Re: Combining Marks and Keyboard Input on GUI systems

From: Alain LaBonté (
Date: Thu Oct 07 1999 - 15:28:16 EDT

À 11:09 1999-10-07 -0700, Tex Texin a écrit :
>Another reason to localize hot keys is that keyboards are localized-
>IE it takes different finger patterns to select keys and key presses
>might be easy to generate on one keyboard can be difficult on another.
>So even non-Asian systems can benefit from changing the hot keys, if
>typing efficiency is being considered.
>However, making the key choices mnemonic is generally
>the most important motivation.

Furthermore, even for the Latin-script keyboards, even the alphabetic
characters are not all on the same keys. This is often annoying, as the
pretentions of software in an even localized version does not always work
(it is typical). When characters are non-alphabetic, it is even worse...
Try < CTRL-' > on a standard Canadian keyboard such as the one I use. In
one of my favorite piece of software (French version), it is claimed to
work, but it doesn't. I don't know what they do in fact... Direct hot-key
processing by applications should either be banned or be made a function of
the environment (OS), in my humble user opinion.

Alain LaBonté
>Addison Phillips wrote:
>> Peter's right... you should localize the hotkeys (your product won't make
>> sense to the end user's otherwise).
>> However, the original poster was writing from Japan. Asian language
>> typically use the source language's hotkeys (FWIW usually the English
>> hotkeys) or typical homologues (when there is no source language... use "F"
>> for "file" and "P" for Print, etc.)... this is also sensible, if you think
>> about the nature of Asian keyboards, input methods, and menus.
>> This makes using "Far East" editions of certain software much easier for
>> English speakers familiar with the English UI... but that's a by-product,
>> not the germ of the idea.
>> Addison
>> __________________________________________
>> Addison Phillips
>> Director, Globalization Engineering
>> SimulTrans, L.L.C.
>> 2606 Bayshore Parkway
>> Mountain View, California 94043 USA
>> +1 650-526-4652 (direct telephone)
>> +1 650-969-9959 (facsimile)
>> (Internet email)
>> (website)
>> "22 languages. One release date."
>> __________________________________________
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: []
>> Sent: Tuesday, October 05, 1999 3:11 PM
>> To: Unicode List
>> Subject: Re: Combining Marks and Keyboard Input on GUI systems (was:
>> >> > Even in the GUI world, as many have pointed out already,
>> we commonly see > > single-letter shortcuts in dropdown menus.
>> Suppose a German application
>> > > has:
>> > >
>> > > [Ö]ffnen
>> > > [O]rdnen
>> >Aren't you not supposed to localize/internationalize the
>> hot-keys? If you did, you would break keyboard macro short-cut
>> programs (they would have to have a localized version of the
>> macro file for each language).
>> I thought you *were* supposed to do this, but I'm still
>> learning what's involved in localisation. I would have thought
>> that most shortcut keys are intended to be
>> mnemonic, e.g. "F" for "file", and this would be
>> language-specific.
>> With the use of COM/Automation in VBA, this is a non-issue
>> since the menu hotkeys are not intended to be used to access
>> application functionality programmatically -- there should be a
>> COM interface exposed. With the (not terribly extensive) amount
>> I have worked with VBA in Word, Excel and Access, I *very much*
>> prefer this way of doing things to what I had learned to do in
>> Excel 4, Wordbasic, and Word 3 & 4 for DOS before that. I
>> wouldn't complain one bit if someone decided to add VBA or
>> similar scripting support to a good text editor, or perhaps an
>> XML editor.
>> Peter
>Tex Texin Director, International Products
>Progress Software Corp. Voice: +1-781-280-4271
>14 Oak Park Fax: +1-781-280-4949
>Bedford, MA 01730 USA

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