try some of these out you may like them.

  • Windows + E:  Opens Windows Explorer. 
  • Windows + D:  Minimized all active applications and takes you to the Desktop.  Press it again and it maximizes all the active application.
  • Windows + M:  This one just minimizes all active applications and takes you to the Desktop
  • Windows + F:  Find a file this takes you to the Search dialog box.
  • Windows + L:  This neat little key takes you to the Logon Screen.  If you need a password to get you back to you desktop, youll have to put it in.

These are the best of the Windows key shortcuts, but there are more of these   go here.


Now if you really want to make use of the Windows Key, download a little utility program called Winkey and you can create your own Windows key shortcuts.  I use it its cool!,fid,5506,00.asp   


The Print Screen Key (Prnt Scrn)

This key does not do what it says it doesnt print a screen.  In the old days of DOS (anyone remember those days?), this key did print the text on a screen when it was pressed (notice I said only text it would not print graphics).  These days, if you press the Print Screen key, it copies whatever is on the screen to the clipboard.  You can then paste that into a graphics program or into a word processing program.  This is really a screen capture so why dont they call this key the Screen Capture key.  Hmmm.


Well, if you like to capture screens, there is a neat little freeware program called Grabber2K that does a great job capturing screens, parts of screens and active windows.  It does a bunch of other neat things.  If Im stranded on an island with just my laptop and 10 programs, Grabber2k would be one of them.


You can get this neat little program here:


Escape Key (Esc)

This key could also be called the Cancel Key.  Thats what it does it cancels an operation.  Whenever a dialog box appears on the screen and you see a Cancel button in the lower right hand corner, instead of clicking on it, you can just press the Escape key.  In addition, the Escape key cancels or terminates lots of other things.  For example, did you ever go to a website and some obnoxious loud music starts playing?  Just press the Escape key and you will stop the music immediately.  Note it may not stop certain types of music depending on the format.  It will stop MIDI music and a few other formats


Try this go to the Marshall ABE student testimonials page (be sure your sound is on).

When the music starts, press the Escape Key.  Did it stop?  Hey, that music is not loud and obnoxious!


Press Escape then you want to cancel, quit, or get out of something.  Experiment with it - see how many things you can "escape" from.


Im going to press Escape and get out of this Tech Tip!


Lyon County Government Center    607 W. Main St.    Marshall, MN 56258    (507) 537-7046

E-Mail:    Marshall Adult Education