In Windows, if you're in a list of some kind (Windows Explorer file list, dropdown menu, File/Edit/View menus), if you type a letter, the focus will be moved to the first item starting with that letter. If you hit that letter again, the focus moves to the second item starting with that letter, and so on. It's awesome.

Now, in OSX, I can't seem to find any rhyme nor reason to how OSX behaves in the same situation. When I'm in a list, if I type a letter, it moves the focus to an apparently random item (most likely not the first item) starting with that letter. If I hit the letter again, sometimes it doesn't move at all, sometimes it moves to another random item starting with that letter, sometimes it just moves to another random that either doesn't start with the letter or doesn't even have the letter in its name (which proves it's not trying to do substring matching).

Example (from Word for Mac):

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Say I want to navigate to the Language item. The first time I press L, it moves focus to Labels. Second press, it moves to Macro (!). Third press and beyond, it doesn't move.

How do I make it work like Windows, as described above?


You need to type more than just the first letter. To get to the Language... menu item typing la might select the Language... menu item, or it might select the Labels... menu item. Typing lan would be better as that is the shortest string that uniquely identifies the Languages... menu item.

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