12 December 2008

Visio 2003: Order drawing tools by shortcut keys

By default, Visio 2003's drawing tools are in divided between two toolbars, Standard and Drawing, and the tools are ordered by importance or frequency.

Julian W. and I worked out that it's easier to remember the tools' shortcut keys if you move all of them into a single toolbar and arrange them by the shortcut keys, i.e. from Ctrl+1 (Pointer) to Ctrl+9 (Ellipse). Drawing tools which use Ctrl+Shift go into another group and drawing tools which don't have any shortcut keys go into a third group. Another advantage of this arrangement is that you get visual feedback when a tool is selected using its keyboard shortcut (it's highlighted); in the default arrangement, the tool selected by the keyboard shortcut is not shown if it is not the first tool in a drop-down control.

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