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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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closed as not constructive by JonW May 12 '12 at 18:40

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

How come that the menu is "a huge list"? Also read this one:… – 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: 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: – David Rutten Sep 29 '11 at 9:24

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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