What are your MOST missed keyboard shortcuts in RM8?

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So what are your MOST wanted missing Shortcut keys ?

Yes I’m definitely in the camp of why are the common shortcut keys not available.
Unforunately for us Mac users, Windows seems to get more than Mac but Mac is my preference.

On Mac RM7 Windows shortcuts worked just fine substituting CMD for ALT, occasionally there was a conflicting use for that shortcut but adding SHIFT sorted them.

My two current most missed are:

  • the inability to jump via tab from the display side of eg a person edit screen to the actual edit side
  • having to move my hands to select CLOSE or OK after input, given that I seem unable to accept that ESC actually seems to Save (possibly as long as an individual field had been altered and the cursor moved to accept it)

If I’m missing something obvious here, please please do tell me (I’m not using RM8 for my input intensive work, too slow, but am trying to use it for other less intensive efforts)


ALT+M: Memorize is #1, but there are a slew of others.

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~IF~ there’s a visible button with a checkmark symbol, RM8 detects that a field (or fields) has been altered and the fields can then be saved by:

-hitting the ESC key
-pressing Alt-F4 key combo
-Shift-Tab(bing) back to the Save button (checkmark icon) and pressing Enter key
-mouse clicking either the Save button or the Close button

Thanks @kbens0n

My main conceptual problem is the ESC to me has always meant get me out of here, not Save :slight_smile:
And comes a poor second best when compared wiith explicit save / cancel / close (ie save and close) button options at the bottom of a screen I’ve been working DOWN.
So yes, I forget to keep and eye on/ for that pesky tick


Well, essentially it means STOP. So, get me out of here is an apropos understanding… just minus the stigma you’ve attached to it, LOL ツ

Like you said: in RM7 I could double-click on items to activate them but in RM8 I must (frinstance) type OCC in the Facts list, then click Occupation from the selection, then click OK to select it.


Technically, you can close the ‘edit individual’ window without clicking the checkmark to save each bit of data, but if you do, it generates ‘access violation’ errors. No bueno.

That’s Alt-F4 in Windows 10 and works for me. I added it to my prior post, thanks!
Another way to save is a mouse click in the left panel or anywhere other than the panel with the editable fields.

RM8 is way too slow at data entry compared to RM7 (which was actually a pretty well behaved application). Some examples:

  • Selecting the highlighted thing in a list by hitting Enter, not clicking Next or Select
  • Always being able to confirm / save / exit a dialog by hitting Alt-O (or something like that) instead of clicking the OK button (you have a FEW of those already)
  • Opening the Notes associated with a Fact by hitting Alt-N instead of clicking on a little box/icon
  • Opening the Sources associated with a Fact by hitting Alt-S instead of clicking on a little box/icon
  • Completing data entry on a Fact and saving it by hitting Alt-V instead of clicking the check mark
  • Pasting a copied Source on to a new Fact by hitting Alt-P instead of clicking the Sources icon then Paste Citation then Paste Copy (and a different Alt- for Reusing a Citation)

And other things that RM7 did which greatly sped up the data entry task:

  • When a dialog is opened, or a view slides in, preposition the cursor in the most likely data entry field
  • When adding a child to a family don’t ask me to sort them by birth date until I have COMPLETED that child (currently it happens too soon since I haven’t usually added the dates to the child, just the name, because I can’t readily add any notes and sources on the add person dialog)
  • When I have finished adding a child to a family ask me if I want to add another (like RM7 did), allowing me to say yes and keep going just by hitting Enter in most cases
  • When I add a Spouse to a person assume I’ll want to add a marriage Fact (usually true even if you have no date or place for that marriage Fact) – I can always delete it in the rare case

Here’s another one. I went to edit a lengthy note and wanted to highlight the first part of a sentence, so I could cut it and paste it elsewhere. So I did CTL-SHIFT-RIGHT ARROW. It gave me a pop-up with “You have reached the end of the history list.”

I do a lot of document editing (in real life for pay, not just in genealogy) and that shortcut has been second nature to me for 25 years. It’s one of the basic Windows editing shortcuts supplied by Microsoft since the beginning, and all of those ought to be included in any Windows program by default. Any minimally experienced user will expect to find them there. I can only think all the coders at RM are under the age of 25.


Exactly, it is as though they wanted to deny that the program runs in Windows at all. Many completely standard Windows shortcuts have been taken over and re-used, and others just not implemented at all. RM8 is NOT a “well-behaved” Windows application.

Any time you create a Windows application, the standard coding templates for any button or clickable field has a place to identify the shortcut key. Using that invokes a number of standard Windows behaviours developed over decades for ease of use. By NOT using those RM has made it nearly impossible for people with limited dexterity to operate the program. And they’ve made it so much less efficient for anyone to do data entry!

And I think any comments about the difficulty of maintaining code that works as expected on both Windows and Mac is a complete red herring since SO MANY other application do it successfully.

PS … if you use Ctrl-Shft-Rt-Arrow in this web browser text entry field that I’m typing in right now it operates as you would expect.

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I don’t think either of the RM developers are under the age of 50.

One is… …one isn’t

What I miss most is an automatic ‘save’ when I enter a place name and/or place details, after using ‘tab’ to move to the next line of the form. Many times I have forgotten to go back to the tick, moved on to entering the source and after exiting find I have a blank event with a source but no details. SO frustrating. What is the point of the tick? If I have written something in a box, I intend it to be saved unless I choose to delete it.
Agree with previous comments re useful RM7 features: (1) inviting entry of multiple children and only offering the ‘sort’ option at the end of the process. (2) offering marriage record page after adding a spouse.


Another key feature I’d like to see reintroduced from RM7:
I use the ‘shared facts’ option to add other residents to the head of household’s record. In RM 7 I could view the family details, then double click each child to bring them up on the index list with very useful tick boxes to add them to the ‘share’ list. Having to go through a longer process for each individual slows me down considerably - doing a one-name study with thousands of individuals means a lot of time lost when entering census shares!

From the RM7 Help system

Shortcut keys
Shortcut keys provide quick access from the keyboard to commonly used commands. Commands in most menus and many windows and dialogs appear with an underlined characters in the menus or in the button. To invoke the command, press the Alt key and the letter shown together. Other menus also have a shortcut key combination (such as Ctrl+P) displayed beside the command in the menu.
Below are some of the general shortcut key combinations:
I or Shift+I Add individual
C or Shift+C Add child
P or Shift+P Add parents
S or Shift+S Add spouse
F1 or Shift+F1 or Ctrl+F1 Help
F7 Spell check
Enter Edit person
Delete Delete person
Ctrl+Del Delete family
Right, Left, Down, Up In Pedigree, Family, Descendants, People views and in the sidebar - navigate through the listed people
Ctrl+B Bookmark person
Ctrl+C Color Coding
Ctrl+F Find Person (RootsMagic Explorer)
Ctrl+Shift+F Find Family
Ctrl+H Search and Replace
Ctrl+L LDS Ordinances
Ctrl+N Create new file
Ctrl+O Open existing file (search for file)
Ctrl+P Print a Report
Ctrl+W Create a Website
Ctrl+V Show Family Sidebar
Ctrl+Home Go to Home person
Ctrl+Left Back (in history list)
Ctrl+Right Forward (in history list)
Ctrl+F4 Close highlighted database
Ctrl+F6 Cycle through open databases
Alt+letter(s) Select Menu commands
Alt+S+B+➝+M Show Bookmark sidebar (Manage bookmarks)
Alt+S+H Show History sidebar
Alt+V+S Hide/view the sidebar
See also:
List of Shortcut Keys in the Notes Editor
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From the RM7 Help System for NOTE EDITOR

The commands available on the toolbar, from left to right are

• Cut Ctrl+X

• Copy Ctrl+C

• Paste Ctrl+V

• Undo Ctrl+Z

• Bold Ctrl+B

• Italics Ctrl+I

• Underline Ctrl+U

• Find Ctrl +F – allows you to find words or characters, and you can choose to “Match the whole word only” and to “Match case”, or both. You can search for the entry before or after the current position by selecting the direction as Up or Down, and click “Find Next”.

• Replace Ctrl+R – allows you to find words or characters and replace them with another word or set of characters. You can choose to “Match the whole word only” and to “Match case”, or both. You will be presented with the first instance found. You can choose to Replace this instance, Replace All instances, or “Find Next” instance without making a change to the currently highlighted instance.

• Spell Check F7 – opens the Spell check window with the word is displayed in context of the original usage and suggested alternate words provided.

• Thesaurus Shift+F7 – opens the Thesaurus window. In this window the word looked up is displayed, whether there are similar words from the same context, and a list of synonyms. If you see a suitable word, click Replace to insert the new word in place of the word in the note. If you don’t see a suitable word, you can highlight one of the synonyms and click Lookup to find alternate words associated with the new word. You can then select a word for the new list to replace the original word, highlight another word to lookup, or click Previous to return the the previously displayed word.

• Character Map Ctrl+T – opens the character map to allow you to select special characters

• Add or Remove buttons – to hide or display currently chosen buttons, or to customize the toolbar.

Another command not in the buttons is:

• Select All Ctrl+A – select all the text in the field.

Two other commands (buttons) that can be added to the notes toolbar:

• Open (a file) Ctrl+O – import a text from the file into the note

• Save (to a file) Ctrl+S – save the note text to a file. You will be prompted for the type of file you want the file saved as.

Other formatting and control codes that you can use by typing the codes in (there are no buttons for these):

• Small Caps <sc> ... </sc>

• Superscript <sup> ... </sup>

• Subscript <sub> ... </sub>

• Privacy brackets { } – these allow you to control text the you want to keep private unless you specifically choose to include it in reports and other outputs.

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Thanks TomH, those are all useful. I think the ones that are missing are the ones that operate the dialogs.

Your shortcut keys operate SOME menus and callup program functions which make some new dialog the new focus (not always very good about positioning the cursor in the most likely place on that new dialog). Your Note keys are good but they feel just different enough from “normal Windows standard” that you’re pushing people through an unnecessary relearning.

The ones I am looking for in operating the dialogs are also standard Windows functionality unless you choose to not use it (which it seems you have). A data entry field has a label and one letter in that label can be underlined and designated as the access / accelerator key. Press that and your cursor is positioned in the selected field ready for data entry. The fields are in order and tab takes you to the next one. Buttons can have the same access / accelerator keys assigned. The point is, once the dialog is open you NEVER NEED TO TOUCH THE MOUSE AGAIN. The whole point of these is stay away from the mouse. These make the whole process of data entry SO much faster.

See also this topic: Disturbing lack of keyboard shortcuts in RM8

The first post was a list of shortcut keys from the RM7 Help system. The second was the list of Note Editor keys copied from the RM7 Help system. I provided these for reference. I have not chosen or invented any of these. They are what Windows users of RM were used to before RM8.

Fine, thanks for reminding people of those. My comment is about the missing keys that let you navigate and operate within a dialog, a window, without ever having to use the mouse. RM7 scored about 95% on that. RM8 scores about 10% on that. Data entry is SIGNIFICANTLY slowed and I’m not the only one who thinks so. I sent Renee links to two Microsoft design docs that talk about these kinds of keyboard accelerators and how they are used in all “well behaved” Windows applications.