8 Replies Latest reply on Mar 19, 2016 11:56 AM by Extensitech

    ALT + Underlined Letter Keyboard Control

    JohnrC

      I'm taking FM Pro 14 for a test drive in Windows 10.

       

      In a pre-sales information call to FileMaker I asked if one could access controls (e.g. buttons, fields, menus etc). with the conventional Windows method of ALT plus the underlined letter in the button or field label. This would cause the button to be 'clicked', or if it was a field label, then it would cause the cursor to appear in the field. I was assured that I could... but I'm not seeing it.

       

      In Windows, the way you create an underlined letter in a label is to place an ampersand '&' before the letter you wanted underlined. That doesn't seem to work in FM.

       

      Am I missing something? This is indescribably important to me :-)  I am soooooo much faster/more efficient in Windows than I am in OS X because of this alone and could not survive without it. Been this way since the 1980's.

       

      TIA for any guidance.

       

      Cheers.

        • 1. Re: ALT + Underlined Letter Keyboard Control
          user19752

          You can define custom menu with access key, but it may be all you can do in FM.

          Defining custom menus (FileMaker Pro Advanced)

           

          Edit: Buttons in custom dialog support it. Buttons in layout wouldn't support, they are not standard windows component.

          • 2. Re: ALT + Underlined Letter Keyboard Control
            Extensitech

            Complete agreement about the value of windows hot keys ("alt keys"). It's nice to hear that I'm not the only person in the world that still uses them and appreciates the speed advantage they provide. I work on both mac and pc, but if I had to point to one thing that makes PC my primary platform, it's this.

             

            In FM, you can add alt keys with the ampersand to menu items and also to buttons in a custom dialog. Note that if you run the solution on Mac, the ampersands in the custom menus will be ignored, but for dialog buttons they'll be displayed ( ) so you'll need to conditionally remove them if the user is on Mac.

             

            For buttons, fields, and so forth on the layout, this isn't natively supported. I suspect you could do something with OnLayoutKeystroke, at least for very simple layouts, but I'd be concerned about performance implications. I generally address speed through actual layout objects by paying a lot of attention to tab order (so you can tab logically through fields, buttons, etc., and by using menu items to add control keystrokes to anything the user may need to "jump" to.

             

            HTH, and welcome to FM, my hot key brother!

             

            Chris Cain

            Extensitech

            • 3. Re: ALT + Underlined Letter Keyboard Control
              rgordon

              You can use CTRL + 0 thru 9 to trigger 10 different scripts that might let you accomplish some of what you want. 

              • 4. Re: ALT + Underlined Letter Keyboard Control
                JohnrC

                Thanks user19752 and rgordon. Unfortunately, I can't try CTRL + 0 thru 9 or Custom Menus because neither feature is available in the FMPro trial. Advanced is needed.

                 

                Nice to find a kindred spirit Extensitech. Over the years we must be adding months to our lives by not having to reach for the mouse, swirl the mouse to find the cursor, click the mouse, and reach back for the keyboard. More time to spend playing with kids and cats.

                 

                You probably also know what I mean by having a drop-down listbox drop using ALT > DOWN CURSOR. Can't seem to do that in FM... am I right?

                • 5. Re: ALT + Underlined Letter Keyboard Control
                  user19752

                  It is described as "Open or close a list or calendar for an active field", and ESC instead of ALT+DOWN.

                  • 6. Re: ALT + Underlined Letter Keyboard Control
                    JohnrC

                    Thank you! (Though it'll take a while to think of Escape as meaning 'go into' :-)

                    • 7. Re: ALT + Underlined Letter Keyboard Control
                      user19752

                      Agreed, I think I'd never used esc to open list, exit field and re-enter instead.

                      • 8. Re: ALT + Underlined Letter Keyboard Control
                        Extensitech

                        JohnrC wrote:

                         

                        Nice to find a kindred spirit Extensitech. Over the years we must be adding months to our lives by not having to reach for the mouse, swirl the mouse to find the cursor, click the mouse, and reach back for the keyboard. More time to spend playing with kids and cats.

                         

                        You probably also know what I mean by having a drop-down listbox drop using ALT > DOWN CURSOR. Can't seem to do that in FM... am I right?

                         

                        You also used to be able to hit F2 to open the layout list in the status area.

                         

                        To be clear, there's a lot to love in recent versions of FM, and I'm very much in favor of the direction they're going. I just think that some of these details and shrotcuts, which frankly are used more by windows users than mac users, are being left behind. I imagine it's easy for those making the changes to say "no one ever really uses that, anyway."

                         

                        I'm all for making it easier for "mouse people", but I don't think it's an either/or proposition. For example, I do like the inspector, but did we have to take all of those commands out of the menus, where I could hit them with hot keys and other shortcuts?

                         

                        The scary thing is, this isn't limited to FM. MS Office's "ribbon" makes it harder to get to find shortcut keys (unless you remember where things were in the old menus) and things don't generally get faster even once you figure out what picture on what part of the ribbon corresponds to the plain english menu they took away. Maybe working faster with the keyboard is becoming a relic, and we'll just have to adjust, but it's sad to me that a way of working faster is simply being forgotten in favor of "poke stuff with the mouse".

                         

                        You might also find this interesting: Re: Unintended consequences - Why FM14 takes my hands OFF the keyboard

                         

                        Chris Cain

                        Extensitech