Posted: Thu Mar 18, 2004 2:52 am Post subject: alt keys and menu access
Some time ago Patrick wrote in an X11 forum:
We were just discussing this same issue in the NeoOffice/J Support forum today. NeoOffice/J has the same problem and we figured out that the problem is that Mac OS X uses the Alt key to compose to other letters. So, for example, when you press Alt-F on an English keyboard, Mac OS X turns that into a curly-f and turns an Alt-C into a c-cedilla.
So, in most cases, the Alt-key menu traversal shortcuts won't work.
The absence of direct keyboard access to the menus is a bit of an inconvenience. It's almost as incovenient as not having real "home", "end", "page up", "page down" keys on my iBook. (Do other macs have these keys?)
Is it possible to use the alt key for menu access if we throw away the functionality to generate special characters (these can then be accessed via the Edit menu)?
If not, how about this comprimise: "command-key" combinations are presently used as shortcuts to a number of items within menus, like "command-s" for save, and "command-c/x/v" for copy/cut/paste.
What about using "command-key" sequences to open the menus? (I'd love it if this worked for os x in general)
eg: "command-f" opens the file menu (assuming "f" is not already used as a shortcut) then you can use the up and down arrows to get the the menu item you want to select.
Once the menu is open it may be possible to access a menu item directly by typing its "underlined" letter.
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