I like to use the "Windows Key" to open things:
For many years my favorite XP shortcut was WK+F to open find file.
But things got way better under Windows 7. Striking WK (I.E. depressing and releasing WK) brings me to the "search programs and files box" so:
WK note opens notepad
WK out opens CURRENT instance of outlook (or starts a new instance if necessary)
WK wo opens NEW instance of word to a blank document
WK exc opens NEW instance of Excel to a blank workbook
This fast method of opening word and Excel etc is nearly perfect, but I dislike having multiple instances of Excel and Word.
Is there any way to configure things so this method uses a currently running instance for Word and Excel? (Outlook already is perfect)
I am only giving this 125 points because I am pretty sure the answer is "NO". But 500 points to anybody with a successful answer.
As a workaround, I use alt tab tab tab tab to rotate through the open applications until I get to Word or Excel. It works great except when I have several dozen applications open.