I'm building an app which offers a standard workflow: the user selects or enters the name of a Source file, then a Destination file, then sets or generates a password, and hits the Go button to perform the desired actions on the files.

After observing how quickly users can navigate text-based systems by pressing memorized shortcut keys, I want to provide this feature in this app, so that the users can become familiar with using shortcut keys to navigate the app without requiring as much mouse interaction. I feel this would help make my users more productive with the app. They will be using it repeatedly on a daily basis, always doing the exact same actions with different files and different passwords, so making it as simple and fast as possible is my goal.

What is the best way to make the shortcut key assignments obvious without getting in the way? I don't want to use tooltips because many users would then never realize the shortcuts exist. I want the shortcut keys to always be visible on the main GUI (unless manually turned off in settings), as that will encourage their use.

Here's my current design. How can the shortcut key display be improved, while keeping the shortcut keys always visible?

Thanks for any suggestions!

enter image description here

  • 1
    If the tooltip applies to the textbox, they'll see it because at some point they'll have to mouse over the textbox to use it. You could also pop the tooltip when the textbox has focus, along with some UI like "don't show me this again". Commented Jan 7, 2022 at 20:09

1 Answer 1


i think this design is good enough, Using The Underline to show the shortcut it is much tidier for the super user. For The Literal (F4,F5,etc) it is good for the new user. But i think you should choose one, for the consistency design and flow of your product.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.