An effective way to avoid RSI is to minimize the use of the mouse by using keyboard shortcuts. If you are wondering how to do it, here's how:
Keyboard Shortcuts for Launching Programs
To launch a program, you can easily press on the Windows key and start typing the name of your program and hit Enter. If you have an older PC and your keyboard does not have a Windows key, you can use Control + Escape keys as an alternative keyboard shortcut to the Windows key. When you are done with the program, hit Alt + F4 to close it.
Launch from Desktop
Programs usually place shortcuts on your desktop and start menu upon installation. To open these shortcuts, type the first letter of the program or file name on your desktop. If there are multiple items that starts with the letter, keep pressing on the letter until the item that you wanted is highlighted. Now press on Enter and your item/program will open.
If your desktop is hidden by files you are currently working on, press the Windows key + D to show your desktop. Pressing the same combination again will bring you back to the files you were working on.
Make use of Windows Custom Shortcuts.
These are keys that you assign to programs (in conjunction with Control + Alt). Select a program and hit Shift + F10 and using the arrow keys highlight Select Property and hit Enter .
Tab into the shortcut key input box and type a character you want as a shortcut. Windows will prepend it with a Control + Alt key combination to ensure that your shortcut will not cause problems with keyboard shortcuts already in effect. Use the Tab key to reach the OK button at the bottom and hit Enter . Now try and open the program with the key combination you have just created.
Cycle through Opened Programs
If you have a lot of opened programs and documents and you need a way to switch from one item to another. No worries, use Alt + Tab to cycle through all opened programs. Add Shift in the mix and you can cycle in the opposite direction. You can also use Windows key + Tab to show all opened programs in a larger thumbnail and use the arrow keys to make your selection.
Launch from the Taskbar
Another way to launch a program is with the use of the taskbar. If you do not have any programs docked on your taskbar here is how to add one. Hit the Windows key and type the name of your program, once the program is highlighted, hit Shift + F10 which is equivalent to right clicking on the program and use the up/down arrow keys to select "pin to taskbar ". You can now see your docked program on the taskbar. You can do this to all programs that you use every day. Add a couple more programs on the taskbar.
Now that you have some programs on the taskbar, you can open them quickly by pressing the Windows key + the number of its position on the taskbar.
Try it out, hit Windows key + 1 and it should open the program on the first position on the taskbar. In the example above, it will open the Edge browser. Try the second and the third.
Take note: some laptops have an icon for Task View just to the right of the Start menu button. If this is the case, your count should start in relation with the Task View icon.
You now have a visual alternative to launching programs on your taskbar. If you already have the program open, you can use Shift + Windows key + position number to open a new instance of the program.
Alternatively, you can use Windows key + T to cycle through all of the docked programs. If you skipped over the desired program icon, no problem, just add Shift to Windows key + T to cycle in the opposite direction. When the chosen program is highlighted, let go and hit Enter to open it. Again, using Shift + Enter and it will open a new instance of the program.
Windows Jumplists - Keyboard Shortcuts on Steroids
Jump lists are yet another way of opening programs and quickly opening files or websites. It stores your most recent activity with that particular program and automatically loads the file for you, saving you some typing. For example, if you want to open a web browser and navigate to a page you recently opened, you can hit Windows + Alt + position number to open the jump list and choose from the selection where you want the browser to navigate to.
Jump lists can save you a great deal of time and typing and it works with any of the docked programs in your taskbar.
Opening Programs upon Start Up
Keyboard shortcuts can make routine computer work easy and faster. But to save more time, why not have Windows open up your programs for you after booting.
Windows have the capability of opening up the programs that you use automatically upon startup. Let’s say for example that you need Word, your favorite browser and your email for work.
First, create shortcuts to your programs by going to your desktop and copy (Cntrol + C) your program's shortcuts. If you need to create a shortcut yourself, select the program as described previously and hit Shift + F10 and select "create shortcut" with the arrow keys.
Then open your run dialog box, press Windows Key + R, type “shell:startup” into the box, and press Enter. Cut (Control + X) and paste (Control + V) your shortcuts to your startup folder and restart your computer.
Your programs should open up after the reboot. And if you need to leave your station for your much needed rest, there is a keyboard shortcut you can press: Windows key + L will lock your computer. Or you can hit Alt + F4 repeatedly to shutdown.