Keyboard Changes in Beta 3

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Keyboard Changes in Beta 3

Hello, this is Kelly Ford, a test lead on the IE team and a big keyboard user of Internet Explorer.

In an earlier post, Aaron Sauve provided The Keyboard Lover’s Guide to IE. The IE community has given us quality feedback on our keyboard model during the beta cycle, and in beta 3, we have tried to bring more predictability and consistency with earlier IE versions in response to this feedback. In beta 3, we have made some changes in hotkey assignments, added some new hotkeys, and changed keyboard behavior on web pages back to match earlier versions of the browser in most cases.

Bringing Back Menu Hotkeys
In beta 3, we’ve reverted hotkeys so that the hotkeys used to access menus remain the same from previous versions of IE. Specifically, this means that Alt+a will once again access the classic favorites menu, Alt+t the tools menu and Alt+h the help menu.

New Hotkeys
We’ve added several new hotkeys in this beta. Here’s a list of what has been done:

Hotkey

Action

Alt+m

Activate the Home button on the Command bar

Alt+j

Activate the feeds button on the Command bar.

Alt+o

Activate the Tools button on the Command bar.

Alt+l

Activate the Help button on the Command bar.

Alt+c

Open the Favorites Center set to display favorites.

Ctrl+Shift+q

Bring up a list of open tabs.

Changes in Hotkey Behavior for the Favorites Center
We have changed the way hotkeys for favorites, history and feeds work when accessing the Favorites Center. Ctrl plus the appropriate key (i for favorites, h for history and j for feeds) will open the Favorites Center set to the view indicated by the hotkey. Ctrl+Shift and the appropriate hotkey will open the Favorites Center in pinned mode. A second press of the same Ctrl+Shift hotkey combination will close the Favorites Center when in pinned mode.

Giving Keyboard Control to Web Pages
We’ve heard from many web developers and users about keyboard behavior in IE7 with respect to web pages and applications that specify hotkeys. Beta 3 gives priority back to web pages for all keyboard assignments with the exception of Alt+d. This will set focus to the Address bar, even if you use it as an AccessKey in a web page. This will address situations where AccessKeys like Alt+p were going to the Page menu on the Command bar or Ctrl+q was opening Quick Tabs instead of marking e-mail as read in Outlook Web Access.

Staying in Touch
Feedback from the IE community is very helpful to us. Please let us know your thoughts on the keyboard behavior in beta 3. Also, we have an online help topic that lists all of our IE shortcut keys.

Kelly Ford
Test Lead

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