Quick opening of programs using Keyboard only

Describe how did I achieve to open any program with three key presses.

It is cumbersome to

  • move the cursor to the corner of the screen
  • click the ‘Start’ button
  • click the ‘Programs’
  • click the Program folder you like to open
  • click the shortcut to open the program
  • worst, sometimes mouse slipped and menu disappeared and have to start it all over again.

So I tried program launchers based on menu and still the same problem. And my system resource is taken by that program. (I like my computer running light)

After reading some forums, I came up with mouse-less opening of shortcuts. After setting up I can almost access all program by 3 keys like Windows + 2 + S to open SRWare Iron browser

Windows XP classic menu
Rearranged XP classic menu

Here is the procedure I used.

You have to know

  • copy, cut and past methods
  • how to create folder
  • how to create shortcut
  • how to rename
  • familiarity with keyboard


  1. ‘Right click’ windows Start menu
  2. Choose ‘Explore’
  3. Create  new folder
  4. Name whatever you like; in my case ‘2. Internet’
  5. Open the folder
  6. Create shortcut to the program; in my case ‘GoogleTalk’
  7. Repeat step 3 to 6 as many as you like


  • If you have shortcuts starting with the same character choose another character; in my case I have ‘Proxy Switcher’ and ‘Pidgin’ both starting with ‘p’. So I changed Pidgin to ‘4. Pidgin’
  • Use keys that can be pressed by alternative hand; In my case, ‘Windows key’ by left hand, ‘y’ key by right hand, ‘1’ key by left hand (if you are sure your hands are in completely synchronized)
  • I prefer using one hand so that correct key sequence is pressed. That is why I assigned keys pressed by left hand to most frequently used programs like ‘Windows + 2 + 2’ to open ‘Firefox’
  • Change the icon if you like; I use ‘eclipse 2’ icons
  • Move the shortcut from ‘Program’ menu instead of creating new

Now I can open
– Pidgin with Windows + 2 + 4
– Proxy switcher with Windows + 2 + p


– open program without using mouse (I like pressing key more than pointing and clicking)
– quicker program opening (more prominent if you use large display with higher resolution)
– well organized menu
– arrangeable menu
– no need to install extra applications like program launcher
– also work well with laucher applications like (executor, launchy, blaze, etc.)
– limitation: almost limitless (each level has 47 keys, 47 folders is also too many to fit into normal resolution display)

Not suitable

– not suitable for people who prefer pointing and clicking
– not suitable for people who do not like classic start menu
– not sutiable for casual user
– it is total crap if you are not interested 🙂


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