Accessing a Custom Menu Quickly
Previously, we’ve discussed creating custom menus.
With that, the menu could be accessed using your mouse or by using the Alt key with the arrows. The Alt key gives control to the menus and the left/right arrows will move your selection to the correct menu. When you’ve got the right menu selected, use the up/down arrows to select a specific command.
The ability to create a customized menu (one containing only your favorite commands) could be a very powerful tool, but if you’re an avid “keyboard only” person, all those arrows can be annoying.
You’re probably a person who likes the shortcut letters, right? You know, the underlined letters you combine with the Alt key to have instant access to the exact menu you’re looking to use.
Well, if you were disappointed that the custom menus didn’t have that option, you’ll be pleased to know that they can have a keyboard shortcut letter after all. It’s up to you to tell the program what letter to use, but the ability to have the shortcut is definitely there.
Good! Then let’s get to the “how to” of creating a menu shortcut.
Once you’ve created the menu, you need to leave the Customize window open.
If you’ve already created the menu, open the Customize window. (Tools menu, Customize choice or right click over any toolbar and then select Customize from the bottom of the list).
With the Customize window open, right click on your custom menu.
The Properties menu will then open and you can enter a name for your custom menu in the Name field.
The trick to the shortcut key is in the way you name your menu.
Once you’ve entered a name, you need to choose a letter that is not already used for any other menu.
Move your cursor just to the left of the letter.
Now, type an ampersand (&) just to the left of the letter.
For example, if I called my menu “April’s Magic Menu” and wanted the M in “Magic” to be the shortcut key, I would enter this in the name field:
April’s &Magic Menu
(Notice the “&” before the M).
After the name with the ampersand is entered, close the Properties list. (You can either hit the Enter key or click outside the list to do this).
Immediately, you should see a difference in your menu name.
The letter you chose should be underlined and now, you can access this menu using the Alt key combination just like any other!
Close the Customize window and you’re back to business as usual.
Don’t you just love that customizations are getting better and better all the time?!