Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Verklarte Macht: Keyboard Revisited

Improved Office 12 keyboard shortcuts...

"I mentioned in mid-March that we had been putting a lot of thought and effort into improving the Office 2007 keyboard access model for Beta 2. Getting keyboarding for the new UI model right is a necessity--not only for accessibility but also for efficiency. As a result, we've continued to tweak and redesign and tweak some more based on all of the feedback we've received.

Today, I'm finally ready to reveal the improved keyboard model you'll find in Beta 2.

There are four ways to access features using the keyboard in Office 2007: shortcuts, menu accelerators, KeyTips, and navigation.

Keyboard Shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts are dedicated keystrokes you can use to access specific features, such as CTRL+B for Bold, CTRL+X for Cut, and CTRL+P for Print.

Every one of the Office 2003 keyboard shortcuts continues to work the same in Office 2007; there's no relearning necessary.

We've also used the data from the Customer Experience Improvement Program to track down the most frequently-used features without good keyboard shortcuts so that we could add them. For instance, you'll find CTRL+ALT+V added for Paste Special.

Menu Accelerators

"Menu accelerators" refer to the way that you can use the keyboard to kind of "navigate" the top-level menus in old-UI programs. For example, you can type ALT+O+H+R to navigate Format - Sheet - Rename to access the Format Sheet dialog box in Excel 2003.

Starting in Beta 2, you will be able to use all of the menu accelerators just like you were running Office 2003. If you have ALT+I+R memorized in Excel (Insert - Row, in case you were wondering) you can type it and it will magically work. No need to activate any sort of legacy keyboard mode or anything like that--your menu accelerators just work.

We've designed this part of the feature for people who have these keystrokes memorized ("in the fingers" as they say), so there's no UI to explore the old menu structure. In other words, this isn't the way to discover new ways of doing things with the keyboard.

But, when you do start to enter an Office 2003 menu accelerator, we pop up a small window over the Ribbon to show what keys you've pressed and that you're entering an Office 2003 menu accelerator."   continued ...   (Via Jensen Harris)

A look at keyboard shortcuts - User Interface Design, Human Computer Interaction (HCI), Ergonomics

A look at keyboard shortcuts


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