How to create all WIN+KEY combinations you want, PLUS keep the originals!

Discussion in 'Windows 8' started by johnye_pt, Sep 17, 2014.

  1. johnye_pt

    johnye_pt MDL Addicted

    Aug 26, 2010
    #1 johnye_pt, Sep 17, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2017
    I'm an old school keyboard user, so in Windows XP I started using a program called WinKey which allowed me to program some new keyboard shortcuts: WIN+G for Google Chrome, WIN+H for Firefox, WIN+I for Internet Explorer, WIN+F4 for the shutdown dialog, among many others.

    With the arrival of Windows Vista/7, some new WIN+Key shortcuts started getting in the way, and WinKey became unstable: it had to be started with Administrative rights in task scheduler, sometimes it crashed and I had to restart it manually, so I eventually replaced it with Clavier+. Windows 8 brought even more new shortcuts to the table, leaving me with less keys to work with. Disabling the WIN+key with the "NoWinKeys" registry tweak only disables about half of them, so that doesn't do much help.

    I found a couple of solutions for those the are intensive keyboard users like me, and want to use keyboard shortcuts to open programs, write text or run Windows functions, even if the key is already being used by Windows.

    SOLUTION 1 - Program new shortcuts to use with LEFT or RIGHT Shift key

    If you NEVER use one of these 2 keys, you can use Clavier+ to program new shortcuts. For instance, if you never use the Right Shift key, you can create "Right Shift + Key" combinations to open your most commonly used applications.

    Open Clavier+, press the [+] button, select "Launch a Program...", type the combination of keys you want to use, and check "Distinguish between left and right special keys". Then just use the "Launch a program or display a website" section to input a link to a website, a path to an executable, or use the text box under "Write text" to input text. There any many other things Clavier+ can do, but for now I just use keyboard shortcuts to programs and Windows functions.

    SOLUTION 2 - Program new shortcuts to use with LEFT WIN key

    I happen to use both Shift keys, so I found a workaround with KeyTweak. This program remaps keys by adding a value at [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Keyboard Layout] and it can be reset at any time. Using KeyTweak, I replaced Left WIN key with Right Shift Key, Right Shift Key became (also) Left Shift Key, and <</>> key (left to Backspace key in the pt-PT keyboard) became the WIN key. This key doesn't exist in the EN-US keyboard, so you'll have to choose another one. Maybe the Tilde key above TAB, or a Function Key without extra functions in a laptop, like F10 or F12.

    The purpose is to move the WIN key to an unused key so I can still use the original WIN+Key shortcuts in case I need them, but now I can also use the "fake" WIN key which is actually the Right Shift key to reprogram any shortcuts I want, including some of the originals I regularly use like Explorer, Minimize all Windows, Lock Workstation, etc, while leaving all the remaining keys free and still being able to use both Shift keys.

    Here's a few examples for the usual known shortcuts, plus some more:

    Right Shift + E: "C:\Windows\explorer.exe"
    Right Shift + L: "C:\Windows\System32\rundll32.exe" user32.dll, LockWorkStation
    Right Shift + M: "%APPDATA%\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\Shows desktop.lnk"
    Right Shift + R: "C:\Windows\explorer.exe" shell:::{2559A1F3-21D7-11D4-BDAF-00C04F60B9F0}
    Right Shift + F1: "C:\Windows\System32\DisplaySwitch.exe" /internal (1 monitor)
    Right Shift + F2: "C:\Windows\System32\DisplaySwitch.exe" /extend (2 monitors, extended desktop)
    Right Shift + F4: "C:\power.js" (shutdown dialog from Windows XP)
    power.js has the following single line, parentesis included:
    (new ActiveXObject("Shell.Application")).ShutdownWindows();
    I hope some of you find this useful, it sure made my work much easier ;)