A few days ago we featured gMote, an excellent utility for creating mouse gestures. Some people aren't into them, and would prefer to keep their hands on their keyboards as much as possible. Heck, I'm one of them. HotKeyz does for those essential multikey combinations what gMote does for mouse gestures: it's a powerful utility that makes it easy to create and manage hot keys that open programs, shut down your computer, and control media applications.

HotKeyz's intuitive interface divides hot keys into nine preset categories, including Control Panel, Desktop, and Internet. A simple table lists the 11 preconfigured hot keys that perform basic tasks like launching Internet Explorer, accessing the Control Panel, and adjusting volume. Novices will appreciate the step-by-step guide to creating their own hot keys, especially for more complex operations such as opening your Internet Explorer home page or automatically filling in online log-in information. A reliable help guide also eases the learning curve.

Hotkeyz sits in the system tray when not in use, but of course, it has its own hot key combination. This effective freeware application makes it easy for anyone to create customized keyboard shortcuts.