Alt-ernate Keyboard Shortcuts

The Alt key is often under used, however Alt keyboard shortcuts have the potential to really boost your shortcut mastery! It’s probably most frequently used for Alt+F4 to close a program or Ctrl+Alt+Delete. Recently I rediscovered that it can be used to access the menu in almost every application. This means that anything in the menu or ribbon that you were clicking on before can instead be mastered by combining keystrokes.

A few of my frequently used shortcuts are:

  •  Alt+H -> AS to select or change your signature when composing an email in Outlook
  • Alt+H -> FS to change the font size in Word
  • Alt+F -> Number to open a recently used file in Notepad++
  • Alt+F ->R -> Number to open a recently used document in Word or Excel.

Another great use of Alt is to access the Windows management menu for the current application by hitting Alt+Space. My favorite is Alt+Space+N to minimize the current window to the taskbar, it’s quite possible that I use this one more than Alt+F4.

Alt Keyboard Shortcut Examples
Alt Keyboard Shortcut Examples

What’s your favorite or most used of the Alt key combination?

  • My favorites are START+D to show desktop and START+L to quickly lock my machine when I leave it. In GTDNext my favorite is CTRL+Click to zoom in on a project or task from the outline view. Keep up the blogging! Like the site design as well.

    • Thanks! I use the two windows shortcuts you mentioned dozens of time a day, definitely great hotkeys.