Do you get sore and tired hands from using the mouse so often? Well, mine does. 6 to 8 hours of writing articles for my 3 blogs is more than enough to sore an arm joint. It was worse when I was working for my previous company, handling the redesigning of the entire web portal by myself. There was a lot of pointing, dragging and dropping activities with the mouse.
It’s actually important to take preventions before carpal tunnel syndrome hits. I would love to switch to another OS that has lower mouse needs, but because I’m a hardcore gamer and several hardware pieces of mine are unsupported, I have to stick to Windows for the time being. Anyways, below are 2 common methods that you and I can take to run programs faster and minimize mouse use.
- Use Windows Shortcut
- Use Launchy
This is the best shortcut method for anyone who is using Windows. We can bind ‘ctrl’ + ‘alt’ + 34 other keyboard keys to programs that are used often. However, it has to be in the Start Menu. Here’s an example on how to bind shortcut keys to Windows Calculator.
Mouse over to :
Start Menu > All Programs > Accessories > Calculator > ‘right click’ > ‘Properties’.
Click on the ‘Shortcut’ tab and look for the ‘Shortcut key:’ field. In this example, I hit down the ‘ctrl’ + ‘alt’ + ‘L’ keys together and press ‘OK’.
You’re done! Pressing the ‘ctrl’ + ‘alt’ + ‘L’ keys will now bring out the calculator. Avoid the hassle of having to point here and there to get to the program that you want.
Seriously. I have bound shortcut keys for several common files and folders such as ‘bittorrent’ folder (yeah, you can also bind folders but a folder shortcut needs to be placed in the start menu), Firefox, Winamp, Filezilla, MSN Messenger, Yahoo! Messenger, ‘Programs Uninstaller’ and a few others. The time taken to set up short cuts is well worth it.
Thanks to Josh who has started developing Launchy since 5th of March 2005. It’s small in size and free. It takes up a mere 7MB of memory to run. Users can easily hide / unhide the text box by pressing ‘alt’ + ‘space bar’. Below are 3 common commands of Launchy that I find useful.
- Run Desktop Applications
- Search Google
- Check the Weather
Type in application name and get a list of files that match.
Type ‘google’ > press tab > type search query > hit Enter
Type ‘weather’ > press tab > type city / state > hit Enter
Open source keystroke launcher