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Motif and CDE 2.1 Style Guide Reference
A shortcut key is a key or combination of keys assigned to a menu item that
activates that item (even if the associated menu is not currently displayed)
such as Alt F4 for the Close choice in the window menu. The shortcut key is
also known as an accelerator.
Figure 60. Shortcut Key.
When to Use
RequiredProvide the predefined shortcut key assignment for each predefined choice.
RecommendedProvide a unique shortcut key assignment for each frequently used choice
in a menu.
RequiredWhen the user presses a shortcut key, perform the same function that would
be performed if the user had activated the associated choice.
RequiredPerform the function assigned to a shortcut key only if it is assigned
within the active window.
RequiredIf the shortcut key choice is within a menu displayed from a menu bar,
activate the choice if the user presses the shortcut key and the input focus
is in the menu-bar system or the window that contains the menu bar.
RequiredIf the shortcut key choice is on a push button, activate the choice if the
user presses the shortcut key and the active cursor is in the window.
RequiredIf the shortcut key choice is within a pop-up menu system, activate the
choice if and only if that pop-up menu system is active or the pop-up menu is
associated with the active cursor.
RecommendedIf the shortcut key choice is on a menu pulled down from a menu cascade
button, activate the choice if and only if the active cursor is on the menu
RequiredEven if the user turns off the display of shortcut keys in a menu,
continue to support the shortcut keys that correspond to the menu items.
RecommendedIf a choice has a shortcut key assignment, display it to the right of the
label that identifies the choice, except in the case of other rules that
indicate specific shortcut keys that should not be displayed.
RecommendedLeft-align shortcut keys in a column to the right of the choices in a
menu. For information on bidirectional and vertical language support, see
RecommendedAllow the user to hide or display shortcut keys. For example, provide a
check box choice labeled Display Shortcut Keys in a properties window.
OptionalIdentify shortcut keys by their keycap names, if possible. For example, if
the Control key is labeled Ctrl, use Ctrl, not Control.
RequiredDo not use a printing character augmented by Alt as a shortcut key, as it
would conflict with activation that uses mnemonics.
RequiredAssign the same shortcut key for a choice in all windows that provide that
RecommendedAssign only one shortcut key to a function except where multiple
predefined keys already are defined.
RecommendedUse the Ctrl key as part of application-specific shortcut key assignments.
RecommendedDo not use two or more modifiers in a shortcut key.
RecommendedAllow users to redefine or disable shortcut key bindings when in
RecommendedAllow the user to change shortcut key assignments.
RequiredIf the user can change shortcut key assignments, display the new
assignments in menus and list the new assignments in any Help information
provided for the shortcut keys.
Essential Related Topics
For more information, see the Keyboard (Device) and Mnemonic reference
Supplemental Related Topics
For more information, see the Menu (Control) reference page.
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