Keyboard shortcut


Firefox 3.0 menu with shortcuts, highlighted with green and mnemonics highlighted with yellow.
Composite of two Macintosh Finder menus with keyboard shortcuts specified in the right column

In computing, a keyboard shortcut is a series of one or several keys that invoke a software program to perform a preprogrammed action. This action may be part of the standard functionality of the operating system or application program, or it may have been written by the user in a scripting language.

The meaning of term "keyboard shortcut" can vary depending on software manufacturer. For instance, Microsoft differentiates keyboard shortcuts from hotkeys ("mnemonics" on Windows) whereby the former consists of a specific key combination used to trigger an action, and the latter represents a designated letter in a menu command or toolbar button that when pressed together with the Alt key, activates such command—whereas a "hotkey" on Windows is a system wide shortcut that is always available in all contexts as long as the program responsible for it is running and not suspended.[ambiguous]


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