Borkware Miniblog

July 13, 2010

Help menu search as shortcut button

Filed under: off-topic, Random — Mark Dalrymple @ 12:45 pm

Ever find yourself wanting a short-term shortcut button for something in an application, especially something buried a couple of levels down in menus?  I’ve been using the Help menu search field to essentially pre-cache a menu item for quick access.

Specifically, when I work on the newsletter for my community orchestra, I have all the submitted stories in one Pages™®© document and the final newsletter in another document.  I strike out stories as I move them over. I can tell what’s been finished, but I don’t destroy what’s there in case I need to undo or refer to something.  There’s no toolbar button that I could find for strikeout, so I just search for ‘strike’ in the menus. Now when I want to strike out some text I just go to the help menu and hit the first useful item.


Help menu in Pages with 'strikethrough' selected


  1. I do this all the time. The one downside is that items in the help button will always be enabled, even if they can’t actually be picked. That can be confusing.

    Comment by Steven Fisher — July 20, 2010 @ 7:43 pm

  2. More permanent way: System Prefs, Keyboard, Application Shortcuts, +, Pages, and add the exact text of the menu item, and whatever key.

    Comment by mdhughes — July 20, 2010 @ 9:33 pm

  3. I only found out about this trick a while ago. My preference is to hit shift+command+/ to call up the Help menu.

    Comment by David Chin — July 20, 2010 @ 9:36 pm

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