How to create a keyboard shortcut

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I am a big fan of shortcuts, particularly when it comes to using the computer.  If I can accomplish the same task and do it with 2 clicks instead of 5, why not?  Might as well save the time and effort.

A good friend of mine does things a little differently.  If there is an opposite to taking a shortcut, that’s what he does.  For example, let’s say he wants to go to the website “” (a popular one-deal-a-day site).  Here is how he would get there:

1. Click Start – Programs – Internet Explorer
2. In the address bar, type “” and hit Enter
3. When the Google page shows up, click in the Google search box and type “”, then hit Enter
4. When the search results show up, find in the list and click on it

I cringe every time I see him try to get to a website – that procedure is incredibly inefficient!

So today I am going to show you the absolutely quickest way to get to a website.  Maybe my friend will read this and learn something!

Let’s use that same website – – in this example.  Here’s how you set up a shortcut to get right to that site.

1. First, open your web browser and type the address in the address bar at the top to get to that site.  When you are there, the address bar should look something like this:

Woot icon

2. Now, drag your browser window down or over a little so that you can see part of your desktop (where all the icons are).

3. Click on the exclamation point in the address bar (that’s the Woot logo), and drag it to your desktop.  Now you can close your browser window since we won’t be needing it any more in this procedure.

4. So now, at your desktop, you should see an icon for your web browser with the label for Woot:

Shortcut to Woot


5. Do a RIGHT click on the Woot icon, and in the new menu choose Properties:

shortcut properties

6. When you click on Properties, you will see a new window appear.  In the middle of that window is a field called “Shortcut key”.  Click there so that your cursor is flashing right after the word “None”.

shortcut field

7. With the cursor in that field, just hit the letter “W” (I just chose W to stand for Woot – you can use any letter you want).  You don’t have to delete the word “None” or anything else – just hit the letter.  Now, you will see that the text in that field changes to “Ctrl + Alt + W”:

keyboard shortcut

8. Click OK to close that window.

Now you are ready to see the magic!

Close all open windows on your computer so that you are just looking at the desktop icons.  Now, on your keyboard, hit Ctrl + Alt + W and see what happens.  There it is, the Woot website ready for viewing!

Of course, you can do this with any program or website or document – as long as you can make a shortcut on your desktop, you can make a keyboard shortcut so that you are never more than 3 keys away from running it.

What shortcuts do you use most often?  Let us know in the comments!

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Marie McCooey
May 30th, 2011

Thanks for sharing these steps!

Here are a few of my favorite keyboard shortcuts

CTRL + Z – Undo works in all MS Office programs and many others

ALT + TAB – switch between open programs
Windows key + D – to display desktop

CTRL + [ – decrease font size by one point
CTRL + ] – increase font size by one point

CTRL + RIGHT ARROW or LEFT ARROW – to quickly move from word to word

Ken Birr
May 30th, 2011

when I click properties there is no shortcut key field. I am using win 7 home premium

Scott Johnson
May 30th, 2011

Ken – you have to be right-clicking on a shortcut icon, not an icon that is the program or file itself. You can identify a shortcut icon because there will be a little arrow in the bottom left corner of the icon.