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Windows 10 Shots – Cortana Keyboard Shortcuts

by | Oct 22, 2015

shotglassHey, welcome back to another Windows 10 Shots blog post.  I hope you read my last post, Windows 10 Shots – Virtual Desktop Keyboard Shortcuts.

As I have mentioned in previous posts, with most shots after about a handful things will start to get a little hazy.  But, with Windows 10 Shots (this new series of posts), the hope would be that the opposite would happen.  That clarity and insight into the highly anticipated release would free your mind to great new features and power of Windows 10.

I have worked with a lot of Windows users over the years, and one thing I have noticed is that there are users who love to use the mouse and there are users who love to use the keyboard.  Sure there are those in the middle, and I actually prefer to use the mouse most of the time, but you have to admit, when you watch someone who has the keyboard down to a science, windows, screens, emails, etc. are flashing all over the screen like a firework show.  It can be confusing to those watching, but for the person who has become proficient with the keyboard, productivity is the name of the game.

This is the third post in a series dedicated to those who love to wield the keyboard like a sword and chop up all work or play tasks that dare to stand in their way.

This post will focus on a new feature in Windows 10, Cortana, your new digital assistant. While current and future posts will include the following:

I will attempt to keep this short by explaining as quickly as I can: the Cortana keyboard shortcuts we are going to use, what it does and a quick description with an occasional screen shot to drive it home.  That being said, the General Window 10 and Microsoft Edge posts will have more content.  So, let’s get started on some Cortana keyboard shortcuts.

Cortana

If you haven’t checked out my previous blog post, Windows Shots – Cortana, you should.  I talk about some of the many things that Cortana can do to help assist you in your daily routines.  Cortana is Microsoft’s online digital assistant.  And a pretty good one too.

For anyone who is interested in learning more about Cortana and how she can help you be more productive, check out my post, Windows 10 Shots – Cortana Review.

Let’s take a look at a couple of shortcuts that will help us interact with Cortana to get her help.

ActionOpen Cortana to Listening Mode

Shortcut KeyWindows Key + C

Description:  Hitting this key combination, Cortana will start instantly listening to your request.  You should see a Cortana listening box show up on the bottom left of your screen above your Cortana task bar item.

Open Cortana to Listening Mode 1

Once Cortana starts listening, you can ask her a question.  Try, “What is the weather today?”  Cortana should respond to you by telling how the weather looks for today, as well as show you more information that might be helpful.

Open Cortana to Listening Mode 2

ActionLaunch Web and Windows Search

Shortcut KeyWindows Key + S

Description:  With this keyboard shortcut, Cortana will open up a window that will show you information that she has found information that is important to you, but also allow you to do a search.  You can have her search by either typing in what you want her to find in the text field at the bottom, or by clicking the microphone icon to the right of the text field.

Launch Web and Windows Search 1

For example, since I am a big LeBron James fan, I might want to find more information on him.  So, I would simply typelebron james” in the text field and hit Enter.

Launch Web and Windows Search 2

I would now see a search result for LeBron James similar to the one below.

Launch Web and Windows Search 3

It is worth mentioning that you can have Cortana find things on your system as well.  Try typing this, “find files I recently worked on.”  Before you hit enter, you will notice that at the top of the Cortana window, she is ready to search your documents.

Launch Web and Windows Search 4

Now, hit Enter and check out the results she gives you.

Launch Web and Windows Search 5

Pretty nice huh?  From here you can select a file from not only your PC but form OneDrive as well.  You can also apply sort order, the types of files and even show ALL the matches as opposed to just the top files recently used.

Again, to find out more about what Cortana can do for you, check out my blog post, Windows 10 Shots – Cortana Review.

Summary

So, all you keyboard crazies out there, I hope this post helps you by identifying some of the keyboard shortcuts in Windows 10 that will help you navigate your virtual desktops.  This way, you can blaze a path of productivity using the most productive operating system in the world, Windows 10.

Be sure to look for the next post in this series, Windows 10 Shots – Microsoft Edge Keyboard Shortcuts.

If you liked this post, please share it with others and don’t forget to come back for a new feature focused Windows 10 Shot.  Because remember, just like drinking, “1 shot”, probably won’t affect someone, but multiple shots, well, that changes everything.

BONUS:  If you are a software developer, be on the lookout for a blog post coming soon that will show you how to integrate Cortana into your application.

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