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In windows 7, when you right click a file and press r it open's the file's properties window.

With my new windows 8 (en-GB) install, the keyboard accelerator has changed to o. This is inconvenient for me, as almost every file ever is going to have "Open" listed as the first thing in the context menu with, you guessed it, o as the accelerator. So now neither of these options can be selected with one key press.

Is there any way to change the properties accelerator back to r?

I've included some screenshots from 2 different computers (the first one installed only 3 days ago and not touched since). The only difference i can think is that on the very first screen in the Win 8 installer, I chose (actually, it might have been the only option) british english as the "display language" since I am in australia.

In the screenshots, the keyboard accelerators show as the underlined letters in the menu. Pressing the underlined letter will activate that menu choice - unless there are 2 with the same accelerator (in which case it only highlights them and a further key press alternates between them). To show the underlines, go to Control Panel -> Ease of Access -> Change how your keyboard works -> Underline keyboard shortcuts and access keys.

laptop desktop

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I just tested this complaint. The default keyboard accelerator actually is r. If its not on your system, then a setting was changed, I have no idea what the setting is. – Ramhound Feb 2 '13 at 1:07
I've added some screenshots – Luke Feb 2 '13 at 2:56
Luke, I don't understand what your screenshots are supposed to show, sorry. The keyboard accelerator doesn't show up onscreen at any point. – Marcus Chan Feb 2 '13 at 3:16
They are the underlined letters in the screenshots. Up to XP (I think) they were always underlined, now they will only underline if you press alt or turn them on permanently. (Control Panel -> Ease of Access -> Change how your keyboard works -> Underline keyboard shortcuts and access keys). – Luke Feb 2 '13 at 3:21
...whoa, you're right, that's really weird. I stand corrected. Edit: Might be clearer for others if you crop the screenshots to just a little larger than the context menus – Marcus Chan Feb 2 '13 at 3:43

The shortcut / accelerator appears to be related to your Windows display language setting.

I managed to fix this by:

  1. Going to Control Panel -> Clock, Language and Region -> Language
  2. Clicking Add a language then selecting English and English (United States)
  3. Clicking Options next to the newly added language
  4. Clicking Download and install language pack and waiting for it to finish
  5. Clicking Make this the primary language and logging out

I still think it's a terribly silly idea to have the same keyboard shortcut/accelerator for properties and open (which are going to be present in the menu of almost every file) in any language.

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We didn't dismiss it, per se (okay, whoever downvoted did, but I don't think ramhound did). To be honest, I'm betting it's a Windows bug. Edit: Accept your own answer, by the way! – Marcus Chan Feb 2 '13 at 3:51
It's all good, the discussion (and confirmation that the problem was fixable) led to the fix anyway. – Luke Feb 2 '13 at 3:54
@MarcusChan - This isn't a bug the default setting was changed. The entire problem was the wrong language pack was installed – Ramhound Feb 3 '13 at 18:36
@Ramhound I'm sorry, how exactly is UK English the "wrong language"? Never mind the fact that I couldn't choose any other language when first installing and it was the default setting; you find it logical to have the same shortcut key for the two most common menu items - thereby negating the entire point of the shortcut key? The original question was about changing the shortcut key, not about changing the language pack or simply denying the problem (as you are doing). This solution is a workaround, at best. – Luke Feb 3 '13 at 23:06
I agree with Luke, this is ridiculous. If it's an entirely different language then I would tend to agree, but making this change between en-US and en-GB is ridiculous, and kills years worth of muscle memory. Also, it's not just a language pack issue. Considering that this is the first time (with Win8) they have ever released an entirely separate en-GB version of Windows, they should have done a far better job and avoided silly yet extremely annoying changes like this. – Karan Feb 4 '13 at 0:56

In my clean Windows 8 install (virtual, but it shouldn't make difference), r works exactly as expected.
Edit: Hmm, that's weird. Mine has the underline in the normal place, as I'm sure the other SU users have it. Maybe it's your language setting, I'm not sure.

In any case, Alt+Enter is a much easier way of opening the properties menu, in my opinion (no mouse movement).

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I can't even find what this feature actually is called. I found some documentation on how to create a keyboard accelerator within a program, likely something else entirely though based on what I can tell. – Ramhound Feb 2 '13 at 1:15
In my clean Windows 8 install (british english, maybe this makes a difference?), it doesn't. I haven't read about this change and as you have no doubt experienced, extensive googling only returns the 1000s of articles people have written about the new Win+x etc keyboard shorcuts that windows 8 has introduced. Thank you for the Alt+Enter tip though. – Luke Feb 2 '13 at 2:55
@Luke - You using a different keyboard more then likely has EVERYTHING to do with it. – Ramhound Feb 3 '13 at 18:37
I use many different keyboards, but they all use the standard (for my country and yours) 104 key US keyboard layout. I really don't see how that relates to the original question, the problem I was having or the workaround I've posted. – Luke Feb 3 '13 at 23:22
@Luke - Alt + Double click also brings up properties. I have exactly the same issue you have. I too am a Brit with UK English language settings. – Chris Driver Mar 5 '14 at 12:20

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