Keyboard Shortcuts

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Keyboard Shortcuts

For those who wish to do so, a great deal of your work in ACCOUNTS can be done without ever using the mouse. In many cases, once you learn how to do this, it is much faster than using the mouse.


Many keyboard shortcuts available in the program are obvious, because they are displayed alongside the menu items. Some of them are:





Help Contents and Index


Help on the main window


Other keyboard shortcuts are standard shortcuts that work in most Windows programs:





Moves from field to field in a form, for example between fields when editing an account or a transaction


Moves backwards between fields in a form


"Clicks" the default button of a form, usually called Save, OK, etc. You can see which button is the default button because it has a darker border than the other buttons. (On a Register window, Enter saves the current transaction and moves down to the next one.)


"Clicks" the "cancel" button of a form, usually called Cancel, Close etc.


Drops down a drop-down list of options in the current field


Selects all of the text in a field, so that it can be overtyped, deleted, cut or copied


Copy highlighted text in a field to the Windows clipboard


Cut highlighted text out of a field and put it in the Windows clipboard


Paste text from the Windows clipboard into the field the cursor is in


Entering Amounts


When you are entering amounts, do not enter currency symbols such as the dollar sign, or commas - neither are allowed.


There is no need to enter ".00" after an amount if it has no cents.


Many fields for entering amounts open a Calculator window, if you enter any arithmetic operator (+, -, * or /) in the field, other than a leading minus sign.


Entering Transaction and Other Dates


You can type dates in directly, using the short date format set in the Windows Control Panel's Regional and Language Options. But you can also click on the calendar button to the right of the date, which pops up a calendar that you can use. Details on keystrokes you can use in the calendar are in Using the Popup Calendar to Enter Dates.


When you first enter a date field, normally its first component (before the first slash or dash) will become selected (highlighted). Pressing the left or right arrow keys or the forward slash key (/) will cycle through the three components of the date field (month, day and year, in whatever order they are displayed on your computer). That can make it easy to just change one of those components, for instance the day of the month. Once it is highlighted, just type what you want to replace it with - there's no need to delete what is there first.


Special keys you can use to change the date in a date field itself (not the popup calendar) are:


T, for Today, sets it to today's date

+ increases it by one day

- (minus/dash) decreases it by one day

M, for Month, goes to the start of the current month, or if you are already on the start of a month, to the start of the previous month

H, for montH, goes to the end of the current month, or if you are already on the end of a month, to the end of the next month

Y, for Year, goes to the start of the current year, or if you are already on the start of a year, to the start of the previous year

R, for yeaR, goes to the end of the current year, or if you are already on the end of a year, to the end of the next year

F, for Fiscal, goes to the start of the current fiscal year, or if you are already on a fiscal year start, to the start of the previous fiscal year

L, for fiscaL, goes to the end of the current fiscal year, or if you are already on a fiscal year end, to the end of the next fiscal year


For all of these, it doesn't matter if you use the capital or small letter. And for + and -, it doesn't matter if you use the keys on the normal keyboard area, or the numeric keypad (if your keyboard has one), and whether or not they are shifted. (So for instance since in most keyboards + is the shifted = key, you can press =, without shifting, and it will still work to increase the date by one day.)


Another shortcut you can use is that you can omit the year when you are typing in a date, and it will assume it is for the current calendar year. So for instance if your date format is MM/DD/YYYY, and you want to enter January 31, you can type in just 1/31, and Tab or click out of the field, and it will add the year portion.


Entering Fields with Drop-Down Lists


When you are entering drop-down fields in which you can only select values that are on the drop-down list, such as selecting a Tax Code for transactions, or a Type, Parent Account or Fund for an Account's details, you can also use the keyboard. Just press the first letter of the name of the entry on that list that you want to select, and it will appear. If there are multiple entries that start with the same letter, press that letter repeatedly, and it will cycle through the ones that start with that letter. You can also use the up and down arrow keys to move between the entries on the list.


Another common case for using first letters in a drop-down list is for the named date ranges in windows prompting for a range of dates for reports.


For fields which have a drop-down but also allow you to type in values (for example Accounts, Vendors, and Payees for cheques), the keyboard technique is slightly different. They use a method generally called "autocomplete". Type in a letter or letters that are the initial part of the value you want to select, for example at least "D" for a payroll cheque to "Dan Cooperstock"- use enough to make it distinct. As you continue typing (if necessary), the first match from the drop-down list that starts with what you have typed will appear, with the rest of that you have not yet typed highlighted. When you see the desired value, just go on to the next field with Tab.


Of course in those fields that have a drop-down but allow typing, you can still also just use the drop-down list, and the up and down arrow keys.


Fields for names of accounts actually normally drop their lists down automatically, as soon as you Tab or click into them, though this can be changed with an option on the Maintenance Main Options window. (If that option is turned off, you can drop down the list by clicking on it with your mouse, or pressing the keyboard combination Alt+DownArrow.)


Using Underlined Letters in Menus and Buttons


If you see an underlined letter in a main menu option (such as File) or a button (such as Save), that means that you can activate that menu or button by holding down Alt and pressing the letter. For example Alt+F for File, Alt+S for Save.


In drop-down menu options, such as the options on the File menu, when there is an underlined letter, just press that letter when the menu has been displayed and the option will be selected. So, for instance to select Open Database from the File menu, press Alt+F for File, then O for Open. (It doesn't have to be a capital "O".)


In current releases of Windows, the default setting may be that you cannot see these underlined letters in menus or buttons unless you press and hold the Alt key. So, one option is to first press Alt so that you can see the underlined letters, then you can use the letter. (They work whether you can see them or not, however.)


If the Windows setting to see underlined letters is not turned on, the installation program will offer to turn it on for you. If you did not do that, the following instructions tell you how to do it yourself.


In Windows 10, search on "Underline", and select what comes up ("Underline access key shortcuts in menus when available"). The window that comes up should be scrolled to the heading "Change how keyboard shortcuts work". Make sure the selector for "Underline access keys when available" there is set to On.


This topic was last edited on Jul 30, 2022