Microsoft office keyboard shortcut problem?
January 29, 2006 9:40 AM   Subscribe

Can you solve my frustrating microsoft office keyboard shortcut customization problem?

My goal is to create keyboard shortcuts for formatting commands I frequently use. I am using microsoft power point xp on a windows xp machine. I try to follow the microsoft help instructions on how to do this (as described here), but it doesn't work. Specifically, I click "customize" in the Tools menu, click the "commands" tab, and click the command I want to customize. However, the "Modify Selection" button remains greyed out.

My attempt to search for solutions to this problem have failed. The only relevant information I found doesn't solve my problem, because I am sure that the button I am selecting is on an existing toolbar.

Any advice that can solve my problem?
posted by betterton to Computers & Internet (4 answers total)
Best answer: I've done this another way (it's a bit of a unnecessary hack I think, but the right way eludes me as well). You can record quick macros of just pressing the button for what you want done (apply the style, hitting the bullet point button, whatever) and assign those to a key combination. and macros can override built in command keys that you're not using, so that's nice if you don't necessarily want the default values.

In Office2003 it's Tools -> Macros -> Record new macro [Name it] -> Keyboard [Assign the Keys now] - Back to the document, do your task -> Stop recording.

Now whatever key you set will do whatever it is you just did. Rinse, repeat.
posted by tiamat at 10:21 AM on January 29, 2006

If you're trying to create keyboard shortcuts, you don't need to use the "Modify Selection" button.

There should be another button, labeled "Keyboard..." that is at the bottom of the menu (right next to the drop-down menu asking which template you want to save the combos in). Clicking on this will give you access to the key combinations for all the keyboard shortcuts and allow you to create/reassign your own.
posted by camcgee at 11:17 AM on January 29, 2006

Best answer: camcgee, that is definitely the way to do it in Word, but I don't think that option exists from within Power Point itself. (Althought that might have changed in the XP version, and I only have the 2000 version to check on.)

If you set keyboard shortcuts in Word, they may carry over into PowerPoint, but I haven't tested that. For PP specific actions, though, that probably won't work.

I have the same issue on my 2000 version - the "Modify Selection" button is greyed out, and I could never find out how to fix it. Here is how I do it:

If the function you want to perform is available on one of your toolbars, you can check to see if there is a shortcut already associated with it. Go to: Tools|Customize|Options and put a checkmark next to "Show Shortcut Keys in Screen Tips". Now any pre-set shortcut keys will be shown when you mouse-over the function on a toolbar. Drag the functions you want to use to a new toolbar to check if there are pre-set shortcuts for them.

For any other actions, those with no pre-set shortcuts, I have done what tiamat suggested and created macros to get around the issue.
posted by gemmy at 3:03 PM on January 29, 2006

camcgee: "There should be another button, labeled "Keyboard...""

Nope, not in Powerpoint. I wanted this feature in 2000. I wanted it in XP. I'm now using 2003, and they still haven't fixed this annoyance. Why they can't use a common featureset in all three main office apps is completely beyond me.

Looks like recording a macro is your only option.
posted by caution live frogs at 8:46 PM on January 29, 2006

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