Learning new and useful keystroke combinations on your computer is a great way to become more efficient and productive at your normal day-to-day tasks. There are many very useful keystroke combinations, often using the CTRL key, the ALT key, the SHIFT key, and the “Windows” key on PC-based keyboards. Today, I’d like to discuss two very useful and time-saving keystroke combinations using the “ALT” key. Credit for these ALT-key tips go to two affiliates of Randall Dean Consulting and Training, LLC (http://www.randalldean.com).

The first PC keystroke combination is for use when you have several programs open on your PC at the same time, and you are toggling between these programs, to usually share data or refer to needed information (say on your Internet browser). Here is how it works:

Hold down the "ALT" key, and then hit the "Tab" key. Windows will then bring up a small window showing icons of all of the active desktop programs that are currently running (and on the new Vista operating system, it will actually toggle between the full screens of your different running programs). Keep holding down the "ALT" key, and hit the "Tab" key again, and the window will "scroll" over and highlight the icons of each of the active running programs. If you then release the "ALT" and "Tab" keys when it hits the icon of the program you would like to jump to, your computer will jump to that selected program.

Try this combo if you are sharing data or information between two or more open programs on your desktop – this keystroke combo can definitely save you some time vs. using your mouse to do the same thing.

And if you'd like to close any of these programs once you get the data or information that you need, simply hit "ALT-F4". That will immediately close whatever program you are actively working in. That can save quite a bit of "mouse time" too! Enjoy!

Author's Bio: 

Randy Dean (www.randalldean.com) is the "Totally Obsessed" Time Management/PDA Guy and E-mail Sanity Expert. A very popular speaker and trainer, Randy has led programs all around the United States on better time management and e-mail sanity. The author of the book, Major Satisfactors = Major Success, and developer of the popular speaking/training program, "Taming the E-mail Beast: Managing the Mess of E-mail and Information Overload", Randy is working on a new book and related DVD program on how to better manage your productivity and sanity related to e-mail and info overload. Randy also has popular speaking programs for conferences and association meetings, including his "Finding an Extra Hour Every Day" program, "The PDA Power Program", and "(RE)Awakening the Passion and Energy in Your Work and Life", as well as highly rated training programs, including his highlight full-day "Time Management for Busy Managers, Leaders, and Professionals" course. You can learn much more about Randy and his upcoming courses and programs at www.randalldean.com