Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Accelerator and Mnemonic Keys

A common practice in designing Windows GUI applications is to use mnemonic and accelerator keys for push buttons, menu items, check boxes and radio buttons. Examples might might include Alt+F for the File menu or Ctrl+P for a push button.

When you run the application in a browser, the browser application itself (i.e. Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox) will have its own set of short-cut keys. If the user enters a short-cut key combination that the browser accepts, then this function will be performed in both the browser and the Rapide application. For example, if your application uses Ctrl+T, then if the user enters this key combination, the specified function will be performed by the Rapide application AND a new tab will be opened since Ctrl+T is the keyboard short-cut in most browsers to open a new tab.

It is therefore recommended that you do not use mnemonic and accelerator keys in your application that conflict with the browser since the behaviour is unpredictable and will be confusing to the user.

The Rapide Generator plug-in Consistency Check will now warn you if you are using a conflicting mnemonic or accelerator key combination. The list of keys that the check uses are defined in a file that can be edited to provide your own specific list. 

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