by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2008/07/04 10:01 -04:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2008/07/04/8687005.aspx
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:
- Shortcuts take precedence over characters - Ctrl+Alt+O switches to outline view
- Characters take precedence over access keys - AltGr+O generates the ó character
- Left Alt+O will open the Format menu.
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:
- There is an alternative method for accessing Outline view through the menu system;
- It is easy to redefine a particular shortcut if you really want to use it;
- It is not easy to redefine your keyboard layout, and accessing the ó character through Insert|Symbol is painful.
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 ᔹ (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
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