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30 Jul 2015

How to get around Khaos Control as quickly as possible



One of our key tenets when designing Khaos Control, has always been to ensure that it is as keyboard friendly as possible. As a Windows application, you’re obviously able to do everything with the mouse, should you wish to. But, in our experience, users are able to get more out of the applications they use every day by using the keyboard. As an advocate for all things keyboard-driven our MD, Mike Cockfield, took some time out to compile his top tips on how to get the most out of Khaos Control with your keyboard. Here are his thoughts:

Why use the keyboard?

As the original creator and proud parent of Khaos Control, I’ve always been keen to develop the solution with as many shortcuts for everyday tasks as possible. Personally I’d much rather use the keyboard for the majority of tasks, as it’s simply faster when compared to reaching for the mouse every few seconds.

So here are my top 15 tips (it was going to be top 10, but I kept remembering more!) that I consistently use to navigate around Khaos Control:

  1. F5 is the same as clicking on the ‘Go’ buttonsGoButton
    Most know that the F5 key is Refresh, but it’s not always obvious that this is same as clicking the ‘Go’ buttons – so no need to reach for that mouse!
  2. Ctrl+Enter to simulate a double-click
    In edit boxes and grids, Ctrl+Enter or Ctrl+Return will do the same as if you’d double clicked on them with your mouse.
  3. Know the form short-cut keys
    Alt+E for Edit, Alt+A for Cancel, Ctrl+S (or Alt+S) for Save. These are the most common, but F7, to move back to the form’s List page, is sometimes quite useful too.
  4. Ctrl+PgUp and Ctrl+Down
    This moves between sections on a form. The easiest example I can think of for this is when creating a new sales order and you’ve typed in details to find the customer. If there are more than one customer returned in the grid below the search boxes, then you can Ctrl+PgDn to get into the grid so that the desired customer can be chosen.
  5. F9 and menu numbers
    This is is not going to help generally, but for some frequent operations it can be a real time saver. The easiest example is when entering a sales order and wanting to specify the payment type of the order, be it Cash, Cheque, Credit Card, etc. You can press F9 and then the number on the menu that corresponds with the payment type you wanted. Once you know the numbers then it can save loads of extra clicks.
  6. Shift+Tab
    Everyone knows that tab moves from one edit box or ‘field’ to another. But most people don’t utilise Shift+Tab to move back. It really can be a general speed-up this one, so it’s worth trying to get used to it if possible.
  7. F4 look boxes in grids
    Once opened, use F4 again to filter their content. Tip: up and down arrows will auto-switch between sections to allow for easy filtering and selection.

  8. Use Shift+Esc to focus the Command Window
    This, and the next two are related, but I didn’t want to bundle them together as may get muddled. Shift+Esc is an easy was to get focus into the Command Window without the mouse; once there you can use the next two time savers…
  9. Opening customers and suppliers from the Command Windows
    The command window can do quite a few thing but this is 1 of 2 of the ones I use the most. Opening a customer: ‘cuurn’ where urn is the Unique Reference of the customer. Likewise succ would open supplier ‘Credit Call’ in my system.
  10. Quick open screens
    Command Window ‘most used’, number 2 is simply the screen to open; ‘ac’ for accounts, ‘si’ for sales invoice, ‘so’ for sales order, etc.
  11. Ctrl+L
    All those windows getting to be too much? Clear them away and set focus to the Command Window in one operation, all ready for the next task!
  12. Ctrl+Tab
    Khaos Control is flexible when it comes to moving from one form/screen to another, just by clicking on the desired screen in the Command Window. However, as we are trying to relegate the mouse as much as possible here, Ctrl+Tab will flip between forms that are open in KC in a similar fashion.
  13. Dropdowns
    Even I use the mouse for most drop down menus, but if you are in a form where you’ve been able to tab between fields and enter data and you come to a drop-down then Alt+Down arrow will open it up and typing the first few letters of the lookup value will select that value for you.
  14. You can use arrows in date selectors
    This is a good time saver, especially when selecting years. Easiest example is that you can move to the year element of the date with the Right arrow and press Down arrow once to move the date back 1 year. Otherwise, you’d either have to type-in the date or use the mouse to zoom out the of calendar to select a different year.
  15. Grid shortcuts
    There are loads of time savers and shortcuts in every Khaos Control grid. Enough that we could write a separate blog entry for them, and so that’s what one of the team will be doing shortly! So instead of leaving number 15 as a cop-out, here’s a bonus one for you, which is a general Windows shortcut: Alt+Space then press ‘n’ to minimize any window!

In Closing

If you’re an existing Khaos Control user, I hope that you’ve found the tips above useful. If you’ve not yet got the power of Khaos Control in your business and are having to work with a system that doesn’t offer the kind of quick-wins outlined above, then contact our sales team for a free demonstration today.

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