Missing underlines on menu items

May 17, 2008

Help! My menus don’t have those underlines under certain letters any more. Can I get them back?

Sure you can. These underlined letters are variously known as ‘access keys’, ‘hot keys’, or ‘shortcut keys’—they give you access to functions in the program using the keyboard instead of the mouse. But the setting to re-enable them is pretty hidden so you’re not likely to stumble upon it.

To get your access keys back in Windows XP:

  1. Go to Start > Control Panel > Display > Appearance tab.
  2. Click the Effects button.
  3. Clear the Hide underlined letters for keyboard navigation until I press the Alt key check box.
  4. Click OK twice to save your settings and close the two open windows.

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