The key to key messages is a key contribution

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2008/07/04 10:01 -04:00, original URI:

Friend and colleague and fellow keyboard expert who has written a tool for keyboard construction that I feel is much more impressive than mine Marc Durdin recently blogged a blog on his Blog entitled Robust key message handling in Windows.

The permalink for the blog was one I found particularly amusing:


This blog really covers many of the often complicated and often confusing issues I have covered over the years here, quite concisely.

I will briefly excerpt the one section most near and dear to my heart:

Shortcuts and Characters and Accelerators ... oh my

Unfortunately, there is no clear guidance on precedence between these three types of input.  Word does the following, which is fairly typical:

That sounds almost like the best possible compromise.  But is it?  What if your computer does not have a right Alt key?  Should Ctrl+Alt+O insert ó or should it switch to Outline view?  I believe that Word's current precedence is wrong:

Unfortunately, Windows does not make changing this precedence easy for application authors -- in fact, it is basically impossible to do it robustly.  So, to make the best of a bad situation, let's stick with what Word does - at least it is familiar to end users!

Yes, this is that issues I have gone on about in Get off my freaking key! and many others, though he definitely went the extra mile to describe an aspect to it that I have never done in a blog before....

Anyway, Robust key message handling in Windows is a really cool blog, so cool that I almost wish I had written it. :-)

But I am perfectly happy to point to the one who did.

I'll probably even be digging in to some of the aspects  of it that I find particularly interesting in the future....


This blog brought to you by(U+1539, aka CANADIAN SYLLABICS YWA)

Andrew Cook on 7 Aug 2008 12:43 PM:

Word does provide another way to generate characters that it stomps on, for the most part. It has a series of deadkey-like chords for generating accent characters; for example, Ctrl-',O generates "ó". The problem with this behavior is that it's not widely known and not extensively documented. Even to this day I have yet to run across a Spanish teacher who doesn't resort to Alt+0243 rather than AltGr-O, Ctrl-Alt-O, or Ctrl-',O

referenced by

2012/04/26 Michael's Keyboard Laws for Developers, Part 5

2008/09/24 Tavultesoft is one of the company names mispronounced more often than Trigeminal

2008/08/07 To some, the name might be the WRONG SINGLE QUOTATION MARK

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