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ArcWatch: Your e-Magazine for GIS News, Views, and Insights

June 2007

Your Very Own Shortcut

Assigning a Shortcut Key

  click to enlarge
To create a custom shortcut key, use the Customize Keyboard dialog box to locate the category and command and assign the key combination that will execute the command.

Shortcut keys are terrific for commands you constantly use because they execute the desired command directly; you don't have to open and navigate a menu.

The relationship of commands to shortcuts is one to many. A command can have many shortcuts, but a shortcut can have only one command. If the command also appears in a menu and has more than one shortcut, the first shortcut assigned to that command will appear to the right of the command.

Create a custom shortcut by choosing Tools > Customize from the standard ArcMap or ArcCatalog menu to invoke the Customize dialog box and follow these steps:

  1. Click the Commands tab in the Customize dialog box.
  2. Click the Keyboard button to invoke the Customize Keyboard dialog box. Scroll down the left pane to locate the category containing the command to be assigned a shortcut, and click on it. (Example: To create a shortcut for My Places, click Generic in Categories, then click on My Places.)
  3. Click in the text box below Press New Shortcut Key and press the key combination that will be used for the shortcut (in this example, Alt + P). If those keys have been assigned to another command, that command's name will appear below. Change the keys assigned to one of the commands.
  4. In the Save in combo box, click the drop-down arrow and choose the template in which the shortcut will be saved. Save the shortcut in Normal.mxt to make the shortcut available to all map documents.
  5. Click the Assign button and close both the Customize Keyboard and Customize dialog boxes.
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