When they move everything around and change the signs

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2006/09/28 07:01 +00:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/michkap/archive/2006/09/28/774885.aspx

From time to time, stores like Fred Meyer will re-arrange where the various things are located within the store. My local store did this just recently, in fact. Now this is an event that I am of two minds on.

One the one hand, it is as annoying as crap, even when the old layout of things was annoying or crowded, because I hate not knowing where everything is. Especially when I used to.

On the other hand, it is actually kind of nice beacuse I get the chance to see stuff I may not have even realized was there, and if I ever really can't find something or don't have the time to look, I can ask someone who works there.

Enter Windows Vista. :-)

Back in the old days I was able choose whether I wanted to show or hide accelerators before the ALT key was pressed. To change the setting, it used to be that you could just right click on the desktop to click on Properties:

And slide over to the fourth tab of that mondo dialog:

And then click on that Effects... button to get to the setting we want:

the wording of which is "Hide underlined letters for keyboard naviagtion until I press the Alt key".

This is fairly buried and I am not sure that you could call how one got here to be entirely intuitive, but once you learn it you can get back to it easily. Just like things at the store and knowing how to find them the next time you need 'em.

In Vista, the big mondo dialog has been split up a lot. Let's try to find that setting again.

Let's try right clicking on the desktop again:

Uh oh, change!

Ok, that is a reasonable change, since personalizing it does have a more intuitive feel. Let's suspend judgment and see what happens when we choose it:

Uh oh, now I'm lost.

Wait, it used to be the Appearance tab, and the first item on the list is Window Color and Appearance so let's try that one. Not so bad yet, right? Just click on the hyperlink....

Aha, found thast Effects... button. Cool, we are on our way, right? Just click and

Never mind, they moved it. Damn. Ok, we'll go back to that big Personalization switchboard and look for where they may have moved it to:

That Ease of Access hyperlink in the lower left hand corner seems promising, since those accelerator underlines are often considered to be accessibility aides, and Eases of Access has nice accessibility type of sound.

Plus nothing else seems to fit. :-)

Ok, one click, and

Ok, third from the end is the Make the keyboard easier to use hyperlink. 

Now technically accelerators actually make it easier to use the keyboard rather than making the keyboard easier to use, a semantic distinction that I will discuss further another day. :-)

For now let's try it out.

Aha, we found it. And the wording has now changed to "Underline keyboard shortcuts and access keys."

Another fascinating semantic distinction -- and another topic to post about soon! :-)

Now I abbreviated my search a bit by pretending I was finding things more quickly than I actually did. In truth, I did not guess this quickly and I did click on a few different options first (mainly because it did not occur to me to look ast thast link in the corner rfight away; my eyes were staying near the plasce I had previously almost found the answer).

But in the end I found a lot of other stuff that will probably come in handy in the future. The functional shuffle helped encourage me to look around a bit. :-)

And if I didn't have time to look around? Well, I can go to the Windows Help and Support center and search for the original string that used to be in the UI and quickly get pointed in the right direction!

(I will follow up several linguistic issues that were raised here, plus the issues about changing this setting programatically, in future posts, soon!)


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