|Running Sans Rodent... Mouseless Windows|
|Did you ever find yourself working with a window that opens too large, leaving the
controls to resize, close, or move the window completely unreachable to the mouse cursor? Or, have you ever had a
mouse fail or get accidentally unplugged while in the middle of a Windows session, with several programs open and
running? How, with no mouse, can you deal with a GUI (Graphical User Interface) that's constructed to be operated
almost exclusively by point-and-click?
|Well, it's easy, if you know the keyboard shortcuts that operate things in
Windows. On every menu in Windows, (and in most other applications written for the Windows operating system), you'll
find that menu items often display with a single letter underlined; this is your clue to the keyboard shortcut that will
operate that function. If you trigger a menu by pressing the letter or key sequence that calls it, then immediately
press the underlined letter in the menu, you'll invoke that menu choice.
|What about that "wandering window", though? The menus and controls aren't even showing on the screen, so how to I navigate there, especially with no mouse to drag things around? Well, you can cycle through all open program windows by pressing <Alt> <Tab>. This means hold down the <Alt> key, then tap the <Tab> key to cycle to each open window. The first time you tap <Tab>, a small graphic box will appear in the center of your screen, showing the icons for the programs in each running window. Successive taps on the <Tab> key will cycle down the line of icons; when you've reached the program you wish to control, release the <Alt> key, and the window you chose will be the active window. But hey, it's still off screen, and now your cursor is, too! Trapped, right? Not if you press <Alt> <Spacebar>. This, regardless of window position, will display the control window for that active window, from which you can choose the following:|
R = Restore
If you choose Size or Move, you can navigate the window back to a usable position, using the cursor arrow keys.
|Microsoft publishes a couple of great documents about keyboard shortcuts, and I've linked them for you, here: