Creating Missing Program Shortcuts With an Overlay Keyboard

All programs come with shortcut key combinations that allow quick and easy access to their most popular functions. Many of the shortcuts are standard across all programs. The shortcuts Ctrl+C to copy to the clipboard, Ctrl+V to paste from the clipboard and Ctrl+S to save a file are just a few examples. Other shortcuts are specific to the program.

However popular shortcuts are many program function do not have a shortcut assigned to them. In my version of Word 2003 there are many functions that do not have shortcuts assigned to them.

Three examples are the Font, Paragraph and Bullets and Numbering functions. To access functions the user has two choices. First to right click and chose the function from the popup menu. The second is to access the Format menu by press Alt+O and then pressing the letters F, P or N respectively.

What is needed is the ability to create personalized shortcut to the user’s most popular functions. An overlay keyboard provides this missing capability in all programs not just Word.

With an overlay keyboard the user can configure each key to reproduce any sequence of characters available on a standard computer keyboard. A graphic overlay is then created that labels each key’s function.

Assigning the sequence Alt+O+F to a single key displays the Font dialog box. Adding an Atl+P to the sequence will set the superscript option. Finally adding the Enter key to the sequence will return the user to the document ready to resume typing. Now any character typed will be a superscript character. To terminate superscripting simply press the key again.

This shortcut key would be helpful to anyone typing text with a lot of superscripts such as mathematicians, physicist or other scientists.

Other missing shortcuts can be as quickly created. Any function that an individual uses repeatedly can be configured into an overlay keyboard key. This includes shortcuts that are particular to just one person.

To learn more about overlay keyboards and their many applications visit

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