GUI ScreenIO for Windows

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Windows Keyboard Conventions

Microsoft Windows assigns numerous keyboard shortcut keys.  You should be aware of these standard keyboard conventions, and avoid using standardized keyboard shortcuts for another purpose in your application.  Many users take advantage of these standard keyboard shortcuts, and using them for a different purpose in your application will just be an annoyance.

With the exception of the first one, the following tables are extracted from the Microsoft Platform SDK documentation and present an extensive (but not necessarily complete) list of standard keyboard shortcuts.

SEE THE NOTE at the bottom with regard to Access Keys.

GUI ScreenIO Shortcut Keys

Keystroke Action
Ctrl+Alt+Shift+V Displays GUI ScreenIO version information.  This includes the name and version of the panel currently being displayed, which can be useful for debugging purposes.

General Shortcut Keys for Windows Applications

Keystroke Action
F1 Display Application Help.
Shift+F1 Display tips help (context-sensitive help) near the selected control.
Display the shortcut menu for the selected item.
Shift+F10 Display the shortcut menu for the selected item (same as ).
Ctrl+C Copy selected items.
Ctrl+X Cut selected items.
Ctrl+V Paste, cut or copied items.
Ctrl+Z Undo the last action.
Ctrl+Y Redo the last action.
ESC Cancel the current task.
DELETE Delete selected items.

Navigation and Window Controls Shortcut Keys

Keystroke Action
Ctrl+F4 Close the active document in applications that allow you to have multiple documents open simultaneously.
Alt+F4 Close the active item, or quit the active application.
Ctrl+Tab Moves to next pane or palette.
Ctrl+Shift+Tab Moves to previous pane or palette.
F6 Moves to next pane or palette (same as Ctrl+Tab).
Shift+F6 Moves to previous pane or palette (same as Ctrl+Shift+Tab).
Ctrl+F6 Moves to next window in a group of related windows (or between MDI document windows).
Ctrl+Shift+F6 Moves to previous window in a group of related windows (or between MDI document windows).

Menu Shortcut Keys

Keystroke Action
Alt+SPACE Display shortcut menu for the active window.
Alt+"-" (Hyphen) Display shortcut menu for the active child window (MDI application).
Alt Activate the menu bar and enter menu mode.
F10 Activate the menu bar and enter menu mode (same as Alt).
Alt+(access keys on menu or dialog box selected) Activate the menu bar and open corresponding menu to the access key. Access keys, also called "mnemonics" are the underlined character in a menu or dialog box.  Created with an & preceding the letter.  See Note Below...
Access key [Menu mode] Carry out the corresponding command.
Down Arrow [Menu mode] Open menu item, move to the one item below, or move to top of menu if focus is located in the bottom of the menu.
Up Arrow [Menu mode] Move to the one menu item above, or move to the bottom if focus is located in the top of the menu.
Right Arrow [Menu mode] Open the next menu to the right, or open a submenu.
Left Arrow [Menu mode] Open the next menu to the left, or close a submenu.

Dialog Box Shortcut Keys

Note:  Arrow keys, Page Up or Page Down, HOME, and END keys for general navigation are omitted from the next tables.

General

Keystroke Action
Tab Move forward through controls/fields.
Shift+Tab Move backward through controls/fields.

Dialog Box (Panel)

Keystroke Action
Alt+access key
Alt+mnemonic
Select or carry out the corresponding command or control. Access keys appear as Underlined letters in a word or title. See Note Below...
Enter Carry out the default command of the dialog box or command of the selected control.
SPACE Toggle the selection status or carry out the selected option or control command.
Arrow keys Move focus or selection in a group of controls or items.

Tab Control (Property Sheet)

Keystroke Action
Ctrl + Tab Move forward through tabs.
Ctrl + Shift+Tab Move backward through tabs.
Ctrl + Page Down Move forward through tabs (same as Ctrl+Tab).
Ctrl + Page Up Move backward through tabs (same as Ctrl+Shift+Tab).
Arrow keys Move between tabs when focusing on the control.

System-Wide Shortcut Keys

Keystroke Action
Display or hide the Start menu.
Ctrl+ESC Display or hide the Start menu (same as ).
Ctrl+Alt+DELETE Display Windows Security screen or Windows Task Manager.
+BREAK Display the System Properties dialog box.
+D Show the desktop.
+M Minimize all windows.
+Shift+M Restore minimized windows.
+E Open My Computer by Windows Explorer.
+F Search for a file or folder.
Ctrl++F Search for computers.
+F1 Display Windows Help.
+L Lock your computer if you are connected to a network domain, or switch users if you are not connected to a network domain.
+R Open the Run dialog box.
Alt+Tab(s) Switch between open windows. While holding the Alt key down, you can press Tab several times to navigate through the system display of each previously used window.
Alt+Shift+Tab(s) Similar to Alt+Tab(s), switch backward between open windows. You can switch between moving backward or forward by holding or releasing Shift key.
Alt+ESC(s) Cycle the input focus through the windows in the order that they were opened; compare to Alt+Tab.
Alt+Shift+ESC(s) Similar to Alt+ESC(s), cycle focus backward through windows. You can switch between moving backward or forward by holding or releasing the Shift key.
PrintScreen Copy an image of the screen.
Alt+PrintScreen Copy an image of the current window to the clipboard.
Left Alt+Shift Switch input languages or keyboard layouts (available and configurable when the user installed multiple keyboard layouts through Regional and Language Options in Control Panel).
Ctrl+Shift Switch keyboard layouts or input languages (available and configurable when the user installed multiple keyboard layouts through Regional and Language Options in Control Panel).
Ctrl or left Alt+Shift + ~, number (0~9), or grave accent key Hot key for input languages (available and configurable when the user installed multiple keyboard layouts through Regional and Language Options in Control Panel).
+V [Speech recognition] Toggle listening status of the microphone.
+C [Speech recognition] Correct recognized text strings.
+T [Speech recognition] Toggle between speech dictation mode.
+H [Handwriting] Open or close handwriting pad.
+ number Reserved for OEM use.

System-Wide Accessibility Options and Tools Shortcut Keys

Keystroke Action
Holding right Shift for eight seconds Switch FilterKeys on and off.
Left Alt+Left Shift+PrintScreen Switch High Contrast on and off.
Left Alt+left Shift+NumLock Switch MouseKeys on and off.
Shift five times Switch StickyKeys on and off.
Hold NumLock for five seconds Switch ToggleKeys on and off.
+U Open Utility Manager.

Control Shortcut Keys

Note:  Arrow keys, Page Up or Page Down, HOME, and END keys for general navigation are omitted from the next tables.

Check Box

Keystroke Action
SPACE Toggles the selected option.
- Clear the option.
+ Select the option.

Combo Box

Keystroke Action
F4 Display or hide the items in the active list.
Alt+Down or Up Display or hide the items in the active list (same as F4).
Any printable key or keys Moves the selection to the item matching prefix letters in the beginning of title.

Date and Time Picker

Keystroke Action
F4 Display calendar below the control.
Alt+Down Display calendar below the control.
Alt+Up Hide calendar below the control.
Page Up Move to next month in the calendar.
Page Down Move to previous month in the calendar.
Ctrl+Page Up Move to next year in the calendar.
Ctrl+Page Down Move to previous year in the calendar.

Edit Control

Keystroke Action
HOME Move cursor to beginning of the line.
END Move cursor to end of the line.
Ctrl+A Select all.
Ctrl+Right or Left Arrow Move cursor to the beginning of the next or previous word.
Ctrl+Down or Up Arrow Move cursor to the beginning of the next or previous paragraph.
Ctrl+HOME Move cursor to the top of the document.
Ctrl+END Move cursor to the end of the document.
Holding Shift+cursor movement (arrow, HOME, or END keys) Select or extend the selection.
Holding Shift+Ctrl+Cursor movement Select or extend the selection by words or block of text.
INSERT Toggle between insert mode and overtype mode in edit controls.

List Box

Keystroke Action
F4 Display or hide the items in the active list.
Alt + Down or Up Display or hide the items in the active list (same as F4).
Any printable key or keys Moves the selection to the item matching prefix letters in the beginning of title.

List View

Keystroke Action
SPACE Locates new selection and anchor for the item.
Shift+SPACE Extends the selection from anchor to the item.
Ctrl+SPACE Invoke additional selection or deselection and move the anchor to the selected item.
Arrow keys Move focus and remove all selection and the anchor previously made.
Ctrl+arrow keys Move focus without move of selection or the anchor.
Any printable key or keys Moves the selection to the item matching prefix letters in the beginning of the label.
Ctrl + "+" (numeric pad) Adjusts the width of all columns to fit their contents.

Tree View

Keystroke Action
* (Numpad) Display all sub-items under the selected item.
+ (Numpad) Display sub-items directly under the selected item.
- (Numpad) Collapse the items directly under the selected item group.
Right Arrow Display sub-items directly under the selected item (same as +).
Left Arrow Collapse the selected item group and move focus to the group leaf root.
Ctrl+Up Arrow Scroll the view without change of the selection.
Ctrl+Down Arrow Scroll the view without change of the selection.
Any printable key or keys Moves the selection to the item matching prefix letters in the beginning of title.

 

Note:  Access Keys (mnemonics)

Access keys are created on buttons, menu items, check boxes, radio buttons, etc by preceding a Letter in the text of the button/menu with an Ampersand (&).  This will cause the word &Cancel to appear as Cancel  (with an underline).  The user can press Alt+C (the underlined letter) to both focus (move to) the button, and trigger the button or menu item.  You need not Underline a capital letter.  You can under line any letter in the word.  Note that if you want an ampersand to appear you have to code it twice in a row: &&.

You can also use access keys (mnemonics) on static text controls.  Static text can not be activated or even gain the focus, but if you trigger an access key (by pressing Alt+[letter] combo, the Next Control will be gain focus.  

The Next Control is not necessarily the control that appears visually next on the screen.  It is the Next Control In Tabbing Order.  

You set the tabbing order using the tabbing order edit option. Select Field/Tabbing Sequence from the main menu.  When you put access keys in static text those static text elements will appear in the tabbing editor and you must explicitly set the order of these static text elements as well as the rest of the controls on the panel.  

Note that in no way will this allow the user to enter a static text control or affect the tabbing sequence when the user presses the tab key.  All it does is allow you to indicate where the focus will go when the user invokes a access key that appears in a static text control.  

There is no reason that the next control need be physically to the right of the static text, it can also be below, or even in a different portion of the panel, as might be the case if large sections of the panel were frequently skipped by the users and a rapid method to do so was needed.

This provides a fast way of jumping to various portions of the display for users that do not to tab to the field, or use the mouse.  This is often highly desirable for heads-down data entry tasks where switching from mouse to keyboard and back again slows down the user.

Under Windows XP and Windows 2000, there is a setting in the Settings / Display / Appearance control panel applet to cause these underlines to be invisible until the user taps the Alt key.  This setting is on by default, which means your Access Keys will be less than obvious until the user presses Alt.

Note that you can use the same character more than one time on a panel as long as the user's action could not be construed to trigger more than one access key at a time.  For instance:  You might have &Cancel coded on a pushbutton that appears on the panel, as well as a &Calculate menu item in the main menu, as well as a &Close sub item of the main menu.  This works because it is only possible to trigger one at any given point in time.  The editor attempts to warn you about any duplicate access keys but it does not prevent you from using them if you want.

Pressing Alt alone will select the main menu (if present).  From that point, until the focus returns to the panel proper, the only access keys that will work are those in the menu.  When a sub-menu is displayed, only those access keys on that submenu will operate.

Note also, that using the a &Letter combination disables the assignment of that same alt + Letter combo as a keyboard equivalent for buttons and menu items.  This prohibition is enforced by the editor, but it is not terribly bright, and you might be able to fool it by assigning the Keyboard Equivalent first, and then coding the Access Key.  Don't do this!  Really, it just wastes your time.  In general, with most Windows Applications you will find Ctrl+Letter combos as keyboard equivalents more frequently used than Alt-Letter combos.  This is so that the bulk of the Alt+Letter combos can be used for Access Keys.


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