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Keyboard navigation of the menu bar and dock System

One of the nicer features in OS X 10.1 has hardly been mentioned anywhere. I'd completely overlooked it myself, and it took a nice tip from Luis R. to enlighten me. With the release of 10.1, Mac users can now use their machines without a mouse. I'd noticed the Universal Access panel, which enables things like Sticky Keys and Mouse Keys, but it seemed like a real pain to use the numeric keypad to move the mouse pointer to the menubar whenever you wanted it.

Luis pointed me to the Keyboard prefernces pane and the Full Keyboard Access tab. Check the box that says "Turn on full keyboard access" and choose between control and function keys, letters, or custom-defined letters.

Once enabled, you can access the menu bar and dock solely with the keyboard. Use the arrow keys after activating the menu bar or dock to navigate, and use ENTER to select items. Use the up arrow in the dock to display and select the pop-up menus.

Full keyboard access works great in Cocoa and Carbon applications, but not at all in Classic (as you might expect).
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Keyboard navigation of the menu bar and dock | 11 comments | Create New Account
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The finder is a carbon app.
Authored by: kaboom on Oct 02, '01 07:48:36PM

Menu access does not, however, work in the finder. :(

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Works for me...
Authored by: robg on Oct 03, '01 12:45:17PM

The Finder in 10.1 certainly responds to the keyboard menu keys -- control-M drops the menus while I'm in the Finder, and the arrow keys then work as expected.

Are you saying that it does not work on your 10.1 Finder?


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Doesn't work for me...
Authored by: robm on Oct 04, '01 08:24:50AM

Ctrl-M doesn't work in any application on my Pismo powerbook. (except for in System Preferences).. only when I activate it with the mouse I can roll through the menus with the arrow keys. Pity!

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What about a custom key?
Authored by: robg on Oct 04, '01 08:40:29AM

Try the other pre-defined sets, or define a custom key set in the preference panel -- do any of the available options work?


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What about a custom key?
Authored by: dodita on Oct 04, '01 12:40:36PM

It works on my pismo, I use F7-F10.
But still doesn't move in Dock, it won't move :(

do you have any idea to solve this ?

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ibook fn keys in full keyboard access
Authored by: klez23 on Oct 05, '01 05:37:45AM

just noticed that on a (white) ibook, you have to press <ctrl> then<fn> then <f3> (or <f2> or whatever). if you do <fn> then <ctrl> it doesn't work.


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Keyboard navigation confusion
Authored by: xian on Oct 03, '01 06:18:20PM

I agree that the new keyboard navigation function in 10.1 rocks, but a few of the items in the control panel confuse me. How am I supposed to make use of the following in the control panel:

- Window (active) or next window behind it
what does this mean and why is there no key command available for it?

u - Utility window (palette)
what does this mean? I tried this with the tool palette in Graphic Converter but I can't seem to control anything with it.


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You need to restart or log out...
Authored by: robm on Oct 05, '01 10:06:15AM

So I find that keyboard navigation does work - in all apps., including the finder, but it required a restart! I suppose you can also log out and back in again.
I've reverted to m, d, t and u again after trying F9 - F12 - except that I can't set F12 as the last key 'cause the moment I hit it my cd tray pops open. Oh well - m,d,t,u, will do – although I don't really understand the functionality of the t and u options – and I'm not the only one it seems. AppleHelp doesn't seem to provide answer either.

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needs improvement
Authored by: Anonymous on Oct 05, '01 11:42:25AM

To order to access anything more than a few items down a menu, you have to hit that down arrow key too much (if I'm wrong, I would love to see how to achieve something similar to this). Apple needs to improvie this so that it'll allow us to type in the menu item name so we can quickly jump to menu items using the keyboard. Imagine trying to select ZapfDingbats in a long font menu using the keyboard?! Even using the mouse takes a long time.

For classic compatibility, they should release a 9.2.2 or something to add some stuff to unify the UI between classic and carbon including full keyboard access.


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Full Keyboard access in the Finder (PBG3 400 Lombard)
Authored by: jonny on Oct 05, '01 04:54:02PM
I tested Full Keyboard Access on my Lombard, here's what happened:

Tried Apple's default Function keys set

Then tried Letter keys set

Then Custom keys assigning in one instance F7, F8, F9, F10 and in the other q, w, e, r.

Tested in the Finder.

In all cases invoking the on/off toggle with Ctrl+Fn+F1 worked.

In all cases invoking menu activation as the first action failed.

In all cases invoking the dock as the first action worked, and when this was the case invoking the menu key as the very next action would always work.

I couldn't make the Toolbar key work in a Finder window in all cases.

I couldn't control anything in a View Option palette in all cases. None of this required a restart. Restarting did not change these results. I hope that keyboard can be consistently implemented throughout the entire OS, I find that it can really save time not reaching for the mouse.

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Authored by: CHEETAH on Aug 09, '02 10:38:56AM

Why do I have to use Control key + the choosen one to active for example the menu!? The control key is far away from the arrow-keys, why this is kinda dumb. I'd like to use Command so I can do for example Command + "down arrow" or something like that. That would be great. Anyone has a tip on how to solve this!?


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