JADE Environment Development Ideas

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Add support for chained Alt key navigation

This is similar to the recent suggestion of adding Chord style IDE shortcut enhancements.  It would be useful if we could define a hierarchy of Alt key shortcuts to allow multiple levels of keyboard shortcuts to be used after the Alt key is pressed.  For example, in the 3 screen shots attached, it shows the following navigation occurring in Microsoft Outlook using 'chained' Alt key shortcuts.


1. The initial screen shot shows the letters associated with each option after the Alt key was pressed and released.

2. Then I pressed the 'V' key, so it would show the 2nd level of Alt key shortcuts for the View tab on the Ribbon. 

3. Then I pressed the 'PN' keys, so it would show the 3rd level of Alt key shortcuts, the reading pane options.


After navigating down, you can go back up the levels by pressing the 'Esc' key, eventually reaching the starting level at which point Esc will close off the Alt sequence altogether.


It would be great if Jade could provide a way for us to specify these shortcut keys for controls, define the hierarchy of subsequent controls and their associated shortcut keys, and automatically handle the 'Esc' key processing to go back up a level. For folder controls, when shortcut keys are associated with folder sheets it probably needs to make that sheet the top sheet of the folder. Key details would be displayed, but coloured appropriately to indicate as disabled when the underlying control or its parentage is disabled and ignored should the user attempt to use that sequence. Focus would be placed on the relevant control, or next control if the accelerator was a label.  For buttons the shortcut sequence should also cause the button's click event to fire, rather than just placing focus on the button, but I'm open to feedback from the rest of the community if they strongly disagree with that approach.


It would be beneficial to allow developers to specify a skin category to use for the 'labels'  which will be displayed over top of the controls when the Alt sequence is activated.


Note:  To avoid conflict with existing Alt+ shortcuts, this approach may require always pressing and releasing the Alt key to initiate the sequence.

  • BeeJay
  • Oct 14 2019
  • Future consideration
  • Attach files