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Death by Pavement

Apparently, a Dell X300 laptop cannot survive a fall from a car seat to the pavement below. It now awaits the services of the Dell Necromancer, who should have it reanimated by Tuesday or so. From now until then I'll be toting around a 15" TiBook, experiencing the wonders of not being able to access menus directly with the keyboard.

Comments (4)

You can turn keyboard navigation on in one of the control panels (keyboard maybe, or maybe accessibility).

bp Author Profile Page:

It won't give you specific-menu access, but you can turn on the keyboard menu access (in Keyboard & Mouse Pref Pane, Keyboard Shortcuts, under "Keyboard Navigation"). You'll still have to arrow over to the right pull-down, but then you can switch back to first-letter typing to get to the right option.

As mentioned before, a bit of a gripe of mine still, but at least it's not impossible.

kwc Author Profile Page:

As bp points out, the keyboard navigation I want is specific menu access. I tend to memorize keyboard shortcuts as Alt-F-S (File->Save) instead of the Ctrl-S. I can do an Alt-F-S just as fast as a Ctrl-S.

I find it much easier to remember shortcuts as it gives me access to every menu item, regardless of whether or not there's already a shortcut assigned, much simpler than than a custom hotkey even. I appreciate that you can assign shortcuts to menu items on OS X, but it is far easier for me to remember a shortcut like Alt-B-S (Bookmarks->Show all Bookmarks in Safari) than Option-Apple-B.

I find it really surprising that no one has a hack for this yet. It's so central to how I use an application that I am really finding my OS X experience painful right now. I guess its an artifact of growing up with Windows applications and also how my brain prefers to think, and many people wouldn't experience the same frustration as I am right now, but for me its like someone taking away my TV remote and telling me that I can still change the channels by walking up to the TV. I feel so... slow. If you watch how I use applications on Windows, you'll constantly see the menus flicker because I'm using menu-style keyboard shortcuts.

To not be entirely negative, I am liking the default application set that you get on OS X, I think the application packaging/installation mechanism is better, and I am using Expose constantly (the Windows iEx copycat pales in comparison). I just need real keyboard navigation is all. I wouldn't mind if this navigation were disabled by default, but for people like me who grew up using menu-style shortcuts, it would be an easy and useful feature.

We'll see if I get around to Konfab-bing and Quicksilver-ing this computer before I have to relinquish it again.

kenji:

It's really interesting that menu-style shortcuts are so hardwired to your brain, and so not hardwired to mine. Thanks to this little post, I've solved a long time gripe I've personally had with QuarkXpress and not being able to tab between open windows. For whatever reason, menu-style "tabbing" never occurred to me, and now I'm going to gleefully do it whenever I get the chance. Thanks man!

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This page contains a single entry from kwc blog posted on September 17, 2004 10:32 AM.

The previous post was Mecha Roaches and Geckos.

The next post is OS X: the more positive thoughts.

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