Revealing the underlined shortcut: Configuring Windows XP to be more keyboard-friendly

Just recently I received a new laptop, and found that by default, the keyboard shortcuts in menus weren’t displayed.

This is the enemy of all keyboard users: An option hidden away in the Display settings that hides the underlined letters telling you what keys you can press. Boo on Microsoft for making this a default.

To enable keyboard shortcut underlining, follow these steps:

  1. Hit Windows+D to show the desktop.
  2. Press Shift+F10 to show the shortcut menu.
  3. Press up arrow to get to the bottom menu item, Properties, then press Enter to select it.
  4. Press Ctrl+Tab to change tabs three times, until the Appearance tab appears.
  5. Press Alt+E to hit the Effects button.
  6. Deselect the last item by pressing H.
  7. Press Enter twice to close the dialog boxes.

[Screen shot of the Advanced Effects dialog box, with the 'Hide underline' option]

4 thoughts on “Revealing the underlined shortcut: Configuring Windows XP to be more keyboard-friendly”

  1. These underlined letters in menus and dialog box options correspond with the keyboard keys you must press in conjunction with the Alt key (one of the modifier keys, similar to the Shift and Ctrl keys) in order to emulate mouse clicking of the same menu item or dialog box option.

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