I have an application where many forms are collected in a hierarchy. The hierarchy is presented on the left side, and a form with text-entries, tables, comboboxes, etc. occupies the main portion of the window. We'd like to make it easier for users to jump between the forms in the hierarchy while editing in forms so that they can, for instance, make a similar edit to various "siblings" without losing their momentum.
As a start, we've got the following keystrokes (with the control key on linux/win). Some of the keys are not enabled when a text editor is active, though, because they're used for cursor movement. This substantially reduces the benefits:
- Cmd-page up/down - goes to the prev/next item in the hierarchy, opening up to show children if necessary.
- Cmd-up/down - goes to the prev/next peer. I.e., the next item at the same level of the hierarchy, skipping children (to get to "siblings") or skipping the parent (to get to "cousins" under an earlier parent). These are often different instances of the same form.
- Cmd-left/right - goes up/down levels of the hierarchy to a parent or child, skipping peers.
Cmd-up/down/left/right are used by the text-editors, though, to jump to the beginning/end of the line or the whole text. Although these are mostly short text-fields, I'd like to not clobber those OS-standard editing shortcuts. Are there some other keystrokes that could work well here?
A few other details: The application is cross-platform (written in Java.) The majority of users are on mac, with some linux and windows. Heavy users, who would benefit from the shortcuts, are generally scientists and engineers.