NeoOffice Menu and Keyboard Shortcuts

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Customizing NeoOffice Keyboard Shortcuts

  1. Open a document pertaining to the NeoOffice module you want to create a shortcut for.
    e.g. if you want to create a shortcut for a Calc command, open a Calc document.
  2. Under the Tools menu, choose Customize...
  3. Set the radio button in the upper left for either NeoOffice (for commands affecting all of NeoOffice) or for the listed module. (e.g. Calc)
  4. Click on the Keyboard tab in the Customize window that appears.
  5. In the Category list, select the appropriate category
  6. In the Function list, select the function you want to apply a keyboard shortcut
  7. In the Shortcut Keys list, select the keyboard shortcut you want to use.
  8. Click on the Modify button.
  9. Click on the OK button.

Note: You are limited to the list of keyboard shortcuts in this menu for all internal keyboard shortcuts. The option key cannot be used as part of a keyboard shortcut set using the Customize dialog. This is a limitation of the current code, and not something the NeoOffice project can fix. In some cases, this can be worked around by using System Preferences as explained below.

Using System Preferences to add additional keystrokes

In some cases, it is possible to use the Mac OS X's System Preferences to customize keyboard shortcuts in order to assign keyboard shorcut combinations that aren't available within NeoOffice. These shortcuts can include the option key as a modifier in combination with the command or control key. In most cases, this is limited to commands found in the NeoOffice menu. Please read Notes on this method before trying this procedure.

  1. Make a note of the exact menu item to which you want to assign a shortcut
  2. Quit NeoOffice if it is running
  3. Open System Preferences and click on Keyboard & Mouse
  4. Click on the Keyboard Shortcuts tab
  5. Click on the Application Shortcuts item in the box
  6. Click on the + button at the bottom left.
  7. Select NeoOffice from the Application drop down.
  8. Type the exact name of the menu item (including ... if applicable) in the Menu Title field
  9. Click in the Keyboard Shortcut field and enter the keyboard shortcut you want to use.
  10. Click Add
  11. Restart NeoOffice and test the keyboard shortcut.

Notes on this method

  1. Shortcuts assigned this way must not conflict with existing shortcuts in NeoOffice or in the Services menu.
  2. In NeoOffice 3.3 Beta 2 and above, it is no longer possible to assign shortcuts to items in the New sub-menu of the File menu and have the ⌘N shortcut (to create a new document for whatever the current NeoOffice component is) work.
  3. Whether or not this works in any menu other than the NeoOffice menu depends on the Mac OS X version you are using.
    • The method works in any NeoOffice menu when using Mac OS 10.3.9 (Panther).
    • Under Mac OS 10.4.11 (Tiger) using JRE 1.5.0, this method works only for those items in the NeoOffice menu.
    • Using 10.4.11 with JRE 1.4.2 enabled, commands (including commands with the option key) can be added to any menu via System Preferences.
      To change JREs, go to the NeoOffice menu and choose Preferences or hit Command-,. Click on NeoOffice and then Java wait for a bit for the list of JREs to appear. Click in the radio button for the JRE you wish to use. Note that in some cases, only one JRE will be listed. This means you cannot attempt to use a different JRE to get around this issue.
    • Mac OS 10.5.2 (Leopard) this method works only for those items in the NeoOffice menu.
  4. System Preferences sometimes loses track of which shortcuts you have assigned to applications (even though the shortcuts still work and are still properly recorded in the application's .plist). In this case, if you are comfortable editing the .plist manually, it is easier to add new shortcuts this way; otherwise, you will likely have to re-enter all of your previous shortcuts for the application, as well as the new ones you wish to add.

See the screenshots for examples of NeoOffice with modified keyboard shortcuts and menus.

Remapping shortcuts for cursor movement

A number of keyboard shortcuts within NeoOffice do not adhere to Mac OS X standards (due to's origins as a Windows application). Among the most jarring of these are the shortcuts for cursor movement (e.g., to move to the beginning or end of a line, to move from word-to-word, etc.)

Moving to the beginning or end of a line

On all Mac applications, one can use the combination Cmd-← (Command [Apple] + left arrow) to move to the beginning of line and the combination Cmd-→ (Command [Apple] + right arrow) to move to the end of the line. Unfortunately, in NeoOffice this combination is used to move word-by-word (which, on the Mac, is done by the combination Opt-← (Option [Alt] + left arrow) or Opt-→ (Option [Alt] + right arrow).

It is possible, however, to remap the beginning/end of the line shortcuts within NeoOffice to match the correct Mac shortcuts by using the following procedure (note this will remove the shortcut for moving word-by-word), which works just like modifying shortcuts as described at the top of this page.

Remapping the keyboard shortcuts for beginning and end of line

  1. Open the Customize dialogue (choose Customize… from the Tools menu)
  2. Click on the Keyboard tab
  3. Make sure that the radio button for Writer (on the top right of the dialogue box) is selected
  4. In the Category list (in the Functions section), choose Navigate
  5. In the Function list, choose To Line Begin
  6. In the Shortcut keys list (on the top left), choose ⌘Left
  7. Click on the Modify button (in the top right of the dialogue)
  8. Repeat steps 4 to 7 to change the definition of ⌘Right/To End of Line.
  9. Click on OK to assign these new shortcuts.

Note that moving word by word is no longer functional. It is possible to assign this function to another combination of keys (as we have just done for moving to the beginning and end of the line), but due to the unwillingness of engineers to accept a patch to allow Option (and Alt on Windows and Meta on Solaris) to be used as a modifier key, it is impossible to assign those behaviors to the proper Mac shortcuts of Opt-Left Arrow and Opt-Right Arrow using the "simple" Customize dialogue.

You can repeat these set of steps for the related "selection" commands, too.

For users of Mac OS 10.3.9 (and those using 10.4.11 with Java 1.4.2), if you add To Word Left and To Word Right to any NeoOffice menu (I added them to the Window menu where they are relatively hidden), you can then use the steps described in Using System Preferences to add additional keystrokes above to reassign these commands to Opt-Left Arrow and Opt-Right Arrow. Unfortunately, this possibility is not available to many Mac users, due to bugs in Apple's Java. See the discussion of OS and Java issues above.

See Also

See the following posts on trinity for more up-to-date information about shortcut remapping:

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