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Windows 7: Keystrokes to switch to specific windows/programs?

22 Dec 2011   #1
paulkaye

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 
Keystrokes to switch to specific windows/programs?

I'm wondering if there's a way to use the keyboard to switch to a specific window, rather than alt-tabbing through all the open windows. For example, I often want to switch back to my browser or my email client. I have keystrokes to OPEN these programs, but if I use that same keystroke again, Windows opens a second instance, rather that switching to the existing instance.
Any ideas?


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22 Dec 2011   #2
lehnerus2000

W7 Ultimate SP1, LM18 MATE, W10IP VM, W10 Home, #All 64 bit
 
 

Have you tried Windows Logo Key + number (where number equals the position of the Taskbar button)?

For example:
  1. I have Notepad ++ (Taskbar Position #4) and I have Firefox open (Taskbar Position 7).
  2. If I use "Windows Logo Key + 4", Notepad ++ opens.
  3. If I then use "Windows Logo Key + 7", the Firefox window is brought to the top.
  4. If I then use "Windows Logo Key + 4", Notepad ++ is brought to the top.

Click on picture for an animated gif
Keystrokes to switch to specific windows/programs?-windows-logo-key.gif


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22 Dec 2011   #3
paulkaye

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Thank you for getting back to me. Can you believe I didn't even know about those keystrokes?!
That's very much like what I'm looking for, and it already helps a lot. However, the open programs are not necessarily always in the same order in the taskbar (and the reason that I wanted this solution, is that I often have so much open in my taskbar, that it 'scrolls', so I can't even see the program I want to switch to). Is there a way to 'fix' a program as number 1, another as number 2, etc.?
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22 Dec 2011   #4
lehnerus2000

W7 Ultimate SP1, LM18 MATE, W10IP VM, W10 Home, #All 64 bit
 
 
It was introduced in Windows 7

That method only works using numbers 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,0.
More than 10 windows and you're out of luck.

The number applies to the current position on the Taskbar.

It's trickier than that though.
If you have 2 Word windows open, only the first one "counts"(i.e all of the Word windows are accessed by the same Task bar number).
If I had Word windows in positions 7 and 8, "Windows Logo Key +7" grants me access to both of them (8 has no effect).
If I then opened another program (e.g. VLC) it would be accessed by "Windows Logo Key +8" (even though you would apparently have nine buttons on your Taskbar).

Here is a post I wrote listing Windows Logo shortcuts.
http://www.sevenforums.com/856297-post1839.html

You want a given combination to always open the same program?
The best thing that I can think of at the moment is to pin the programs to the Taskbar.
They should always use the same combination.

For example in my picture (above):
  • WLK+1 always opens "Computer Management".
  • WLK+2 always opens "Control Panel".
  • WLK+3 always opens "Windows Explorer".
  • WLK+4 always opens "Notepad ++".
  • WLK+5 always opens "Firefox Selection batch file".
You can drag the pinned Taskbar items and place them in any order you like.
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22 Dec 2011   #5
paulkaye

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Hmm. Ok. I still think this has been really helpful, though. The key applications that I keep wanting to jump to are my browser, my email client, and my project-management software. These (should) only have one instance each. They're also open almost all the time. So I guess I'll get into the habit keeping them in positions 1, 2 and 3, and can therefore use win+1, win+2, and win+3 to access them.
Thank you again for taking the time to help me!
Paul
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22 Dec 2011   #6
lehnerus2000

W7 Ultimate SP1, LM18 MATE, W10IP VM, W10 Home, #All 64 bit
 
 

If you pin those programs in positions 1, 2 and 3 they should stay that way.

You can pin a running program to the Taskbar by:
  • Right clicking on its Taskbar button
  • Selecting "Pin this program to taskbar".
Keystrokes to switch to specific windows/programs?-pin-vlc.png


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22 Dec 2011   #7
paulkaye

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Thanks
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22 Dec 2011   #8
mgp1964

Windows 7 Pro x64
 
 

I love using the Windows key + Tab, very cool thing.
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22 Dec 2011   #9
lehnerus2000

W7 Ultimate SP1, LM18 MATE, W10IP VM, W10 Home, #All 64 bit
 
 

My favourites are the "window snapping" shortcuts.
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 Keystrokes to switch to specific windows/programs?




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