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8.9. Final Thoughts

This chapter introduced you to a number of ways you can add keyboard shortcuts to your applications. Here are a few final thoughts to leave you with before you move on to the next chapter:

There are other methods for setting shortcuts.

Although this chapter covered methods apart from Interface Builder for adding keyboard shortcuts to an application, you can still use Interface Builder to modify your shortcuts. Follow the directions in Chapter 7, Changing Interface Elements, and make sure you remember to press Enter or Tab so the Menu Editor recognizes the changes.

Remember: System Preferences is the trump card.

Don't try to combine the System Preferences panel with any other shortcut definition method, such as defaults or the Property List Editor. System Preferences has a bad tendency to overwrite or otherwise wipe out other edits, as noted in this chapter.

Just because it's free doesn't always mean it's better.

If you can swing the cash, don't overlook third-party shortcut solutions. I find QuicKeys indispensable. Others speak lovingly of iKey. A specialpurpose program that helps you organize and manage your shortcuts may turn out to be more economical in the end than relying entirely on the built-in defaults system.

Some (System) Preferences required.

If your shortcuts stop working for any reason, make sure you've checked Enable Access for Assistive Devices in the Universal Access preferences. Some versions of Mac OS X (10.2 and earlier, mostly) required this option before they'd let keyboard shortcut programs access application menus.

There's no shame in using the mouse.

Don't feel compelled to add keyboard shortcuts unless they actually help you do your job better. I simply prefer shortcuts because I would like the whole world to be keyboard-based like Emacs.



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