Alt Key Menu Targeting

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  • Updated 10 months ago
When pressing Alt key for other commands PS frequently enters Menu targeting mode and is unable to leave. People have been complaining about this for years and its still a frequent problem. 

Just remove the menu targeting feature. I never use it and its completely busted anyway. Its honestly really disheartening that this problem persists. 
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elias woo

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Posted 11 months ago

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David, Official Rep

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Hi Elias,

I believe what you're calling menu targeting mode is enabling the menus for accelerator key access, that is, if you press ALT, then a letter should appear underlined in all the various menus and dialogs in order to allow users without a mouse or with visual difficulties to still navigate the application.  This capability is actually required, per the Americans with Disabilities Act, in order to sell any software to the Federal Government and has been the Windows standard for more than two decades.  And, once activated, they can be de-activated simply by pressing ESC.

Hope that helps,
David
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elias woo

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Okay I understand why we need the feature but when I use the ALT key to activate other hotkeys it frequently enters this mode and pressing escape will not exit this mode. Sometimes I have to restart Photoshop to in order to reset this. If you look in the related conversations you will see people posting about this same issue six years ago.
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David, Official Rep

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Hi Elias,

Can you tell me more about what you do when you press ALT and the accelerators won't go away?  Normally, pressing ALT a second time or simply pressing ESC should clear this state.  If that's not happening, then something odd is going on.  Are you using a tablet or some other hardware or software which could be intercepting keystrokes?

Thanks,
David
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elias woo

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When using the ALT key for various reasons i think about 10% of the time it enters the menu targeting mode, even when pressed simultaneously with other keys (like CTRL +ALT+Z). sometimes pressing ALT or ESC will exit this mode, but frequently it remains stuck and beeps in error like its searching for a menu item but cannot find it. if this happens i either wait for a minute or so and try again or restart photoshop. I'm using logitech mech keyboard but this has happened on previous keyboards and previous PS versions. 

PS - I am using PS now and this literally just happened to me, which reminded me to check this thread. Thanks for the reply.
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David, Official Rep

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Howdy Elias,

I've NEVER heard of this before, so there's got to be some additional factor involved here.  Could you try with a different keyboard?  I assume you've already checked for an updated driver, right?  Do you have another app running that could be grabbing keyboard input?  Screen captures and admin apps are particularly likely candidates.

Trust me, this is not a typical experience!
David
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elias woo

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I could try with a different keyboard but I am 100% certain this happened with the Dell stock keyboard I used before my current. I do have a Nvidia shadow play which is able to screen capture so I might try turning it off completely (but almost everyone with an Nvidia card will have this on so I feel like if this is the cause more people would complain about this). 

Again I am replying to you after this problem has just happened to me. This time I recorded the behavior with my phone and can send it to you if you would like to see. But the behavior is exactly as described; I enter the targeting mode while pressing CTR+ALT+Z and I get the error tone repeatedly when pressing ESC but never leave the targeting mode. 
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David, Official Rep

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Howdy Elias,

I would very much like to see the recording.  It really sounds like when you press CTR+ALT+Z you're getting another dialog appearing that has focus, but either that dialog is hidden or not correctly drawn (or the focus is on a minimized app).  I play with shortcuts every day and have for at least the last decade, but I never get this on any or my hardware.  So, there's at least one more element involved here that contributes to the problem.  Plus, in my experience, even a trivial bug that everyone hits will blow up the forums, but this hasn't, implying that a relatively small audience is impacted.

You can email me directly at david <dot> mohr <at> Adobe <dot> c o m.  Please no ZIPped files.

Thanks,
David
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Jaroslav Bereza

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David, Official Rep

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Howdy Jaroslav,

That complaint is a little different.  That user seemed totally unaware that accelerator keys existed and was annoyed that ALT allowed you to access them.  In particular, he had an issue with ALT+scrolling.  And normally, pressing either ALT or ESC again will exit this mode...at least since the late 1990s...

Thanks,
David