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Windows XP in a Nutshell, Second Edition by Troy Mott, Tim O'Reilly, David A. Karp

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Keyboard Accelerators

Windows’ primary interface is graphical, meaning that you point and click to interact with it. The problem is that repeated clicking can become very cumbersome, especially for repetitive tasks. Luckily, Windows has an extensive array of keyboard accelerators (sometimes called keyboard shortcuts or hotkeys ) that provide a simple keyboard alternative to almost every feature normally accessible with the mouse. Some of these keyboard accelerators (such as F1 for help, Ctrl-C to copy, and Ctrl-V to paste) date back more than twenty years and are nearly universal, while others are specific to Windows XP or a given application.

Appendix C gives a complete list of keyboard accelerators. Some of the most important ones are described below:

Menu navigation

In any window that has a menu, press the Alt key or the F10 key to activate the menu bar, and use the cursor (arrow) keys to move around. Press Enter to activate the currently selected item or Esc to cancel.

You can also activate specific menus with the keyboard. When you press Alt or F10, each menu item will have a single character that is underlined (such the V in View); when you see this character, it means you can press Alt-V (for example) to go directly to that menu. Once that menu has opened, you can activate any specific item pressing the corresponding key (such as D for Details)—you don’t even need to press Alt this time. The abbreviated notation for this is Alt-V+D (which means press Alt and V together, ...

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