There are many “built-in” commands that may be run “out-of-the-box”. When these tips and tricks are employed, you will find yourself able to move through XP much faster and efficiently.
In order to find the “run line” (RL), you will need to click on the Windows Start Button. From there, you will notice the “Run…” command a few lines up from the start button. Click it. You may also use the following key combination: WINDOWS KEY + r
When you click the “Run…” line, a new dialog box will appear. This is the box where you will be typing in these shortcuts.
Useful RL commands for the novice and end-user: (These commands are every-day, useful commands that everyone can use)
iexplore Opens Internet Explorer firefox Opens Firefox
calc Opens the Window’s Calculator excel Opens Microsoft Excel frontpg Opens Microsoft Frontpage msimn Opens Outlook Express nero< Opens Nero notepad Opens Microsoft Notepad outlook Opens up Microsoft Outlook pbrush Opens Microsoft Paint powerpnt Opens Microsoft Power Point tourstart Opens the Microsoft Tour winword Opens Microsoft Word wordpad Opens Microsoft Wordpad
quictimeplayer Opens Quicktime’s Player moviemk Opens Window’s Movie Maker realplay Opens Real Audio’s Player wmplayer Opens Microsoft Media Player
freecell Opens Freecell pinball Opens Pinball spider Opens Spider Solataire
Exploring the computer:
clipbrd Opens the contents of the clipboard control Opens the control panel explore Opens Windows explorer logoff Logoff the current user magnify Opens the magnify utility osk Opens the on-screen keyboard printers Opens the printers panel shutdown Shutdown the computer
You may also enter simple “paths” into the RL. For example: C: Will open the contents of your hard drive, A: Will open the contents of your floppy drive, D: Will open the contents of your CD/DVD drive (usually), ?: Insert a letter for “?”, this will open the contents of that drive
In addition, you may enter a full file path like C:windows. This will open the windows directory. Also, if you are currently in an explorer window, you may enter an internet address and your default web-browser will open, and… vice-versa; You may also enter a local address, such as C:windows , within your web-browser, and it will open the local path as well.
Opening Web Pages:
By typing in a web-address using the RL, the default browser will automatically open. There is no need to start the web-browser first.
Advanced RL commands:
(These are commands that open up specific control panels)
access.cpl Accessibility options appwiz.cpl Add or remove programs desk.cpl Display properties hdwwiz.cpl Add hardware wizard inetcpl.cpl Internet Explorer properties intl.cpl Regional and language options joy.cpl Game controllers main.cpl Mouse properties mmsys.cpl Sounds and audio device properties ncpa.cpl Network connections nusrmgr.cpl User accounts odbccp32.cpl ODBC data source administrator powercfg.cpl Power options properties sysdm.cpl System properties telephon.cpl Phone and modem options timedate.cpl Date and time properties
.MSC RL commands:
(These are commands that open up Microsoft Management Console
Snap-ins. Some of these only work with XP Professional)
- certmgr.msc certificates
- ciadv.msc Indexing service
- compmgmt.msc Computer management
- devmgmt.msc Device manager
- dfrg.msc Defragmenter
- diskmgmt.msc Disk management
- eventvwr.msc Event viewer
- fsmgmt.msc Shared folders
- lusrmgr.msc Local users and groups
- ntmsmgr.msc Removable storage
- ntmsoprq.msc Removable storage operator requests
- perfmon.msc Performance monitor
- services.msc Services
- wmimgmt.msc Windows management infrastructure
There are others as well…
Creating your own RL shortcuts:
There are many ways to make RL shortcuts to applications. Some involve changing the registry and some involve other complexities. The following are the two easiest methods:
Method 1 (easiest, little risk):
Method 2 (a little harder, but still easy in comparison to others, some risk):
- 1. Create a windows shortcut of the application you would like to open by using the RL.
- 2. Save it to the “Windows” sub-directory. This is usually the file path: “C:Windows”.
- 3. Now you should be able to open the application using the RL.
Using the method works 99.9% of the time.
Obviously, when you understand the above process, you may label and locate the directory anywhere you wish. By using the 2nd method you will be able to organize your shortcuts in a much cleaner fashion.
- 1. Open the control panel and choose Systems Properties.
- 2. Choose the Advanced tab and click Environment Variables.
- 3. From the “Systems variables” section, highlight “Path” and click edit.
- 4. Go to the end of the entry name “Variable value:” and insert this: ;c:shortcuts
***Do not change anything else, or you may cause severe problems with other applications and their function!
***REMEMBER, YOU ARE ADDING THIS TO THE EXISTING LINE, NOT DELETING WHAT IS ALREADY THERE!
- 5. In the dialog boxes, click ok, then ok, then ok.
- 6. Create a directory (folder) called “shortcuts” in your “C: “, root directory. The address line should read, C:shortcuts when you open it.
- 7. Create a windows shortcut of the application you would like to open by using the RL.
- 8. Save it to the “shortcut” sub-directory you just made in the previous steps.
- 9. Now you should be able to open the application using the RL.
Submitted by Prof. Joseph M. Pisano. He's the Assistant Chairman of Music and Fine Arts & Director of Music and Fine Arts Technology at Grove City College, Grove City, PA. He is an active musician, adjudicator, clinician and technology expert.