Creating a shortcut?

Using keyboards in Microsoft Windows NT 6.3.9600.0

Creating a shortcut?How do I type?Terminology
Sorting It All OutMSKLCkeyboard-layout-editor.com

Use this page to find out what keys are available for a shortcut, or for comparing what individual keyboard layouts output for given key.

To start, select the combination of keys you are interested in:

Keyboard layout for selection:

Basic rules for creating shortcuts:

  1. Not every keyboard has every key.
    See for example Punctuation keys can make lousy shortcuts
  2. There are many keyboard layouts that do not have Latin characters at all.
    Also see Accessibility, Internationalization, and Keyboards (#1: Shortcuts)
  3. Do not use shortcuts with Alt as they are used for accelerators, e.g. Alt+F is the File menu in many applications.
    Also see Accessibility, Internationalization, and Keyboards (#2: Accelerators)
  4. Do not use shortcuts with Ctrl+Alt(+Shift) as these are often the only way how to type some characters, which can be as common as @.
    Also see Why Ctrl+Alt shouldn't be used as a shortcut modifier
  5. Think about localization, will your shortcut work and make sense when the application is translated to different languages?

Here are links to shortctus in existing products:

If you are creating an application, make sure your users get an intuitive experience. The most common assignments are as follows:

F1F2F3F4F5F6F7F8F9F10F11F12
helprenamefind next
search
properties
expand options
refresh
reload
cycle through panesmenu¹full-screen

Ctrl+Xcut
Shift+Delete
Ctrl+Ccopy
Ctrl+Insert
Ctrl+Vpaste
Shift+Insert
Ctrl+Oopen
Ctrl+Ssave
Ctrl+Nnew
Ctrl+Pprint
Ctrl+Wclose
Ctrl+F4
Ctrl+Esearch
Ctrl+Ffind²
Ctrl+Hreplace
Ctrl+Aselect all
Ctrl+Zundo
Ctrl+Yredo/repeat

¹ Functionality provided by operating system.

² Why does Outlook map Ctrl+F to Forward instead of Find, like all right-thinking programs?

If you are a developer, you might want to check Michael's Keyboard Laws for Developers.