Want to learn how to create keyboard shortcuts for any action in Windows 10? This guide will help. Surprisingly enough, it’s pretty easy to create a quick key bindings that can open programs, perform repetitive tasks, and speed up your workflow.
I offer several different options that you can use to create keyboard shortcuts, and here are some examples of how you can get the most out of them.
Quickly open programs
I can see that this shortcut is useful for a large number of Windows 10 users. It can be quickly and easily configured so that any executable file can be opened with a quick shortcut. Here’s how to do it.
First download the WinHotKey program from the Directedge website. It’s free. It’s a little old, but works and clean. After downloading, go through the installation wizard, then launch WinHotKey. In WinHotKey, click New HotKey in the upper left corner.
In the new window that appears, give the hotkey a name. After that, select the key combination with which the shortcut will be activated. For example, I chose Windows + F2. After that, you can click the Browse button to find the executable file you want to open.
Alternatively, you can just copy and paste the location. WinHotKey will automatically grab the app icon to provide you with visual context. Now you can open your program with the hotkey you specified.
You need to make sure that your keyboard shortcut does not conflict with existing keyboard shortcuts, either from the default in Windows or from the WinHotKey interface. For example, you cannot use Alt + F4. It is best to use Windows + ‘X’ combinations to avoid conflicts.
Type text automatically
If you are constantly typing the same sentences or words, you can also automate this with WinHotKey. To do this, click on New Hotkey in WinHotKey, then click on the dropdown under I want WinHotKey: and select Enter Text.
Now type or paste text in the box at the bottom of the new hotkey window. Finally, don’t forget to choose a new keyboard shortcut that you haven’t used before.
There is no limit to the number of characters you use with this shortcut, but if there is a line break in everything you insert, it ends there. Therefore, it is best to copy individual paragraphs, such as hashtags for Instagram or social media links for YouTube descriptions.
Open folders and documents in Windows 10
WinHotKey can also be used to quickly open specific folders and documents in Windows 10. You can simply select the “Open Document” or “Open Folder” options from the “I want WinHotKey:” drop-down list, and then follow the same steps as above.
However, this time you will need to navigate to a specific file or application. If you choose to open a document, most documents will work if you have a supporting application that opens these types of files by default. From testing, I was able to get Photoshop, office applications like Excel, PDF files and text files.
If the file does not work, Windows 10 will ask you to select the default application for that file type, and then future keyboard shortcuts with this file type will work as well.
Use Autohotkey for emojis
AutoHotkey is another Windows 10 app that can help you create more complex keyboard shortcuts. This software can be used to automate a wide variety of tasks. You can download Autohotkey for free from their website.
Once downloaded, extract the file to a memorable location. Then in the directory, double-click the .ahk file, and then when asked, choose which application to use to open such files. Then find and navigate to AutoHotkeyU64. This will allow you to run AutoHotkey scripts by double clicking on them.
Using emoticons on a smartphone is very easy, but by default it is not easy on a computer. With Autohotkey, you can customize multiple emoji keyboard shortcuts. Here’s how to do it.
Creating a hotkey extension can be quite tricky, but luckily there are dozens of great autohotkey scripts on the internet. For creating emoticons, we recommend this one.
On the page posted above, click the Raw button to go to the raw text file. Then press Ctrl + A to select all the code. Then press Ctrl + C to copy everything. After that open the Notepad file and paste the code there.
Now click File in Notepad, then click Save As. Change to the directory where you extracted Autohotkey. Then click the Save as type drop-down list and select All Files. Now name it Emoji.ahk and hit Save.
To use this hotkey script, you will need to double-click it every time you start your computer. After that, you can enter the smiley codes, for example: smiley :, to automatically use the smileys. At any time, you can refer back to the Github link above to see what codes are used for each emoji.
More advanced Autoplay key scripts
The capabilities of the more advanced Autohotkey scripts are impressive. You can read some of the best scripts here Some examples include the following:
- Enlarge the screen with keyboard shortcuts.
- Using mouse gestures.
- Easy dragging of windows.
- Quick access to your favorite folders
- View your upload / download speed with a small screen overlay.
I hope this guide to using Windows keyboard shortcuts was helpful. Have you learned anything? I hope so. Have you come across any suggestions in this guide? If so, tweet me and I’ll be happy to help you as soon as possible.