People! Use your keyboard (shortcuts) for menus.

Apple, Cocoa, General

Mac OS X has some GREAT keyboard access. One spectacular thing is the ability to access all items (unlike windows, where you have to have a defined shortcut for each item, and you easily run out of items).

First, go to the System and change the keyboard shortcut from Ctrl-F2 to Cmd-F2.

Picture 2

Cmd-F2 is so much easier to hit than Ctrl-F2.

Next, use it! Being from Windows, when I first used it I didn’t realize how it works. Basically, it is doing type-selection; ie: you type the word you want it to go to.

So, people are amazed at how fast I can reopen files with my fingers. For instance, to open the last file in TextEdit, I do this:

Cmd-F2 (focuses Apple menu)
F (Focuses “File”)
Enter (Drops down the “File” menu)
O (Selects “Open Recent” menu)
Enter (Selects the first item in the list)
Enter (Opens the item)


I use this all the time to open recent items in Xcode.

One small bug: the items in the Open Recent menu don’t work with type selection..hopefully that will get fixed.

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Jean V. Jean

Ok, but:

1. Why is Open Recent selected and not Open? This is clearly completely confusing.

2. Why doesn’t the C shortcut work if you try to use the Close menu?

3. Why doen’t it work all the time? If you select another letter after typing O, most of the time, you don’t go on the proper item.

At least on Windows, it just works. On OS X, it may work one day (I’m sure Nostradamus predicted which day).

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