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I recently converted from Windows to Mac, but one thing that I really liked on Windows was how easy it was to traverse the menu bar and the associated submenus with the keys. Effectively, I would push the magic menu button and then type letters corresponding to menu options. With Mac the analog is an awkward button combination followed by repetitively hitting up, down, left, and right.

So, is there any way to make my Mac behave like a Windows computer in this respect?

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P.S. I know this question probably won't win me any popularity contests... sorry. :-( – John Berryman Mar 1 '11 at 3:04
OK, but what about pulling down an arbitrary menu like you can on Windows? It sounds like OSX requires a lot more keystrokes to do the same thing, especially if my application has a lot of menus with a lot of items that don't have dedicated key bindings. – nitind Apr 23 '11 at 7:55
up vote 3 down vote accepted

It works pretty much as you describe Windows.

If you want a better key combo to access the menu bar, you can customize it under System Prefs > Keyboard > Keyboard Shortcuts > Keyboard & Text Input > Move focus to the menu bar.

Then type to select which menu you want, hit enter, then type to select the menu item.

Note that most menu items have keyboard shortcuts. These are written next to the menu item, often a single character preceded by the CMD key.

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The fastest way to access the menu items is just by hitting Command Shift ? , and typing the menu item you want in the search box that appears

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⇧⌘␣? At least on the US and Finnish locales the default shortcut for showing the help menu is ⌘?. – user495470 Feb 8 '12 at 1:24
oops, i was kinda out of it i guess, i'll edit my answer :P – AMomchilov Feb 8 '12 at 1:26

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