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Use The Keyboard In Windows XP!
Highlight a file or folder and press Shift-Del to delete permanently, bypassing the Recycle Bin.
Alt-Enter opens the highlighted file or folder's Properties dialog.
In Windows Explorer, highlight a folder and press Shift-NumPadAsterisk to open the folder and all subfolders.
Click in Windows Explorer's details pane, then press Ctrl-NumPadPlus to size each column exactly as wide as its largest item.
The Windows key brings up the Start menu, of course; but it does quite a bit more when used in combination with other keys:
Win-D toggles between showing the desktop and restoring all windows.
Win-E invokes the Windows Explorer window.
Win-L locks your system until you enter your password—or lets you switch active users, if you're using Fast User Switching.
Win-M minimizes all windows.
Win-R brings up the Run dialog.
Win-S, in Microsoft Word 2002 or later, invokes Windows' text-to-speech engine, which will read either highlighted text or everything from the cursor on.
Win-Pause/Break brings up the System Properties dialog.
Win-U invokes the Utility Manager, which controls accessibility program options.
Missing the Windows key? Ctrl-Esc will bring up your Start menu, though it won't allow you to use Windows-key combo commands like those above.
You can create your own keyboard shortcuts to frequently used programs by right-clicking on their shortcut icons (in the Start menu or on the desktop), then clicking in the Shortcut key field and striking a key. Hey, presto, Ctrl-Alt-that key will now start the app. Don't want the Ctrl-Alt combo? You can press Ctrl-Shift-x, Shift-Alt-x, or Ctrl-Shift-Alt-x instead. A few x keys are verboten here: Esc, Enter, Tab, Space, Print Scr, Del, and Backspace aren't allowed.

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