Friday, 2 November 2007

Keyboard shortcut of the week: what`s on the menu?

You can open any menu using your keyboard. As you may have noticed, each menu title has one of its letters underlined. To open the menu, hold down the Alt key and press the key corresponding to the underlined letter.

In the case of the above menu, Alt & F will open the 'File' menu, Alt & E will open the 'Edit' menu, and so on.

Once the menu is open, you can use the cursor keys to navigate: up and down will move the focus up and down the list of menu items; the right and left cursor keys will select the next menu to the right or left (except when you have a sub-menu entry focused - more details below). To select a menu item press the Return key.

You will notice that some of the menu entries have letters underlined too. These can be quickly selected by opening the menu and then pressing the key for the underlined letter. For example if you press Alt & E the 'Edit' menu will open, if you then press A then the application will 'Select All' - of course you could just hold down Ctrl and press A, but not all menu entries have another keyboard shortcut associated with them.

Some menu items have a sub-menu, as with the example to the right. To open these using the keyboard press the right cursor key.

To close an open menu use the Escape key.