If you love reminiscing about the days before every computer came with a mouse, these two Windows 2000 keyboard tips are for you. Find out how to display keyboard shortcuts and lock your workstation with a keystroke.

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Displaying keyboard shortcut indicators
While most people use the mouse to interact with applications and the Windows 2000 interface, there are times when knowing the shortcut keystroke for a menu or command is helpful (like when your mouse suddenly dies). Windows 2000 by default turns off the keyboard shortcut indicators, which otherwise show up as underlined characters in the menu, control, or command name (see Figure A). The indicators only show up if you press [Alt]. But you can easily turn them back on if you need to see them all the time.

Figure A

To turn on keyboard shortcuts, open the Display Properties sheet by right-clicking the desktop and choosing Properties or by opening the Display object in the Control Panel. Click the Effects tab and deselect the Hide Keyboard Navigation Indicators Until I Use The Alt Key; then, click OK.

Lock your workstation with a keystroke
You faithfully use a screen saver with password protection every time you leave your computer. You’re impervious to snooping—no one can so much as look at your desktop while you’re gone. Or can they?

Although you can configure your screen saver with a password, the screen saver is only password protected if it starts on its own after the defined idle time. The password protection doesn’t apply if you start the screen saver manually from the Microsoft Office toolbar, open the screen saver file from Explorer, or start it with the Preview button in the Display properties.

Instead of relying on the screen saver, it’s better to simply lock the workstation. One method of doing that is to press [Ctrl][Alt][Delete] and click Lock Computer in the resulting Windows Security dialog box. But here’s a one-key solution (that only requires a bit of setup):

  1. Create a shortcut on your desktop using rundll32 user32.dll,LockWorkStation as the item to run, entering the text exactly as you see it here (just copy and paste).

Figure B
Pressing [F1] now locks the computer.

  1. Open the properties for the newly created shortcut, click in the Shortcut Key field, and type the shortcut key you want to assign to the shortcut. Make sure to assign a keystroke that doesn’t conflict with any of the shortcuts in your most-often used applications.
  2. When you want to lock the workstation, just press the shortcut key. (See Figure B.) As an alternative, you can copy the shortcut to the Quick Start toolbar and click its icon to lock the workstation.

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