31

My work has provided me with a smaller keyboard with no numpad due to musculoskeletal problems. I have one at home so I didn't think this would be an issue, however the new one has no Windows key, which I have not seen before.

The keyboard is a Logitech Logitech K380

I do a lot of programming and analysis work so I often have many windows from various software open at once across multiple screens, and I rely on the Win+D shortcut to access the desktop without closing or minimizing each window in turn. Is there any way of doing something similar on this keyboard?

(I don't have admin rights at work and can't even install new software myself, so workarounds requiring editing registry files etc. are probably not going to be possible.)

photo of keyboard

  • 4
    I have similar Logitech keyboard and start|alt+D does the same as Win+D – pun Jan 3 at 9:43
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    From looking at it, I would have thought "Start" by itself was the Windows key?... – user1686 Jan 3 at 11:52
  • 1
    A keyboard with round buttons like that looks almost edritch, as if designed by Chthulhu itself. What a interesting piece of hardware! – T. Sar Jan 3 at 17:59
  • "Start" is just another name for the windows key used on some keyboards. The menu that opens when you press that button is called "The Start Menu" because in older version of windows, (through Windows XP) it said "Start". – JPhi1618 Jan 3 at 18:55
  • Pressing alt + ↓ will restore down, and minimize windows one-by-one. It's not all at once like you were asking, but it saves having to click them individually. – maxathousand Jan 3 at 19:18
56

I'm pretty sure that start is the windows key on that particular keyboard, so start+d is likely going to do just what you need.

  • There's no "with Apple Macs" on Bluetooth or USB keyboards. The keys are platform-agnostic at the keyboard comms protocol level. What the engravings are telling you is that [Fn] exchanges the keyboard's internal mappings of the physical keys to the USB HID usages from LeftGUI/LeftALT/RightALT/RightControl to LeftAlt/LeftGUI/RightGUI/RightALT. Operating sytems just see these key codes. A "GUI" key is a "Windows" key, a.k.a. "Command". The USB HID protocol makes no distinction. unix.stackexchange.com/a/331421/5132 unix.stackexchange.com/a/467190/5132 – JdeBP Jan 4 at 8:35
  • Hmmm i always used start + M – Robert Niestroj Jan 4 at 17:00
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    @RobertNiestroj both are fine. Win+M = Minimize All, Win+D = Show desktop. The difference is, win+d twice will restore all windows, where win+m cannot be restored without manually opening every app. – LPChip Jan 6 at 10:38
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    @RobertNiestroj, another major difference is that windows+M will minimise windows that can be minimised, but leave out things like property pages, which do not have a minimise action on the title bar. Win+D does not minimise but just changes the z-order, so desktop is thrown up top regardless of other things that may be open. Would be interesting to see how long running JS tasks in the browser behave differently in these 2 cases! – Vaibhav Garg Jan 7 at 5:35
47

The accepted answer points out that your keyboard actually does have the WinLogo/Start key.

But if you ever get a keyboard that really doesn't have this key, there's still a way to make such a shortcut.

As suggested here, create a file named Show Desktop.scf (make sure the filename extension is indeed .scf) with the following contents:

[Shell]
Command=2
IconFile=explorer.exe,3
[Taskbar]
Command=ToggleDesktop

Then you can create a shortcut to this file via Right Mouse Click on the file → Send to → Desktop (create shortcut). Then open the shortcut's file properties (Right click → Properties), and on the Shortcut tab give it a Shortcut key by clicking in this field and performing the key combo you want.

I've tested this approach with Ctrl+Alt+D, and it works. One issue though is that the shortcut appears to trigger only after a delay of about two seconds. This is a known problem (with a (weak, but) solution)

  • 1
    +1 from me, this is a great workaround in case you have a 20 year old keyboard or very unique portable keyboard. – LPChip Jan 4 at 11:54
23

If you really don't have the "Windows" key, you can use the "shake the window" technique: grab a window by its title-bar and move it back-and-forth quickly. This will minimize all other windows. Then minimize (or close) the window you shaked.

This is called "aero shake".

To reverse the effect: just shake the same window again (noted by the user IMSoP)! You can even minimise and then restore that window, then shake it, and the other windows will return to their previous state. Restoring any other window will lose the memory of which windows the shake should restore, as it does with Win+D.

  • 15
    Actually, it's trivial to reverse the effect: just shake the same window again! You can even minimise and then restore that window, then shake it, and the other windows will return to their previous state. Restoring any other window will lose the memory of which windows the shake should restore, as it does with Win+D. (Source: I just tested it a few times.) – IMSoP Jan 3 at 18:39
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    Isn't right click task bar -> show desktop a far better alternative ? – xyious Jan 3 at 20:32
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    Or click the "Show desktop button" at the far right of the taskbar? – MrWhite Jan 3 at 23:00
  • I think this doesn't work on WinXP and below – user13267 Jan 6 at 0:43
  • @user13267 of course, aero desktop is a new feature in Windows Vista – phuclv Jan 6 at 1:50
2

Reading the manual for the Logitech K380, it turns out that LPChip's answer is rather incomplete. As I pointed out in a comment, the Fn modifier switches the functions of keys at the level of the mappings from physical keys to actions inside the keyboard itself, and this applies to things like the function keys on row F.

The engravings implied that this was the case for the keys on row A, but this is not so.

Per the manual, the four so-called "split keys" on row A actually function specially depending from the current internal mode of the keyboard. This mode is manually switchable using Fn+I for "iOS" mode and Fn+P for "PC" mode. (Again notice the use of Fn to modify actions at the level of the keyboard itself, modifying these keys to perform internal actions within the keyboard instead of sending USB input reports over Bluetooth.) Presumably a custom device driver for each operating system sends a USB output report to auto-switch this to the appropriate mode at device initialization. (As I mentioned at https://unix.stackexchange.com/a/467190/5132 , vendors sometimes define private USB output reports with this kind of functionality.)

What you are looking for are the left and right "GUI" modifiers (in USB terminology), a.k.a. "Windows" or "Command". As I said, USB is actually platform-agnostic, and all three of these are names for the exact same key at the USB HID protocol level.

  • In "iOS" mode there are two and they are the Alt/Cmd ⌘ and AltGr/Cmd ⌘ keys. So Alt/Cmd ⌘+D or AltGr/Cmd ⌘+D are the chords that you want.
  • In "PC" mode there is one and it is the Start/Alt ⌥ key. So Start/Alt ⌥+D is the chord that you want.

Each of the three possible Bluetooth pairings apparently has its own independent value for this mode, moreover.

Moral: always read the user manual. ☺

Further reading

0

And one more way for those who have no Windows/Start key...

In a Run... dialog or the Explorer Adrress Bar, the command:

Shell:::{3080F90D-D7AD-11D9-BD98-0000947B0257}

executes the Show Desktop command. Thus, if you create a new shortcut and paste the following as the target:

explorer "Shell:::{3080F90D-D7AD-11D9-BD98-0000947B0257}"

(Explorer will flesh out the path & extension upon creation)

and assign a shortcudt key combo, you'll have a keyboard shortcut to Show Desktop. There is the lag time noted by Ruslan.

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