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Old 2nd August 2005   #1
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Shortcut key


I assigned CTRL-ALT-F to an application long ago. Right-click, Properties, Shortcut, Shortcut Key. A few days ago, I got rid of the app because it was obsolete. Now, I want to reassign CTRL-ALT-F to the new program, but Windows won't let me. Evidently, it thinks that CTRL-ALT-F is still assigned to the old application.

Ordinarily, I'd find the old shortcut and navigate to its Properties and set the shortcut to "None". But, I can't do that, as the application's shortcuts are all gone due to it being uninstalled.

How can I reassign CTRL-ALT-F? Is there a registry setting somewhere? I found a nifty utility that shows all shortcuts in use, but it doesn't show CTRL-ALT-F. Any help?

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Old 2nd August 2005   #2
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marvy - Welcome to the Board

Took me a while to figure out what you are doing Right click on Desktop Shortcut > Properties > Shortcut key?
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Is there a registry setting somewhere?
That info must be recorded in the registry - my guess is that there are still references there to the program you uninstalled, especially as you say it is an obsolete app.

Download RegSeeker and do a 'Find in Registry' for the program by name. Check that the 'Backup before deletion' box is checked and delete the strings.

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Old 2nd August 2005   #3
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Hm, got the program, but can't find the string anywhere. Program is WS_FTP, if that helps, superceded by Filezilla. WS_FTP is one of those old descended-from-Windows-3.1 programs that doesn't use much in the registry, IIRC. Only one reference remains after uninstall, in CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\StartPage\P rogramsCache. It was a very long binary string, with lots of other information in it, so I didn't feel good nuking it.

Anyone know where Windows keeps the shortcut key info?

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Old 2nd August 2005   #4
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Shortcuts are kept in .lnk files - if you search the registry for those a fair number come up Whether or not they include info re. shortcut keys I do not know.

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Only one reference remains after uninstall, in CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVer sion\Explorer\StartPage\ProgramsCache. It was a very long binary string, with lots of other information in it, so I didn't feel good nuking it.
Export the string first - delete it from the registry. If something is broken double click on the exported .reg file to merge it back into the registry - reboot.

Any chance of reinstalling the program?

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Old 2nd August 2005   #5
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Agree with PeteC that your best bet might be to reinstall WS_FTP to see if you can cancel the shortcut.
However, as a workaround, did you know that you can also use Control+Shift+F, Control+Shift+Alt+F, or Shift+Alt+F instead?

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Old 4th August 2005   #6
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I'm not so sure they're stored in the registry. I've tried to run this down in the past and have never found any of them in the registry. The nearest I can figure out is that windows is hard wired to look to either the desktop or the start menu when a shortcut key is used. I could be wrong but I've found that if you create a shortcut in any folder other than the desktop or start menu and assign it a shortcut key it won't work. It needs to be in the start menu or on the desktop to work.

The fact that I've never been able to find one in the registry plus the fact that they only work when the shortcut is either on the desktop or in the start menu is what makes me think the way I do. Give it a try and see what you find. This isn't much help in this case but I thought I'd throw it in for everybody to chew on.

My theory seems to have a hole in it if you uninstalled the program and it still won't allow you to use it for another one though. I'd have a good look in the start menu and make sure the uninstall routine removed the shortcut. Once in while they're left behind.

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Old 4th August 2005   #7
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OK, I just did some checking here. I deleted a shortcut in my start menu that had a shortcut key assigned to it. Then, I assigned the same shortcut key to Freecell. I then tried the shortcut key and was presented with a dialog that said something to the effect that it could not find the associated shortcut and gave me the option to browse for it. I closed that, rebooted and then tried the shortcut key and Freecell opened. Evidently it requires a reboot. Have you tried rebooting and then tried the key?

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Old 4th August 2005   #8
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I used Agent Ransack to find all the .lnk files on the HDD. Lots of files, but nothing that helped. Tried rebooting...still doesn't work. Ah, well. Thanks for the help guys, I'll just have to retrain myself to use a different shortcut key for the FTP client.

I'm the only person I know who uses shortcut keys. They're pretty handy. But I've never seen anyone else use them.

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Old 4th August 2005   #9
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Quote:
I found a nifty utility that shows all shortcuts in use, but it doesn't show CTRL-ALT-F. Any help?
Is the shortcut you're trying to use located either in the start menu or on the desktop? Had to ask. From what you said about the utility, it would appear that the key combo is no longer in use and the new one should work.

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Old 4th August 2005   #10
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I'm the only person I know who uses shortcut keys.
Not so I use them extensively in Photoshop - and occasionally in Windows.

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