Windows: Visual Warning on Pressing Lock Keys

Problem

The Caps Lock, Num Lock and Scroll Lock on the keyboard are known as the Lock Keys. They are useless most of the time, but get turned on inadvertently leading to an irritating user experience. If a feature called Toggle Keys is turned on in Windows, it will beep when one of the Lock Keys are pressed. What if you want a visual indication of the Lock Keys being pressed?

Solution

I have written a small AutoHotKey script that flashes the active window when any of the Lock Keys is pressed. Get the script here.

Tried with: AutoHotKey 1.0.90.00 and Windows 7

Windows 7: Keyboard Shortcut to Show/Hide Gadgets

Problem

Gadgets are a nice addition to Windows 7. I find them most useful for information that I need to check once in a while. However, there seems to be no keyboard shortcut to display them and to hide them after I have looked at them. I typically need this to check the time (on the Clock gadget) or check the temperature (on the Weather gadget). The Gadgets display should be gone once I have checked them.

Solution

I wrote a small AutoHotKey script to show or hide Gadgets on pressing the Win+G keyboard shortcut. Get the script here.

Tried with: AutoHotKey 1.0.90.00

Windows 7: Life Without the Volume Control

I try to keep a minimal Windows 7 desktop. One of the desktop elements I can now live without is the Volume Control icon which sits in the Notification area of the Taskbar. The only operations I need it for is to increase or decrease the volume. I assigned keyboard shortcuts for this task and my volume control is useless! 🙂

Hiding the Volume Control

The Volume Control is a System Icon that can be either on or completely hidden. To hide the control, right-click on its tray icon and choose Properties. This displays the Turn system icons on or off dialog. Choose Volume Control, choose Off and press OK. The clock is now gone from the Taskbar.

Keyboard Shortcuts

A convenient way to control the volume using keyboard shortcuts is to use the awesome AutoHotKey (AHK) macro program. For example, the Win+Page Up and Win+Page Down keys can be assigned to increase or decrease the volume using these macros:

#PgUp::Send { Volume_Up   2 }
#PgDn::Send { Volume_Down 2 }

Here the volume increment is 2, you can assign a larger or smaller increment if you wish. (See the Superuser question here for more info.)

Checking Volume Control

For those rare times you need the Volume Control dialog, you can invoke this by pressing the Win key, typing Volume, choose Change System Volume and press Enter.