When you press Ctrl + Alt + Shift + Win + L on Windows, your default browser opens and loads the LinkedIn social networking website. But why? We will get to the bottom of this mystery.
office key secrets
In October 2019, Microsoft introduced a new keyboard layout that included a dedicated “Office” key. The key is usually placed between the right Alt key and the Emoji key near the space bar, and has a Microsoft Office logo printed on it.
The idea behind the Office key is that it works as a new meta key that can launch Office applications with shortcuts. For example, you can press Office + W to open Microsoft Word, Office + X to open Excel, or Office + L to open the LinkedIn website. These shortcuts have been in Windows 10 since the May 2019 Update and have been included in Windows 11 since its release.
So here’s the secret: For compatibility reasons, when you press the Office key, it’s the equivalent of pressing Shift + Ctrl + Alt + Windows on a regular keyboard. That is the signal that you send to your computer and the signal that Windows is listening for. That means you can press this key combination and access Office keyboard shortcuts on any keyboard.
So when you press Shift + Ctrl + Alt + Windows + L, it’s like pressing Office + L, and LinkedIn opens in your browser. LinkedIn is a business-oriented social networking site owned by Microsoft. Microsoft wants to promote their products, so they included this shortcut in their Office shortcuts.
Other long Office shortcuts
Just like the LinkedIn shortcut mentioned above, you can unlock other office apps using Shift + Ctrl + Alt + Windows. Here’s a partial list of other Office key shortcuts you can press on a regular keyboard to launch Office and Microsoft apps.
- Shift + Ctrl + Alt + Win + W opens Word
- Shift + Ctrl + Alt + Win + X opens Excel
- Shift + Ctrl + Alt + Win + T opens Teams
- Shift + Ctrl + Alt + Win + P opens PowerPoint
- Shift + Ctrl + Alt + Win + O opens Outlook
- Shift + Ctrl + Alt + Win + Y opens the Yammer website
- Shift + Ctrl + Alt + Win + N opens OneNote web
As soon as you try any of these, you’ll notice that Shift + Ctrl + Alt + Windows is a lot of keys to press at once. So whether these shortcuts are useful or not depends on your personal needs. But at least you know more about this strange chapter in Windows history. Happy computing!
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