If you are a power-save mode fan, you will appreciate this small utility, that will let you send your monitor to sleep with a keyboard shortcut.
Of course, you can tell Windows to activate power-save mode after a time of inactivity, but a keyboard shortcut is the most flexible solution, letting you rely on your decision, instead of some automatic adjustment which sometimes ‘strikes’ exactly a few seconds before you need your monitor again.
There is also the obvious On-Off button of the monitor itself, minimizing even more power consumption, but a keyboard shortcut to enter power save mode is the easiest way, having your monitor ready to operate again and protecting the on-off button from excessive use.
Sleeper is a single executable, a portable (no need to install) application, that will occupy no memory in your system, since it will just give a “sleep” command and then it will close immediately.
Copy Sleeper in a folder of your choice and create a shortcut to it in the Start Menu. Then right click on that shortcut to define whatever hot-key you prefer to run Sleeper and activate the power-save mode of your monitor.
What makes Sleeper even more special is that it will show your taskbar, in case you have chosen to hide it with Taskbar Control, making sure there will be no problems when your monitor wakes up. Windows seems to dislike sometimes a hidden taskbar upon exiting the power-save mode. Sleeper will let the taskbar appear again before activating the power-save mode, and you can use your Taskbar Control hotkey to hide your taskbar again, if you want to, after you exit power-save mode. Exiting power save mode is as simple as you already know: just press whatever key of your Keyboard, or move your mouse.
If your keyboard includes a NumPad, make sure you check also NumPad Transformer, a great freeware that provides ‘sleeping’ along with other useful and frequent commands.