Karl`s PC Help Forums

Windows Keyboard "Shortcut" Question
JackInCT - 18-12-2016 at 13:42

Windows Keyboard "Shortcut" Question

I'm running into a problem upon a cold bootup with my XP OS HD; the mouse drivers aren't loading; this problem is compounded during any bootup as I normally wind up with a screen full of pop up dialog windows all on top of one another (or whatever their formal name is), and I can't close them out since I don't have a mouse. To complicate matters, XP OS insists, before it will automatically load the mouse drivers, that I sign off in one of these pop up windows that the mouse drivers aren't digitally signed, etc.,; unfortunately this sign off window is buried under other pop up windows.

These various windows can be manually closed out via keyboard shortcuts/strokes (at least that's what I think MS' nomenclature is, but not sure); each of these popup windows has buttons in them, and the first letter of each choice in each button in each pop up window has the first letter of a tab choice underlined.

I vaguely recall that some combination of keyboard strokes will manually select one of these buttons (such as Shift + the applicable first letter of the button verbiage--that doesn't work by the way).

I do recall that this whole area of MS is called "keyboard shortcuts", but a Google search of a large number of hits isn't telling me what procedure/combination to use with keyboard strokes to close out these windows (and likely due to the fact that I'm not using the right term for whatever MS calls this feature--not getting the right hits).

Anyone remember what the formal MS name for these keyboard strokes is, or what the combo is? [I need to print out the instructions for reference sinceI run into this so rarely, I'll forget for sure].


Quaver - 18-12-2016 at 14:17


Alt + tab will alternate between the items I think.

JackInCT - 18-12-2016 at 16:56

Quaver: thank you for the help; I suspect that there is documented and undocumented information galore about Windows, and what I have posted here should be taken with the proverbial grain of salt, BECAUSE what I CANNOT do is test what I have posted across multiple OSs to see if MS made the information I found CONSISTENT across them all.

I used my head for a welcome change, and it eureka occurred to me that I could practice finding the key combo by ye olde trial and error when I switched over to my primary HD & Win 7. The combo appears to be the 'Alt + First letter'.

The rest of this post is FYI: While I was at it, I put ye olde Google through its paces, and used the following phrase, 'using Windows without a mouse'. And yes, there were numerous hits that explained in minute detail just how to do that. And the minute detail was very necessary as I practiced some more.

It indeed is possible, but whether it is practical to do so is quite another matter. The webpages with these hits are quite lengthy since there is a great deal of detail for every conceivable situation any Windows user would find themselves facing.

In addition, Windows has its own internal nomenclature re the formal names of the various windows that we all see, i. e., you would actually also have to master these names, and when they occur, as to what keystrokes come into play. A great many of the keystrokes involve use of the arrow keys. Also coming into play as an alternative to many (but NOT all) keystrokes are various command prompt commands to launch this or that.

Without a mouse you could, literally, have a blank desktop (at least I didn't come across anything that would launch a specific desktop GUI--but I suspect there likely is). Such a system completely revolves around the Start button via that dedicated Windows key at the bottom of the keyboard and getting into the Start menu and finding the program that you want via pressing the key for its first letter, etc.,. And the arrow keys get a good workout.

IMO such possibilities are only worth the effort to learn if Windows is only partially hung up, but really it's simply just easier to hit the reboot button on the PC (or the Restart button via the Shut Down choices if you can get that far) and hope that the problem clears itself upon reboot. Having a spare mouse around is worth the expense.

JackInCT - 18-12-2016 at 17:39

This seems like this is as a good a place to post this as any.

Addendum No 2

For anyone who is annoyed (or beyond) by the 'not digitally signed' window that occurs when you install many programs (and possibly other situations that I'm NOT remembering), there is a way to disable it; I personally consider the risk minimal versus NOT having the program that I want installed NOT becoming installed--all the more reason to create a Restore Point prior to ANY/ALL installs since I'm trusting to luck, i. e., I can't recall a single instance of my antivirus program ever warning me in mid-install of 'danger', i. e., I have zero idea if such a capability is possible.

https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_7-windows_programs/how-to-i-turn-off-digital-signature/a7047647-bf29-4 68f-a885-8e23d60f3daa

The search words that I used that produced a number of hits, was "disabling not digitally signed".

NOTE: my URL is for the Win 7 OS; I noticed as I read some of the hits, that other hits were for other Win OSs that had a different procedure, so you might want to add your OS version in any Google type search.

LSemmens - 18-12-2016 at 23:17

<ALT> <F4> will close the active program
<ALT> <TAB> will cycle between active windows

You should be able to load your rodent drivers in XP. Even if it is only a basic set like the generic M$ ones. I used to have to cycle through numerous drivers to find one that worked for some of the mice that I was setting up on older machines. I'd always start with the basic M$ mice and 90% of the time I'd hit a workable driver fairly quickly.

If all those pop ups are from missing drivers, and you don't feel the need to load them or look for them, go into Control Panel and select <disable> and they should not bother you again.

Caveat: I'm suggesting this from memory as I've not needed to set up XP for a couple of years.

JackInCT - 19-12-2016 at 00:52

FYI: I went over to my XP HD. Same problem. Keyboard shortcuts are far too numerous in too many varied situations that will realistically often occur as to which one is applicable to a given window to be even a remotely viable alternative to NOT having a mouse available; that's especially true if multiple windows happen to open at the same time, i. e., "maneuvering" to a specific window is quite convoluted, and even if you luck out and wind up there....it goes on and on.

JackInCT - 19-12-2016 at 00:59

Originally posted by LSemmens
.... I'm suggesting this from memory as I've not needed to set up XP for a couple of years.

Good thing that you haven't. I detect a conspiracy to force XP out of existence. As an example, Foxit Reader current version won't work in XP; if you can find an older version download, Foxit won't support it any longer which has security implications for online browser use. Adobe Reader wouldn't install either.

I'm NOT saying it's totally useless, but I certainly wouldn't use it for any online financial dealings type stuff.

LSemmens - 19-12-2016 at 05:41

Keyboard shortcuts are often program specific, Just because <CTRL>C works in one program, it might have a completely different effect in another.

JackInCT - 19-12-2016 at 18:57

Let me put this thread to bed.

Using keyboard shortcuts [on desktop PCs which don't have a laptop style touchpad] (without any mouse) is a complete waste of time re getting ANY/ALL productive work accomplished.

Even if you had a printout, to begin with, from one of the websites that listed all of them, it would be several pages long and you would find yourself 'exhausted' skim reading the printout as to which one you needed at any given moment since keyboard shortcuts are a classic one step (keystroke) at a time process.

As I've noted, the webpages are also predicated on listing keystrokes based on the "window" that you're "working" on; and I feel that I'm on safe ground to guess that none of us really know what MS' nomenclature is for this or that "window" that appears, i. e., they're NOT all 'dialog windows'; some have 'strange' sounding names that I've never bother to take note of, and if it wasn't for the websites with the keystrokes, I would never have heard of many of them that they actually exist.

Yes, there are some multiple keystrokes that work across the board (like the toolbar Menu Bar in browsers), and you can quickly trial and error wise, figure out the keystrokes.

This post is based on lengthy perseverative multiple attempts to do the shortcuts 'dance'.

Note to self: keep a spare USB mouse at hand (and NO, not a wireless or Bluetooth mouse, i. e., I spent well over an hour trying to install my Bluetooth mouse using just keystrokes since the Add Hardware stuff didn't magically appear and do its drivers automatically--XP OS, if this comment only applies to that OS)

LSemmens - 19-12-2016 at 22:26

I can use keyboard shortcuts to work without a mouse, but it has become convenient to use the rodent. Typically the <TAB> key, <CTRL> and <ALT> keys in combination with letters can control most programs. Copy and paste are relatively generic.

marymary100 - 20-12-2016 at 00:22

CTR C CTR V is pretty generic. CTR P is printer etc. Most young folk do it like second nature.