Ctrl Alt Tab in Excel



  • While working on an assignment tonight in Excel that required me to indent some cells, I noticed the tooltip for the indent function gave the keyboard shortcut as ctrl+alt +tab; yet when I tried to use the keyboard shortcut, all it did was bring up the normal Windows Alt+Tab menu... I tried every possible combination of the two alt and ctrl keys, all with the same result (even tried alt+ctrl+tab)... you think Microsoft would've figured out the conflict, especially with both Windows and Excel being their own software...

    On the other hand, the reduce indent shortcut (Ctrl+Alt+Shift+Tab) works as its supposed to.

    Ctrl+Alt+Tab



  • @bullrider718 said:

    I tried every possible combination of the two alt and ctrl keys, all with the same result (even tried alt+ctrl+tab)

    That wouldn't work regardless. IIRC the API would see the keypress event as TAB_CODE | CTRL_FLAG | ALT_FLAG. No matter what order you do it in the resulting code is the same.



  • Peculiar. Works fine for me at work (XP Pro, Excel 2007). Some sort of keyboard oddity?



  • yep, works fine for me too.  I'm also on XP/Excel 2007.  I have an older version of excel at home.  I'll have to try it when I get there.  Maybe it's excel's version of Outlook's paste=send



  • @Lingerance said:

    IIRC the API would see the keypress event as TAB_CODE | CTRL_FLAG | ALT_FLAG. No matter what order you do it in the resulting code is the same.

    Windows keyboard code is kind of convoluted, but it comes down to getting WM_KEYDOWN if ALT isn't pressed or WM_SYSKEYDOWN if it is.  Modifiers such as shift, control and alt are tracked for the purpose of generating console-style keyboard messages, and for making WM_CHAR messages. You can treat them as equivalent in your app (tracking all keys as though they aren't special) as long as the target keystroke isn't an accelerator.



  • @campkev said:

    yep, works fine for me too.  I'm also on XP/Excel 2007.  I have an older version of excel at home.  I'll have to try it when I get there.  Maybe it's excel's version of Outlook's paste=send

     

     

    Wonder if its only on Vista?  Or maybe just me...



  • Are you sure you're not hitting emulated AltGr-Tab? Check your keyboard settings and make sure it's set to United States or Dvorak or something, not United States-International or a European keyboard.



  • @bullrider718 said:

    Wonder if its only on Vista?  Or maybe just me...

     

    Confirmed, same behavior on Vista Home Premium SP1.



  •  TRWTF is that the reduce indent shortcut is Ctrl-Alt-Shift-Tab. That can't be faster than just clicking on the tab and then on the button.



  • @Master Chief said:

    @bullrider718 said:

    Wonder if its only on Vista?  Or maybe just me...

     

    Confirmed, same behavior on Vista Home Premium SP1.

    Same here, Excel 2007/Vista Home Premium SP1. Ctrl+Alt+Tab in Vista does not bring up the standard Alt+Tab interface, though. The Ctrl+Alt+Tab version persists after you release that key combo, and lets you then use the arrow keys or mouse to select a window to switch to.

    At any rate, you'd think Microsoft would've managed to avoid this problem...



  • @Brother Laz said:

     TRWTF is that the reduce indent shortcut is Ctrl-Alt-Shift-Tab. That can't be faster than just clicking on the tab and then on the button.

     eh... there are a lot of four key alt commands in excel that are pretty useful... I think TRWTF is that I'm pretty sure that shortcut is almost impossible to do with one hand unless you have a sixth finger or crazy double joint.



  • @bullrider718 said:

    I think TRWTF is that I'm pretty sure that shortcut is almost impossible to do with one hand unless you have a sixth finger or crazy double joint.

    Using the left hand, place the thumb on the left alt key, pinky on the left control key, ring finger on the left shift key and middle finger on the tab key. If you can't manage that, then you should probably get your hands looked after.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Ragnax said:

    @bullrider718 said:
    I think TRWTF is that I'm pretty sure that shortcut is almost impossible to do with one hand unless you have a sixth finger or crazy double joint.

    Using the left hand, place the thumb on the left alt key, pinky on the left control key, ring finger on the left shift key and middle finger on the tab key. If you can't manage that, then you should probably get your hands looked after.

    Yeah, immediately upon reading that little outlandish claim I proceeded to find 4 different perfectly comfortable (and one of them a perfectly natural transition from the home row typing position) hand positions for that.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @aleph said:

    Ctrl+Alt+Tab in Vista does not bring up the standard Alt+Tab interface, though. The Ctrl+Alt+Tab version persists after you release that key combo, and lets you then use the arrow keys or mouse to select a window to switch to.
    THAT´S AWESOME!



  • @aleph said:

    Ctrl+Alt+Tab in Vista does not bring up the standard Alt+Tab interface, though. [...] At any rate, you'd think Microsoft would've managed to avoid this
    problem...
    Didn't they come up with a special Windows logo key specifically so they'd have one to avoid that problem with? You'd think they'd use it...



  • @Weng said:

    @aleph said:

    Ctrl+Alt+Tab in Vista does not bring up the standard Alt+Tab interface, though. The Ctrl+Alt+Tab version persists after you release that key combo, and lets you then use the arrow keys or mouse to select a window to switch to.
    THAT´S AWESOME!

     

    No, it's not.

     

    Here's a feature;

    Let's make it slower.



  • @dhromed said:

    @Weng said:
    @aleph said:
    Ctrl+Alt+Tab in Vista does not bring up the standard Alt+Tab interface, though. The Ctrl+Alt+Tab version persists after you release that key combo, and lets you then use the arrow keys or mouse to select a window to switch to.
    THAT´S AWESOME!
    No, it's not.
    Here's a feature;
    Let's make it slowerhandicapped-person accessible.
    FTFY. Although why they couldn't make it Win+Alt+Tab escapes me. The UI Guidelines have said for years, since the introduction of the key with Windows 95, that Windows would use it to avoid clashing with apps, and apps shouldn't use it so they avoid clashing with Windows. So why isn't Windows using it as such?



  • @TwelveBaud said:

    FTFY. Although why they couldn't make it Win+Alt+Tab escapes me. The UI Guidelines have said for years, since the introduction of the key with Windows 95, that Windows would use it to avoid clashing with apps, and apps shouldn't use it so they avoid clashing with Windows. So why isn't Windows using it as such?

    Because Microsoft decided that they needed something to counter Expose, so Win+Tab (and the persistent equivalent, Ctrl+Win+Tab) brings up "Flip 3D", which in my opinion is a completely useless interface feature. It has the option of using the scroll wheel (or mouse, or arrow keys) to flip through the options. If I'm using a keyboard shortcut, why would I then want to reach over for my mouse?

    So, Alt+Tab has been around for too long to change that shortcut. Win+Tab is Flip 3D. Ctrl is the persistence modifier for both. Shift is the reverse direction modifier for both. Thus, Win+Alt+Tab wouldn't be consistent with the other shortcuts, so it's not an option.

    I think the Ctrl option should've been pushed into the accessibility settings, since anyone who needs the interface to stay up is probably also going to have a hard time hitting a 3 key shortcut. I also think that Alt+Tab and Alt+Shift+Tab are good enough for everybody, and that we don't need any of the other variations.



  • @TwelveBaud said:

    FTFY.
     

    Ok.



  • @aleph said:

    "Flip 3D", which in my opinion is a completely useless interface feature.
    I dunno about useless, but I haven't used it much ... my hand just naturally falls to alt-tab and I don't even think about winkey-tab.

    @aleph said:

    It has the option of using the scroll wheel (or mouse, or arrow keys) to flip through the options. If I'm using a keyboard shortcut, why would I then want to reach over for my mouse?
    Totally.  If you're using your mouse anyway, there are only a few situations where you couldn't just click on the taskbar button in the first place.

    @aleph said:

    I think the Ctrl option should've been pushed into the accessibility settings, since anyone who needs the interface to stay up is probably also going to have a hard time hitting a 3 key shortcut.
    I'm sure you've encountered, but never actually used StickyKeys, but this is supposed to mitigate this.  I figure anyone who's going to have trouble with it is using stickykeys.



  • @belgariontheking said:

    @aleph said:
    I think the Ctrl option should've been pushed into the accessibility settings, since anyone who needs the interface to stay up is probably also going to have a hard time hitting a 3 key shortcut.
    I'm sure you've encountered, but never actually used StickyKeys, but this is supposed to mitigate this.  I figure anyone who's going to have trouble with it is using stickykeys.

    I have this habit where I sometimes impatiently tap the Shift key if I'm waiting for something to happen, and if I'm not on my own computer where StickyKeys is disabled, the sudden beeping of the PC speaker when StickyKeys gets triggered tends to be a bit surprising.

    I suspect that StickyKeys combined with Alt+Tab replicates the functionality of Ctrl+Alt+Tab, which is why I'm confused by the need for this extra feature.



  •  @Ragnax said:

    @bullrider718 said:
    I think TRWTF is that I'm pretty sure that shortcut is almost impossible to do with one hand unless you have a sixth finger or crazy double joint.

    Using the left hand, place the thumb on the left alt key, pinky on the left control key, ring finger on the left shift key and middle finger on the tab key. If you can't manage that, then you should probably get your hands looked after.

     I have hobbit hands, you insensitive clod!

    Seriously, though.  Attempting that key combination without looking at the keyboard and carefully adjusting my hands always ends up with me accidentally hitting 'q', 'z', or Caps Lock instead of one of the correct keys.  In Excel, Ctrl+q is not a key combination you want to accidently hit.  Nor is Ctrl+z, as my next keypress eliminates my opportunity to "redo".

    Shortcut Fail, I say.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @North Bus said:

    Attempting that key combination without looking at the keyboard and carefully adjusting my hands always ends up with me accidentally hitting 'q', 'z', or Caps Lock
    Either your typing skills are weak or you have some sort of physical problem - or you're using a laptop.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @aleph said:

    I suspect that StickyKeys combined with Alt+Tab replicates the functionality of Ctrl+Alt+Tab, which is why I'm confused by the need for this extra feature.
    You obviously don't have enough windows open, then.



  • @Brother Laz said:

     TRWTF is that the reduce indent shortcut is Ctrl-Alt-Shift-Tab. That can't be faster than just clicking on the tab and then on the button.

     

    Reminds me of the classic joke that EMACS stands for Escape - Meta - Alt - Ctrl - Shift.  Maybe that was somebody from Microsoft's favorite editor and they thought it was completely natural?

     (By the way, that's at least part of why I dislike EMACS)



  • @aleph said:

    Because Microsoft decided that they needed something to counter Expose, so Win+Tab (and the persistent equivalent, Ctrl+Win+Tab) brings up "Flip 3D", which in my opinion is a completely useless interface feature. It has the option of using the scroll wheel (or mouse, or arrow keys) to flip through the options. If I'm using a keyboard shortcut, why would I then want to reach over for my mouse?

    So, Alt+Tab has been around for too long to change that shortcut. Win+Tab is Flip 3D. Ctrl is the persistence modifier for both. Shift is the reverse direction modifier for both. Thus, Win+Alt+Tab wouldn't be consistent with the other shortcuts, so it's not an option.

    I think the Ctrl option should've been pushed into the accessibility settings, since anyone who needs the interface to stay up is probably also going to have a hard time hitting a 3 key shortcut. I also think that Alt+Tab and Alt+Shift+Tab are good enough for everybody, and that we don't need any of the other variations.

     

    I like it because I get a full screen view of the windows instead of a 150 X 100 thumbnail myself.  Plus it just looks cool, and as long as my applications keep me chained to Windows, I might as well enjoy it, yes?

    Though in all honestly, I do still prefer Windows for my standard computing.  With every edition you have a set group of people at the ready to, be it the first alpha release or the first retail or first service pack, to sit and bitch about anything and everything they can.  Microsoft could write a program that, using a USB light, could turn anything into gold, and I'm sure some jackass on slashdot would whine because the resulting gold is heavy.

    Some people cannot, and will not, be pleased.



  • @Master Chief said:

    Microsoft could write a program that, using a USB light, could turn anything into gold, and I'm sure some jackass on slashdot would whine because the resulting gold is heavy.

    Some people cannot, and will not, be pleased.

    That would be pretty disastrous, honestly.   The value of gold would plummet due to an overabundance and anyone who owns gold (most people do in some form, I would think) would be pissed off.  Then we'd end up with a bunch of cheap metal that's not good for much of anything except making electrical contacts.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    That would be pretty disastrous, honestly.   The value of gold would plummet due to an overabundance and anyone who owns gold (most people do in some form, I would think) would be pissed off.  Then we'd end up with a bunch of cheap metal that's not good for much of anything except making electrical contacts.

     

    Makes damn good electrical contacts though.  That whole "inccorrodeable" thing is handy in that regard.

    Besides, gold investors get on my nerves.  Platnium FTW!



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @Master Chief said:

    Microsoft could write a program that, using a USB light, could turn anything into gold, and I'm sure some jackass on slashdot would whine because the resulting gold is heavy.

    Some people cannot, and will not, be pleased.

    That would be pretty disastrous, honestly.   The value of gold would plummet due to an overabundance and anyone who owns gold (most people do in some form, I would think) would be pissed off.  Then we'd end up with a bunch of cheap metal that's not good for much of anything except making electrical contacts.

    Well, we could always form a cartel that invents a tradition to encourage sales, rigorously controls entry to the marketplace, and creates a false scarcity to keep prices high.  Nah, that would never work.



  • @bstorer said:

    Well, we could always form a cartel that invents a tradition to encourage sales, rigorously controls entry to the marketplace, and creates a false scarcity to keep prices high.  Nah, that would never work.

    Yeah, M$ blows.

     

    Seriously, though, you have to admit it's pretty amazing De Beers pulled it off.  That would be a sweet gig to have.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @Master Chief said:

    Microsoft could write a program that, using a USB light, could turn anything into gold, and I'm sure some jackass on slashdot would whine because the resulting gold is heavy.

    Some people cannot, and will not, be pleased.

    That would be pretty disastrous, honestly.   The value of gold would plummet due to an overabundance and anyone who owns gold (most people do in some form, I would think) would be pissed off.  Then we'd end up with a bunch of cheap metal that's not good for much of anything except making electrical contacts.


    But it's shiny!



  • @TwelveBaud said:

    Didn't they come up with a special Windows logo key specifically so they'd have one to avoid that problem with? You'd think they'd use it...

    Actually, the Windows logo key is just the "super" key, which was around for a long time before Windows and was used by other operating systems. The term "super key" has run its course, now, but it's still used in various flavors of Linux (eg: Ubuntu).


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Master Chief said:

    Makes damn good electrical contacts though.  That whole "inccorrodeable" thing is handy in that regard.
    If your gold contacts don't corrode you're not trying hard enough. Smack them on some aluminum contacts and pass some voltage through them

     

    Or if you want some REAL corrosion, install your electrical contacts in an atmosphere containing SO2 or NO2 (or both) and high humidity.



  • @Weng said:

     

    Or if you want some REAL corrosion, install your electrical contacts in an atmosphere containing SO2 or NO2 (or both) and high humidity.

    Note to self: don't use gold contacts on next trip to Venus...


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