While it is possible to configure hotkeys for Windows programs natively, the process itself is not really that comfortable to begin with. You do need to create a shortcut of the program first, open the properties afterwards to assign a hotkey to it in the end.
If you prefer a faster more comfortable option, you may be interested in the tiny HotKey Plus program for that purpose. The program is basically an application launcher that works by assigning hotkeys to programs that you want to launch this way.
All you need to do is download the program executable from the developer website and unpack it to your system. The application does not need to be installed, and you can run it right from the location you have unpacked it to.
First thing that you need to do afterwards is right-click the application icon in the system tray to select the configuration option from the context menu. Here you can now add or delete programs and their shortcuts from the program.
Let me walk you through the process of adding a new program to the application launcher.
- Click on add in the program window
- This opens the menu where you can configure a new hotkey and associated with a program.
- Select the hotkey and a modifier combination first. The program lets you pick reserved hotkeys as well, so make sure you use hotkeys that are not reserved for the purpose. The easiest way to find out is to press the hotkey that you want to use first to see if it is reserved.
- Add the full path and program executable file under command line.
- The parameters and working directory fields are optional
- Click ok to save the setting.
The new hotkey should be configured now, and you can press it to see if everything worked out as intended. Repeat the process for all hotkeys that you would like to use.
The program itself uses barely any system resources while running in the background. I suggest you check out the project homepage at the developer site for additional instructions and tips on how to use the program.