Monday, 12 October 2015

Handling keystrokes with an AutoKeys macro

The AutoKeys macro provides an easy way to set up global shortcut keys within your database. The 'Macro Name' parameter is used to specify the keystroke, whilst 'Action' is used to establish what events happen on pressing the relevant key or keys.

The syntax used for specifying keystrokes in the 'Macro Name' parameter is a subset of that used for the SendKeys statement. Note that you cannot use % to indicate keystroke combinations involved the 'Alt' key. Anyway, here are some examples of permissible syntax:

  • {F12} : the F12 function key
  • ^S : Ctrl + S
  • +P : Shift + P
  • +^O : Ctrl + Shift + O
  • +^{F4} : Ctrl + Shift + F4

In addition, you can make use of the macro's 'Condition' parameter to only trigger the action if a certain condition is true. A second line against a keystroke can then be used to specify an alternate action if the condition is not true. I tend to use this functionality extensively with a function to determine user group membership so that certain keystrokes are enabled for Admin users but no-one else.

The example AutoKeys macro shown below enables the keystroke combination of Ctrl + N to start the new database dialogue for members of the Admins user group (this is not a built-in function, but bespoke - read all about it here), but displays a warning message box to non-Admin users.

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