Under the Line

I’m working this week with a brand new install of Windows Vista (which is another painful story which we won’t get into today) and have been reminded of one of the things that drives me crazy about the Vista UI: The hot-keys for menus are hidden, so you can’t tell what keyboard shortcuts to use until you press the Alt key.

And I can never find the place to turn this on. I have to search for it online in order to find this feature. It’s not in the Display properties anymore, where it has been in the last n versions of Windows. Instead, it is buried in the “Ease of Access Center.” To turn this on, you need to:

  • Open the Ease of Access Center from the start menu. (Use the built-in search)
  • Click on “Make the keyboard easier to use” even though this is what you’re trying to do.
  • Type “Underline” in the search box in the upper right corner of the window.[1]
  • Click on the “Underline keyboard shortcuts and access keys” link.

No, this isn’t really a technical or BI post, but I figure that if I’m struggling to find this, someone else probably is too. And even more importantly, the next time I build a clean Vista machine and can’t remember to look in the Ease of Access Center, I can come here and find the instructions myself…

[1] The saddest thing is that I spend a good five minutes or more clicking through the Ease of Access Center window trying to find the actual path to this switch, and I could not find it. It’s a good thing they built in search, because the features we need are often very well hidden in the UI. It wasn’t until I used search to find this option that I could locate the page where it can be found.


About ssimagine

My name is Matthew Roche, and I am a Senior Program Manager with the SQL Server product group at Microsoft. I work on Master Data Services and Data Quality Services, and have previously worked on SQL Server Integration Services. Although I work for Microsoft and will be posting on technical topics, I want to stress that this is a personal blog, and any opinions posted here are mine and mine alone. I built my career around SQL Server and Microsoft technologies for well over a decade before I joined Microsoft as an employee, and I plan on using this blog to share my personal experience and opinions. They may well be shaped by my experience on the SQL Server team, but they’re still mine, and not that of Microsoft, disclaimer, disclaimer, etc., etc..
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One Response to Under the Line

  1. Dick Carlson says:

    I do this myself often, with little tips and products that I want to remember. Yes, one of the best “undocumented” feature of a blog is that when you post something supposedly for others, you can find it much more easily yourself.This becomes sort of a weblog of your own thoughts, I guess. Good name for it. I do that a lot, now.

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