Keyboard shortcuts for conflicting menu items

Feb 20, '14 07:00:00AM

Contributed by: benwiggy

When assigning a keyboard shortcut to a program's menus in System Preferences, you can run into a problem if more than one menu item in the program has the same name.

If you describe the full 'menu path' using '->' as a delimiter between items (no spaces), then OS X will follow that path and select the correct menu item.

For instance:

The '->' symbol seems to be used from Mountain Lion and later. Earlier systems use '>' on its own.

I don't claim to have discovered this idea myself, but the hint doesn't seem to be very well-known, so I thought it should be posted here, if it hasn't already.

Credit goes to this discussion thread on the Apple forums.

[crarko adds: If someone still happens to be running Lion (10.7) can you try this and post about which delimiting symbol worked? The referenced Apple discussion implied the change happened with 10.8 but the original text for the hint said 10.7, and I'm curious to know which is correct. Thanks.]

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Mac OS X Hints