Alt Modifier Key - Layout Shortcuts

On the Help Page it says…

Tip: On Microsoft Windows, you use Shift, Ctrl, and Alt as keyboard shortcut modifier keys.

But when I try to set a shortcut using the alt key, Layout says alt + key is not a valid shortcut.

You have to have an additional key defined besides just Shift, Ctrl, or Alt. For example alt + A. Think about when you use Ctrl + C for copy in Windows.


Say I want to set alt + B to, say, send to back, I get the error message that alt + B is not a valid shortcut…

Can you send the exact function you are trying to assign the shortcut to and what OS you are using? I just tried on a Windows machine, latest version of Pro and I don’t have an issue assigning alt + B to any of the functions I tried…

On Windows 10, anyway, Alt+B is not a valid shortcut.

@paul.mcalenan you could use Shift+B as a valid shortcut.

Attempting to rationalise my shortcuts and tidy up my AHK script that controls many of them (the AHK script is a mess).

So I thought that I might apply some logical consistency and use all combinations of the modifier keys including the alt key. If it worked, the alt key would give me an additional… 100+ keyboard combination possibilities… :thinking: ?

I’m currently obsessed with minimising using the mouse to invoke tools, commands, etc.
Using AHK enables me to create shortcuts for workflows that are not in-built natively, especially in Layout.

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@paul.mcalenan I was looking in SU. In Layout it appears you can only use Shift and Ctrl but not Alt as a modifier key. I’m not sure why this limitation would exist.

Hey Paul,
I’m showing my ignorance (again?), but what is this “AHK” script you are referring to?
I’d love to add more shortcuts to my LayOut workflow … could you share what some of the “what and how” you have developed?


I’m into minimising clicking on the mouse (I used to get a twinge on the opposite shoulder to my mouse hand and now I don’t).

So, I’m using AHK to make multi-hand keyboard combinations like ctrl + P, say, or ctrl + shift + alt + A, easier by allowing a key to send a particular shortcut for a single press, another shortcut for a double press and, if you wanted, another shortcut for a long press.

I have shortcuts invoked by space + another key.

In Layout particularly (as mentioned in another thread) I use AHK to enable a shortcut to zoom in by an amount at the cursor and to back out - saves me using the scrollwheel too much.

I have a shortcut that tells AHK to grab the rotate handle (in Layout) and rotate CW 90 degrees, another shortcut to rotate CCW 90 degrees. If I need another angle all I do is type it after AHK has finished it’s rotation.

I’ve been experimenting with an AHK script that toggles a selected Layout object locked or unlocked with the same shortcut.

Another key replicates the middle mouse button so that I can pan.

There’s no lag in AHK ( just lag in Layout :wink: )

Does it make me more productive? I think it does. But more importantly I’m minimising the risk of RSI.

I’ve been thinking about posting about my AHK experiments.

There’s a fantastic autocorrect script that works in Layout and I have a text expansion script geared to construction, code and planning, so that I’m more productive when it comes to annotation and notes, e.g. e + tab automatically types out the word existing, tsd + tab types out to SE details, iaw + tab types out in accordance with… and so on.

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Oh, … Shoot!
Thanks Paul,
But now that I know what “AutoHotKey” is … I see that it’s Windows only … and I’m on an iMac!
Thanks anyway!

For Mac, try these:

Or copied and other clipboard managers.