Keyboard Shortcuts Buggy?

A lot of the functions I use are buried in menus and require a multitude of clicks to perform. i.e. Format Shape options, Size Position (which should probably be combined with format shape), and Position Objects under the Arrange dropdown.

You can add the major parts of a function to the quick access toolbar but not the "sub-functions". i.e. you can add the align function group but not align left, right, distribute, etc...

Having started to use AutoHotkey to create keyboard shortcuts for these repetitive strain injury inducing tasks, I noticed that when drilling down the menus with the alt shortcuts that they just end at the major function. The shortcut letter is clearly underlined but then the ribbon just closes up or uses the top level function and never expands the menu.

Using the mouse to expand the function works fine. Just not the keyboard.

Another funky issue is that the Format Object dialog box starting tab position is inconsistent.. Sometimes hitting tab will put focus on Fill and other times you have to hit it 3+ times for fill to gain focus. The Size and Position settings don't seem to suffer from this.

Love the software, would just like some easier (or consistent) access to commands.

12 Replies
Ashley Terwilliger

Hi John,

I personally haven't set up individual short cuts for myself, but wanted to check that you were following the steps outlined here to set them up and reviewed the ones that were already created:

You can also create your own keyboard shortcuts by adding features that you use frequently to the Quick Access Toolbar. To do so, right- click the button for any Storyline feature, and select Add to Quick Access Toolbar.

Then, to launch any of the buttons on the Quick Access Toolbar via a keyboard shortcut, press and hold the ALT key on your keyboard and then press the number key that matches the button you want to launch. For example, the first button on the Quick Access Toolbar is "1", the second button is "2", etc.

John Denner

Hi Ashley,

Thank you for responding. I've looked though all the tutorials on existing shortcuts and how to add shortcuts to the quick access toolbar. The problem is in actually making shortcuts that are under dropdowns in the ribbon. You can make a shortcut for Align but none of the actual aligning options.

Try to make a quick access shortcut for Align Left in Storyline. No dice.

Try to access Make Same Size under Home>Arrange>Size. The command will stop as soon as you type S for Size. You can get to Make Same Size but you have to use the arrow keys rather than the clearly underlined S in Size.

Using keyboard shortcuts to quickly access the shape fill options sends the command to apply the last used color rather than enabling the dropdown menu.

I guess I may have ranted a bit in the first post but is this how the keyboard commands are supposed to be working?

The other issue is with which control has focus when the Format Shape window opens. Most of the time it's the close button. Other times it's the  fill transparency numeric-up-down control or the Learn more link... for help, etc...

It's not like these things make the software unusable but when trying to automate some tasks via keyboard command scripts it's inconsistent and it seems like that may be a software bug of some sort.

Ashley Terwilliger

Hi John,

You'll be able to make shortcuts for the buttons themselves, not the drop downs. When you go to click on the drop downs there is not a "right click" option to include it as a part of the Quick Access toolbar. I did a quick screenr showing how I was able to add "Align left" to the Quick Access tool bar and included that here: 

In regards to the Format shape window, when I open it on any object and use the tab key to navigate between the different tabs, I automatically start on the close button, although it's hard to see that as it isn't marked with the dotted box as the other items are. 

John Denner

Thanks again Ashley for responding. I hate to be a pain but the real problem isn't making shortcuts it's using them. That's why it seems like it's a software issue and not really a how to make a shortcut problem.

I think my align left example might have been a bad one. I know I can use ctrl + L to align text left or hit the button which is very easy. The RSI tasks I was referring to  are aligning objects left, right, middle, center, make same size, grow, shrink, distribute, etc... So the shortcut to align an object left becomes (Alt J A A L) rather than the simple Alt + 4. The shortcut to rotate 90° CW is (Alt H G UpArrow UpArrow RightArrow R) but should be (Alt H G O R) according to the underlined letters in the menu. Or better yet it should be Alt + 5.


90+% of the time the format window button does have focus (blue glow) on the close button. It's that other percentage that is the problem. So the question is... is the close button supposed to have focus 100% of the time? No matter what? Bet the farm on it? =)

Ashley Terwilliger

Hi John,

You're certainly not being a pain, and I just wanted to make sure I understand the issue clearly. I'm not sure I'd ever bet the farm on anything (my inherent risk averse gambling here!) but, since these are the keyboard shortcuts outline, those are the ones I'd expect to work as described. 

In regards to the other shortcuts, I'll open up a ticket with our QA team to look into what is happening. I don't have a time frame on when I'll hear about this issue, but I'll update this thread when I do. 

John Denner

I hope this can get resolved then (if it's really software issue). I created my own buttons so I can make my own Quick Styles, combine align commands with distribute commands, etc.. but when using the keyboard to navigate through menus isn't consistent it kind of fails.

Thanks again Ashley!

John Denner

Something I noticed today that might help with regards to the tab stop position of the format shape window. So it turns out that that 10% of the time the close button didn't have focus was a result of pressing enter or escape after inputting info (like if you type in 4 for the line weight then hit enter, or hit escape to cancel a change). So now 100% of the time you open the format shape window after pressing enter or escape, the focus will not be on the close button. It's also not always on the last thing you clicked.

This can be fixed pretty easily with a few lines of code the forces focus on the close button when the window opens.

John Denner

Encountered another problem with keyboard shortcuts. Or maybe it's supposed to work like this...

Selecting an object by clicking on it from the timeline does not allow you to use the format painter shortcuts.



You have to select in from the main window which can be frustrating and time consuming when you are working with lines.