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4.7.3 Using menus

Windows provides a standard menu keyboard interface that allows you to manipulate menus using the keyboard instead of the mouse. This interface allows you to use the keyboard to enter and exit menu bar mode, activate menus and menu items, and to choose menu items. NOTE: Choosing a menu item with the keyboard has the same effect as choosing the menu item with the mouse.

Menu Bar Mode

The IDE is in menu bar mode whenever one of the top-level application menus is selected but the menu has not been activated. The Alt and F10 keys, allow you to toggle in and out of menu bar mode. When menu bar mode is on, the following keys behave as described below:

When the IDE is in menu bar mode, the title of the top-level application menu selected is usually highlighted to give a visual indication that it is selected. However this is not the case if the title of the selected menu is an icon rather than text. NOTE: This means that if you enter menu bar mode when the editor windows are maximized, no menu is initially highlighted. This is because, if you enter menu bar mode with the editor windows maximized, the intial menu selected is the system menu of the active editor window, and since the title of the system menu is an icon it is not highlighted. In this case, even though no menu is highlighed, you can still see that you are in menu bar mode because the caret in the editor window will either stop blinking or disappear entirely.

Using the Keyboard with Active Menus

When a menu is active, the following keys behave as described below:

Menu Short-Cut Keys

Menu short-cut keys are keys or combination of keys that are associated with some menu items. Those menu items that have menu short-cut keys associated with them can be choosen by pressing the key or combination of keys that make up the menu short-cut.

For example in the Edit menu (which is shown below for easy reference):

The Delete Line menu item is associated with the Ctrl+Y menu short-cut key, and this menu item can be selected by holding down the Ctrl key and pressing the Y key.

NOTE: Unlike menu item access keys, you can use menu short-cut keys even when the menu containing their menu items are not active. So for example, it is possible to delete the current line, in the active editor window, using the Ctrl+Y menu short-cut key, without having to activate the Edit menu.

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