One of the small but nice new things in Windows Vista is the Quick Launch Bar. It is not just a bar with nice little shortcuts on which you click, it is also a collection of quick keyboard shortcuts.
In Windows Vista the first 10 shortcuts on the Quick Launch bar have their own custom keyboard shortcut. It is very simple: you place 10 shortcuts on your Quick Launch Bar and each one will have its own keyboard shortcut. Press the Windows key + a number (from 1 to 0) and Windows Vista will launch the shortcut corresponding to that number.
Let’s consider the screenshot below: Windows key + 1 is Show Desktop, Windows key + 2 is Switch Between Windows, Windows key + 3 is Firefox, Windows key + 4 is Winamp and so on.
If you want these shortcuts to work you should NOT hide the Quick Launch bar. When you hide it the keyboard shortcuts will be deactivated as well. Also, there is no need for all shortcuts to be visible. It works even if most of them are hidden. You just have to remember the order of the shortcuts from the Quick Launch bar.