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I need to write a UI so users can edit the default menu shortcuts. All the UIs I know that do this are terrible. Is there an example of an elegant solution for this?

I don't want my users to have to try and find the menu item they're looking for in a huge list and I'd also like them to be able to record a shortcut rather than having to specify it using checkboxes or listboxes.

Any ideas/suggestions/examples most welcome.

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How come that the menu is "a huge list"? Also read this one: ux.stackexchange.com/questions/11842/… –  Bart Gijssens Sep 28 '11 at 8:02
    
Not 'huge' from an SQL database point of view, but certainly dozens of items which makes it huge from a human point of view. I don't see how that linked discussion has anything to do with my question, apart that the word "menu" appears in both. –  David Rutten Sep 28 '11 at 21:59
    
Maybe I am misunderstanding your question. Or we both have a different understanding of what a menu is. For me, this is a menu: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Menu_bar Maybe you could upload a screenshot/drawing or mockup to make your clear what the problem is. –  Bart Gijssens Sep 29 '11 at 5:47
    
The post you linked talks about how to modify a menu layout based on usage. Highlight items, hide items etc. I want to write a UI that allows people to change the key shortcuts assigned to menu items. I've thrown something together but it's not to my liking yet: youtube.com/watch?v=sLeLgQhqJSU –  David Rutten Sep 29 '11 at 9:24
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closed as not constructive by JonW May 12 '12 at 18:40

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1 Answer

Some applications provide in-place definition of shortcuts. Quoting from the MyPaint FAQs:

How do I customize shortcuts? Hover the cursor over the menu entry and click the shortcut you want to assign.

The problem with this approach is discoverability:

  • One option to increase discoverability is to make appear a grey label ("press key to asign shortcut") at the side of the menu option when you hover an option without an assigned shortcut.
  • Another option is to turn the shortcut label in each menu option into a button as the user hovers, in order to indicate that shortcuts can be changed.
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I like it. Indeed very difficult to discover but very easy to use. Definitely sounds like a pro-feature, but since it doesn't interfere with regular use there's no sacrifice involved. Thanks. –  David Rutten Dec 22 '11 at 19:37
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