Windows From the Keyboard Tips, Create a Shortcut Key for a Desktop Icon, December 18, 2019

Hello. This is Gerry Chevalier from the GTT Edmonton Chapter. This weekly blog provides tips that I find useful as a keyboard user of Windows. The information is for Windows10 and Office 365, although many tips still apply to older versions.  The tips do not require a screen reader unless specifically noted. Thus, the tips apply whether you are a keyboard user or low vision mouse user. Here is this week’s tip.


Windows Desktop Icon – How to Create a Shortcut key

It’s possible to launch desktop icons by holding down Control+Alt while pressing another shortcut letter. To set up a Control+Alt hot key sequence, select the desktop icon by arrowing to it or pressing its first letter. Then press Alt+Enter. Tab to the edit box that is labelled, Shortcut Key. Press the single key that you wish to use as the shortcut key. Just type the single key as Windows will add the Control+Alt keys. For example, if you have an icon to go to the CELA Library web site, you might type the letter C. It must be unique as you can’t use the same letter for multiple icons. After typing the single letter TAB to the OK button and press spacebar. You are done. Now, to launch the icon , simply hold down the Control+Alt keys while pressing the shortcut letter even if you are not on the desktop.


That’s it for this tip. Until next Wednesday, happy computing.


3 thoughts on “Windows From the Keyboard Tips, Create a Shortcut Key for a Desktop Icon, December 18, 2019

  1. Great tip Gerry. If one is already using Alt-Control C for another shortcut instead of just typing the letter C in the Shortcut field one can hold down the Shift and Control keys while typing the letter C, thereby creating a second use of that letter. I do this for launching JAWS. For the current version I use Alt-Control J, and for an older version of JAWS that I always keep on my computer I assign the additional shortcut Shift-Control J.


    1. Thanks Albert. I did not know about the ability to have Shift+Control as alternate modifier keys to allow use of the same shortcut letter prefixed by Control+Alt modifiers. I hope if others have additional information to improve the keyboard tips that they will also share with our community. Merry Christmas.


  2. Yes Gerry, I hope that your Windows From The Keyboard Tips do garner additional dialog. For this one, I’ve been known to employ up to 4 uses of the same letter. For example, Alt-Control C to access the CCB Home Page, Shift-Control C for the Control Panel, Shift-Alt C for the CCB Podcast and Shift-Control-Alt C for the CELA Library.


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