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10.5: Use Help to speed keyboard nav of menu bar Apps
Mac OS X has long lagged behind Windows in terms of being able to control the menu with a keyboard. There's no Alt + underlined letter, for instance. Instead, at best, you had a clunky ^F2 "switch focus to menu bar," along with a load of arrow presses. Now there's a new solution, using a well-known feature of Leopard -- its new improved help menu.

Press Command-Shift-/ to go to the Help menu, tap in the first few letters of the command you want to use, and it will pop up in a Spotlight-esque manner. Press the down arrow key to select it and press Enter. That's usually about five or six key presses, and far beats the mouse for fast typers.

[robg adds: To be fair, 10.4 had a decent keyboard navigation system for the menu -- press Control-F2 to select the menu bar, then type a couple letters of the main menu item's name (Ed), press the down arrow to select the highlighted menu (Edit), then type a few letters of the command's name (Co), and then press Return to activate it (Copy, in this case). If you had similarly named menu items, though, you'd have to type quite a few characters to select the right one, or resort to the arrow keys. The 10.5 method is faster, but you'll need to remember the command's name, as you can't display the top-level menus' contents via the help system.]
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10.5: Use Help to speed keyboard nav of menu bar | 6 comments | Create New Account
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10.5: Use Help to speed keyboard nav of menu bar
Authored by: StarvArt on Nov 09, '07 08:43:20AM

I'm surprised Rob forgot to mention that the old "10.4" method still works in 10.5.



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Errrr...
Authored by: Gee4orce on Nov 09, '07 09:46:21AM

Most menu commands have a command-key shortcut. No phaffing around with arrow keys necessary, and much faster than Window's equivalent Alt-letter shenanigans.



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Errrr...
Authored by: TvE on Nov 09, '07 10:27:09AM

Bah - Windows works in this particular area!!

The Windows way of letting the User access EG the History menu by typing ALT-H (or what ever they key is) is a gazillion times faster than the old-n-slow way of the super-modern 10.5, where one have to use a lot more keystrokes to unfold the History menu (from EG Firefox).


One have to:
1. CTRL-M (my shortcut for activating the menubar)
2. Type RIGHT ARROW 5 times
OR
2. Type LEFT ARROW 5 times
- Right and left do wrap around though
OR
2. Type H then I
3. Type ENTER OR RETURN OR ARROW DOWN to open the menu


This action can be accomplished using exactly ONE (1) keystroke in windows, on the Mac I need to use anything between 4 and 6 keystrokes…



This is a place where Apple - unfortunately - still is way behind Windows.
Full Keyboard Access is a most welcome (10.3?) feature, but it's still way behind Windows.



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10.5: Use Help to speed keyboard nav of menu bar
Authored by: Hauberg on Nov 09, '07 09:47:11AM

If you want easier acess you might consider changing "Control-F2" to "Control-<". This combination is nearly as easy as pressing "alt" on windows machines.



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10.5: Use Help to speed keyboard nav of menu bar
Authored by: Mac Berry on Nov 09, '07 09:53:38AM
10.5: Use Help to speed keyboard nav of menu bar
Authored by: AJB on Nov 18, '07 12:07:44PM

Or you could create a custom shortcut in System Preferences for history and do it in one key stroke.



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