When they move everything around and change the signs

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2006/09/28 03:01 -04:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/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 because 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 navigation 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 that 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 at that link in the corner right away; my eyes were staying near the place 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!)


This post brought to you by (U+125c, a.k.a. ETHIOPIC SYLLABLE QHWEE)

# Serge Wautier on 28 Sep 2006 5:11 AM:

Earlier today, Michael Kaplan shared his experience trying to find a setting in Windows Vista.
What if we had Settings Index and Find? [...]

# Martni on 28 Sep 2006 8:09 AM:

It's in fact easier to find than in XP by letting Vista do the search:
1. Open control panel (Note that the search field has the focus)
2. Type: Underline
Voila! Control panel just shows
"Ease of access center" and "Underline keyboard shortcuts and access keys"

Control panel search in Vista is extremly useful and I usually find control panel settings much faster than in XP.

# Michael S. Kaplan on 28 Sep 2006 10:04 AM:

Ah, of course this works against the benefits of finding other stuff (not to mention it doesn't help with people like me who got to this cpl via other means!).

# Serge Wautier on 28 Sep 2006 12:16 PM:

Looks like someone had the same idea as me. Only earlier :-)

# Omi on 28 Sep 2006 5:28 PM:

You don't have Aero effect. :(


# Michael S. Kaplan on 28 Sep 2006 7:48 PM:

On the machine I do the screenshots on? No, I don't....

# Richard on 29 Sep 2006 8:16 AM:

> 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.

It confuses the store's staff just as much. As I discovered

# Igor on 6 Oct 2006 12:15 AM:

Jesus, I saw yesterday where they put Display Settings -- someone should be shot for that decision.

# Michael S. Kaplan on 6 Oct 2006 12:25 AM:

In most cases, that kind of violence is not involved. :-)

# MichaelS on 11 Oct 2007 7:38 PM:

Thanks!  I was looking all over the Personalization menu, and probably would never have thought to look under Ease of Access.

# Nate Waddoups on 18 Oct 2007 4:06 AM:

Thanks for posting this, I just spent a few minutes digging for it before giving up and searching the web.  I might never have looked under 'ease of access' otherwise.  And if I did I wouldn't have read past the options for vision-impaired and physically-impaired users.  

From what I've seen, hotkeys are mostly used by touch-typists who would rather keep their hands on home row rather than pause to reach out for the mouse.  But someone at Microsoft seems to think hotkeys are best suited for people with impaired dexterity.  I would never have guessed.

# Adslaw on 31 May 2008 7:51 AM:

Thanks for this tip, Michael! :)

I spent over 20 minutes trying to find this option in my Vista ;>

Your article saved my (I guess) another several hours :)

Regards and smiles,

Adslaw (Poland)

# wug on 10 Nov 2008 11:52 AM:

thanks, I hate pr GUYS.

Meenal on 19 Sep 2011 3:21 AM:


please tell me where to find Display properties--> appearance-->advanced option in Win 7.

its really important.

please help.

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