Add New Keyboard Shortcuts

Martin Brinkmann
Feb 17, 2009
Updated • Jun 4, 2014
Software, Windows software

It's rather strange that Windows does not ship with an easy way to configure or change keyboard shortcuts that the system makes available.

Enter HoeKey, a lightweight portable software that can be used to configure various advanced keyboard shortcuts. The application ships with a set of pre-configured hotkeys that you can use right away, and options to add more hotkeys.

Keyboard shortcuts can be edited and added to the computer system by editing an ini file that lists all the existing shortcuts. It basically comes down to the following. You select a keyboard combination containing at least one of the modifier key Windows, ALT, Shift or CTRL key, and one additional key and define an action for that keyboard shortcut afterwards.

One of the biggest strengths of the application is the wide variety of possible actions that can be defined. It ranges from running applications, entering text, manipulating windows, changing system settings like the volume of the system. Hoekey supports multimedia keyboard keys and can control media playback on the computer system as well.

The best option to get started is to go through the application's documentation and config examples. The docs are available online on the developer's website while config examples are included with the application itself.

As far as functions are concerned, the following are available:

  • Create a new window using various commands including running a program.
  • Manipulate existing windows including terminating processes, moving the window, changing its state or hiding one or multiple windows.
  • Do various things such as changing the system volume, or ejecting a drive.
  • Sending messages to clients or focusing applications.

Probably the most amazing factor of this keyboard shortcuts program is its low resource usage. Once everything has been configured the application runs quietly in the background. It uses 200 Kilobytes of computer memory while running and 600 Kilobytes of virtual memory. That's nothing compared to most other applications that allow the manipulation of keyboard shortcuts on the Windows operating system.

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  1. DonaldUA said on December 18, 2009 at 9:01 am

    Нужен совет. Хочу новые входные двери. Выбираю среди дверей Конекс и Новый мир. Кто в курсе, посоветуйте какого производителя выбрать. Зараннее благодарен.

  2. bukinec said on November 26, 2009 at 9:59 am


  3. kehinde said on April 15, 2009 at 4:33 pm

    i want you to send me more of the uses of keyboard shortcut through my e-mail box,

  4. osobo said on February 18, 2009 at 4:58 am

    Новый способ давления на кандидата на пост Главы г. Химки

    Новый способ “наказать” тех, кто посмел участвовать в выборной кампании не на стороне действующей власти изобрели правоохранительные органы г.о. Химки.
    Руководствуясь не нормой закона, а чьей-то “волей” сотрудники милиции решили “проверить” все фирмы, внесшие денежные средства в избирательный фонд неудобных кандидатов.
    Начались “проверки” с телефонных звонков – где директор, сколько человек работает на фирме. После чего последовали “письма счастья” с просьбой предоставить всю бухгалтерскую документацию, учредительные документы фирмы, и даже, план экспликации БТИ.
    Такие запросы химкинским фирмам рассылает 1 отдел Оперативно-розыскной части № 9 Управления по налоговым преступлениям ГУВД Московской области за подписью начальника подполковника милиции Д.В. Языкова.
    И всё это в то время, когда Президент дал прямое указание правоохранительным органам о прекращении всех незаконных проверок малого и среднего бизнеса. С это целью внесены изменения в Федеральный закон “О милиции” – из статьи 11 этого закона исключены пункты 25 и 35, на основании которых ранее правоохранительные органы имели право проверять финансово-хозяйственную деятельность предприятий.
    Видно, об изменениях действующего законодательства местные правоохранительные органы не уведомлены. И не смотрят телепередачи с выступлениями Президента.
    Может быть, эта публикация подвигнет их к исполнению указаний Президента, а также к изучению и соблюдению действующего законодательства

  5. Rag said on February 18, 2009 at 2:45 am

    take a look at hot chime. You set up a hot key to open the program and then enter any file, folder, website etc. and create any shortcut you want (with as few or many letters as you wish) with no need to include the windows, alt or ctrl keys. Hit the hot key to invoke hot chime and then type your shortcut.

  6. Computorial said on February 17, 2009 at 7:39 pm

    I always wanted to know where is the location of these shortcuts. Great tip.

  7. analmadness said on February 17, 2009 at 6:53 pm

    memokeys isnt free right? And what kind of memory does it consume?

  8. The Poet said on February 17, 2009 at 5:41 pm

    very interesting….

    can someone tell me what exactly is the file that windows uses for its shortcuts.

    whats the .ini filled called?

    much thanks!!

  9. What is KDE? said on February 17, 2009 at 3:16 pm

    Does Windows not have a way to configure shortcuts from within the OS? Is that a joke? KDE has had a way to configure shortcuts over ten years ago, and that was when Linux was still considered difficult to use!

  10. phaoloo said on February 17, 2009 at 2:22 pm

    It’s really cool for launching different applications using shortcuts. If you want to use shortcuts for pasting a saved before, MemoKeys is another awesome shortcut utility.

  11. garbanzo said on February 17, 2009 at 12:19 pm

    HoeKey is amazing, i’m surprised it has not been covered here before.

    another huge advantage it has over other hotkey apps is that it can send windows API messages, so you can add global hotkey support to apps like iTunes as long as you can find the right parameters.

    it is a bit tricky to set up since there is no GUI for setting hotkeys, but it’s worth the effort.

    but having said all that, i set aside HoeKey once i found Hotkey Master. it is even more powerful than HoeKey, but is much easier to use, and works amazingly well for mapping my multimedia keyboard. it can even map special keys with modifiers like ALT or CTRL.

    it’s ancient, but it works fine even on Windows 7. unfortunately, it is neither portable nor free (but just costs €4.23)

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