As I understand it, in order to select an entry in the context menu in windows explorer, you have to select the file, press shift + F10 to open the context menu, press the underlined shortcut, and then press enter.

I'd like to be able to just press some key combination (like Ctrl + Shift or Ctrl + Alt) and the underlined shortcut key.

Any way to do this?


What do I want to do? Well, I have all sorts of programs and utils that have context menu entries and that I use a lot (Notepad++, WinMerge, 7-Zip, Open Command Window Here utility). I already use an app launcher, so the problem isn't opening the programs. It's being able to automatically pass the path of the currently selected file to those programs. I figured, the context menu already does this, so maybe there's a way use it. Of course if there's some other way, that would be good, too.

  • Well, you can save a keystroke by hitting the properties key instead of Shift-F10. – hyperslug Aug 24 '09 at 8:47

Then Autohotkey is your new best friend. You program whatever hot key you like to do/launch whatever command or program you require. For example '#z::Run www.autohotkey.com' means when you press the windows key and Z together, it will run autohotkey's website. Or

IfWinExist Untitled - Notepad
    Run Notepad
means when you press CTRL+ALT+N it checks to see if you already have an unsaved/new notepad window open and brings it to the foreground. If you do not have one already open the key presses will open a new notepad window for you.

It has a very shallow learning curve with alot of good tutorials and examples to follow.

N I don't work for them :) but I do love the product, and I hope it helps you as much as it did me!

  • 3
    I start believing that 25% of questions on this place are solved with AutoHotKey :) – Gnoupi Aug 24 '09 at 8:52
  • I already use an app launcher (Executor). The problem there is how I automatically pass the path of the currently selected file to the app launcher. Is there a way to solve this with autohotkey? Or a way to solve this in general (I'd rather keep using the app launcher I have at the moment). – drby Aug 24 '09 at 9:12
  • With a quick search (as I've not done it myself) apparently in Win XP you can use 'ControlGet, OutputVar, List, Selected, SysListView321, A' ControlGet help here -> autohotkey.com/docs/commands/ControlGet.htm – Szetak Aug 24 '09 at 9:39

I generally just use the "context menu" key, at the lower right of the keyboard (typically between the Alt and Ctrl keys. That simulates right-clicking on the selected file. Once the context menu appears it's business as usual.

If there are particular actions for which you're looking for a shortcut key, update your question with them and we'll see if we can suggest something more specific. For example, the Delete key will delete the selected file; the F2 key will rename it; Alt+Enter will bring up its properties.

  • Not every keyboard has this "context menu" key, though. Especially laptops. – Gnoupi Aug 24 '09 at 8:53
  • Well, it's only one less keystroke than Shift+F10. Like I said - if the original poster has specific actions he'd like shortcuts for, chances are they already exist and we can provide them. – Matt Hamilton Aug 24 '09 at 8:55

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