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How to create keyboard shortcuts to open programs in Windows Vista

You can create keyboard shortcuts to open programs, which can often be simpler than opening programs using your mouse or other pointing device. Before completing these steps, verify that a shortcut was created for the program to which you want to assign a keyboard shortcut.

The solution to the problem

Follow the instructions to create keyboard shortcuts to open programs in Windows Vista:

  1. 1

    Click ‘Start’ and select ‘My Computer’.

  2. 2

    Locate the appropriate file.

  3. 3

    Right-click the file and select the ‘Create Shortcut’.

  4. 4

    Locate the appropriate shortcut.

  5. 5

    Right-click the shortcut file and select ‘Properties’.

  6. 6

    From the ‘Shortcut’ tab, click the ‘Shortcut key’ box.

  7. 7

    Press the key on your keyboard that you want to use in combination with CTRL+ALT.

  8. 8

    Click ‘Apply’.

  9. 9

    Click ‘OK’.


Creating your own keyboard shortcuts to open any program or folder in Windows is possible but there are some limitations with the key combination you can use. All shortcuts will start with Ctrl + Alt then any alpha, number or some special characters you want to assign to the shortcut. Also, any keyboard shortcuts create, must reside on the desktop.

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