Computer Organizational Secret #2: Qliner Hotkeys -Open Source

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A good deal of time has passed since I posted the first installment of my “mini-post series” related to computer/desktop organizational secrets.   The first post dealt with a great FREEWARE program entitled Copernic Desktop Search.  If you have not read this post and are looking for the best desktop file organizer, bar-none, it’s worth the read and GUARANTEED to save you time!

Computer Organizational Secret #2:

Have you ever wanted to easily assign your function keys or other any other key on your computer keyboard to make a commonly used program or desktop tool open quickly?  Often, this task can be difficult without having a good deal of desktop knowledge (and it varies for each Operating System Version) or without paying a good deal of money for hotkey-type software.

While there are hundreds of built-in shortcut keys for Windows, many people are simply looking for a quick and easier way to open or save programs that they use on a consistent basis.   Qliner’s Hotkey open source software is a program that I’ve used for years and I have yet to find any program, paid or free, that matches its ease-of-use and functionality.

keyboard picture

First, let me make it known that this is a Windows ONLY based piece of software (XP, Vista, etc.).   If any of the many MAC users that read MusTech.Net  know of a comparable piece of freeware or open source software, I would love you to post and write about it in the comment section below.

There are so many things that make this application beautiful (besides the great graphic look).   A visual of the keyboard shortcuts are easily viewed by pressing the Windows+Z key combination or by holding down the Windows key for a few seconds (see picture above).   Using this visual keyboard, you can make any key “HOT” by dragging-and-dropping a shortcut or application icon onto the ke … it’s that simple.   This program easily enables you to assign anything to any key, including frequently visited web pages.

Many common programs are pre-assigned (Word, Powerpoint, Volume, etc.) and these can be overruled easily be holding down the ALT keyor by changing the hotkey assignment by right-clicking the visual keyboard. In addition, this program includes a number of tools that are assignable such as screen snapshots and file compression (zipping) and supports over 100 languages and multiple keyboard layouts including, the speedy DVORAK keyboard. 

You are able to become a complete expert in this hotkey program in only five to ten minutes.  I not only recommend it for home-use by also highly recommend it for any computer-lab environment as a way to streamline opening various programs for your students. 

Qliner’s Hotkeys may be found at their website:


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Joseph M. Pisano, Ph.D. is an industry innovator, education clinician and lecturer, trumpeter and conductor, and the creator of many education websites. He is currently the Vice President of Innovation and Engagement at Keystone Ridge Designs, Inc. After twenty-three years as a professor and administrator at Grove City College, he made the move into industry in 2018.  As one of the youngest full professors in Grove City’s history, he served in various roles over his tenure including the Technical Director of the Pew Fine Arts Center, Assistant and Associate Chairs of Music and Music and Fine Arts, Director of Music and Fine Arts Technology, Director of Jazz Studies, Stage Manager, and he finished his tenure as the Director of Bands where he directed the college’s Symphonic Concert Band, Wind Ensemble, Marching Band, Pep Bands, and various small ensembles.

He been named a TI:ME Teacher of the Year, received the JEN Jazz Educator Award, the PA Citation of Excellence, and named a “member for life” of the PA Intercollegiate Bandmasters Association. He is a past Vice President of the Technology Institute for Music Educators, an associate member of the American Bandmasters Association,  a past President of the PA Intercollegiate Bandmasters Association, and a member of various education and music honoraries. He has written for numerous publications including DCI Magazine, Teaching Music Magazine, and was the Educational Editor for In-Tune Monthly Magazine for eight years; he has contributed hundreds of articles to various publications. He is an active conductor, trumpeter, clinician, and educator. Find out more at his website

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