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Microsoft and hotkeys

So I'm working in C# 2.0 with the MenuStrip.  I right-click on a ToolStripMenuItem and hit "R" to get to the properties window.

And...nothing happens.

For, you see, in _this_ particular context menu, it's not P&roperties.  It's &Properties.  "P" is the key, not "R".  Never mind that every other Microsoft program, and every other menu in VS, uses R.  This menu has a need to be different.

Why is it so freaking hard for Microsoft to keep the same keys for the same items in every program?  Couldn't they have an intranet site where UI designers could look up what the standard key is for Properties?

One could argue that it's too hard to use standard keys because of colliding menu items...but then you have all the Microsoft programs that use the same key for two or three different items on the menu.  Access is a prime offender in this area.  Right-click on a table, and D can mean &Design Table, Sen&d to..., or &Delete.

If Microsoft's own books say you should pick a different letter for each menu item, how come they don't follow their own recommended practices?  It just seems like this is such an easy thing to fix; why is it so often broken?
Kyralessa Send private email
Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Good point. Microsoft isn't the monolith people think it is.  Lots of things are nonstandard (like the 3 differnt ways to ajust sound back in the Win95 days. Nightmare for tech support my old company's video kiosks.)

In .net, I think you can redfine the hotkey ("Keyboard Accelerator Keys" I think they're officially called.)
Mr. Analogy {Shrinkwrap µISV} Send private email
Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Microsoft's organisation has been compared to a group of fiefdoms, often competing. Which is why the idea of an Office developer asking a Windows developer over lunch to insert a hidden API into Windows is considered laughable.
John Topley Send private email
Wednesday, March 01, 2006
In Outlook, press Ctrl-F to find something in a message.  That's pretty universal for "find," right?

Oh, wait a minute, in Outlook that means "Reply to message."  Find is F4.  Except it's greyed out unless you are actually editing a message.

Last night I brought a brand-new Microsoft Comfort Curve Keyboard 2000, whereon they have silkscreened *Find right on the front edge of the "F" key.  The "*" refers to the "*" symbol on the Ctrl key.

Karl Perry Send private email
Wednesday, March 01, 2006

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