Alt+PgDn is BROKEN on Windows

Engaged ,
Nov 04, 2020 Nov 04, 2020

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Normally (and on the MAC), the user can press Alt/Opt+PgDn to center the next spread on the screen.

 

This is now broken on Windows. At least on the 2 PC's I use, both of which are up to date on Windows and Creative Cloud.

 

What happens now is that when the Alt key is released, a glyph is inserted into the text. And this causes the display to jump back so the insertion point is visible on screen.

 

Of course, if I'm not currently editing inside a text frame, the glyph doesn't appear, because there's no place for it to go.

 

This new problem prevents me from using Alt-PgDn and Alt-PgUp to navigate one spread at a time while I'm editing. For some reason, InDesign processes the navigation command (when NumLock is OFF) and thenprocesses the same keystrokes as if the NumLock were ON. 

 

Allen

 

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correct answers 2 Correct answers

Adobe Community Professional , May 29, 2022 May 29, 2022
Let me simplify, then: Mapping combined-function keys depends on the hardware, driver and OS involved, and the number of even basic variations runs into the 100s. (Compact and laptop keyboards vary considerably in layout, combination of keys and 'function shift' methods.) I'd suggest that it's more up to the user to select standardized components suitable to the job than it is up to the software house to automatically parse some very large number of alternate — I'd prefer to say 'non standard'...

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Engaged , May 30, 2022 May 30, 2022
Thanks, James, for this workaround. But I'm asking Adobe to improve their software. Replacing my keyboards is not a "solution," since the problem still exists. It's a feature request, posted in that context.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 04, 2020 Nov 04, 2020

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Hi Allen,

just tested Alt + PgDn with my German InDesign 2021 on Windows 10.

No issue.With this key combination I can navigate to the next spread of my active document.

FWIW: I use a laptop with a keyboard that has a num pad section where the PgDn key is located.

Num lock is turned off.

 

I "never" do this when text is selected.

And you are right, something strange could happen, if text is selected.

 

Regards,
Uwe Laubender

( ACP )

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 04, 2020 Nov 04, 2020

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This is the key. Turn off the num lock if you're using the page up / page down keys or use the separate keys on the keyboard.

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Engaged ,
Nov 08, 2020 Nov 08, 2020

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Thanks for responding, Bob. But yes, as I've described above, this problem exists with NumLock OFF. The behavior is completely different (and correct) when NumLock is turned on (i.e., it's supposed to enter an extended ASCII keycode, and it does).

 

The problem does not exist on Macs. 

The problem does not exist on PC kybds with the dedicated PgUp/PgDn keys. Only with the NumPad nav buttons (with NumLock OFF).

The problem has not always existed, but I don't know when it began to occur.

 

Thanks, Uwe, for testing this. I, too, don't do much navigation with text selected -- too easy to delete something. It's interesting that the problem doesn't happen with the embedded number pad on your laptop. My Logitech keyboards, at least three models, all have dedicated number pads, but some don't have additional, separate, PgDn/PgUp keys. My guess is that if the keystrokes could be captured at a low level, we would find that the embedded number pad does not emit an extended ASCII keycode after the Alt key is released, because an additional function key is required to invoke the embedded number pad.

 

The essence of the problem is that InDesign used to throw away the spurious keycode, but now it honors it even though the number pad is in Navigation Mode (i.e., NumLock = OFF).

 

 

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Valorous Hero ,
Nov 09, 2020 Nov 09, 2020

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(Not an answer to the question, but) I always change the shortcut for Next Spread and Previous Spread to the regular Page Up and Page Down keys (with no modifiers). Much more useful to turn spreads than to scroll the screen down a pageful, IMO.

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Engaged ,
Nov 10, 2020 Nov 10, 2020

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Yes, @TᴀW ,I would do that, if my favorite keyboard had dedicated PgUp and PgDn keys. 

 

But I didn't need to do that in prior versions of InDesign, where this bug wasn't present. InDesign was throwing away the redundant extended keycode after processing the navigation behavior. Since it's already processing a special key combination in the Alt+NumPad[NavMode] keystrokes, it's a simple matter to absorb the remaining spurious key event. Somebody probably just forgot to preserve the exact functionality when making some change in this area of the code.

 

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New Here ,
May 29, 2022 May 29, 2022

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I can confirm this is still a bug in version InDesign 17.1.  Pressing Alt+PgDn on the keypad (with numlock off) inserts random characters (sometimes not even visible characters) into the document at the current insertion point. 

 

Adobe, please fix this issue as it has corrupted several books we are laying out for clients.  (They sometimes go to print with these random characters after a minor edit we made, and then we hear about it from them and have to pull the book. Embarrassing!)

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 29, 2022 May 29, 2022

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I am ass/u/ming this problem only occurs on laptops with a combined keypad. It doesn't happen, and I can't recall it ever happening on a full-size desktop keyboard, regardless of the state of NumLock.

 

In which case, it has more to do with how laptop keyboard drivers interpret keystrokes than any feature or setting of ID. I have many apps that will interpret the keys as either arrows or numbers, in context of the immediate use, again regardless of NumLock. Not sure how to resolve with with InDesign.

 

|| Word & InDesign to Kindle (& EPUB): a Professional Guide (Amazon)

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Engaged ,
May 29, 2022 May 29, 2022

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Sadly, this problem exists on any keyboard with dual-purpose number pad keys. Lots of keyboards lack dedicated PgUp and PgDn keys. All of the six computers I regularly use have no dedicated page keys, and only one of them is a laptop.

It is very much an InDesign issue, because (a) it didn't exist with prior versions, and (b) Adobe has the means to fix the problem, which is hindering their users from getting the most out of their expensive app. It's not a big deal to fix this within ID, and any programmer familiar with the details of keyboard input can easily make it work like used to. For example, they could review the keyboard interrupt handler from earlier versions. This kind of code is pretty straightforward, but it relies on the programmer's complete attention to all the different logical conditions that may obtain during keystroke capture. No doubt it got broken by some programmer who wasn't paying attention to all the conventional use cases.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 29, 2022 May 29, 2022

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"Sadly, this problem exists on any keyboard with dual-purpose number pad keys. Lots of keyboards lack dedicated PgUp and PgDn keys. All of the six computers I regularly use have no dedicated page keys, and only one of them is a laptop."

 

Well, in all good humor and sincerity (no snark, second-guessing or told-ya intended)... don't use compact keyboards. They are a laptop feature that crawled backward onto desktops and are found almost entirely with business-grade box PCs, crippling the most essential part of the user interface. (They are one of three reasons I won't use a laptop for anything but essential field tasks.)

 

A full keyboard is far more efficient and functional and is in use 99% of the time you're sitting at the desk. Don't put up with a crippled one; spend a whole $30-40 and get a 'better tool.' Efficient use of ID demands the bigger layout and extra keys, and no, "learning to get around it" is not the right option. Tools should suit users, not the other way around.

 

As for prevalence, I don't see them on one in ten systems, if that, other than the generic boxes corporations buy for business workers. I just ran "keyboards" on Amazon and other than one or two fancy-pretty compact-wireless ones, all of the first 30 or so were full-size.

 

It may well be that ID can properly map a compact keyboard. It may well be that prior versions did. But I'd bet more on OS and driver updates causing the problem, even if only the newest version of ID trips on them, and even more on — again, sorry! — using the wrong tool for the job.

 

|| Word & InDesign to Kindle (& EPUB): a Professional Guide (Amazon)

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Engaged ,
May 29, 2022 May 29, 2022

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Apparently we live in very different worlds. Snarking aside, thanks for advising me on how to equip my working environment, and how to scrape together enough cash to use the components you prefer. I'll stick to the choices that serve me extremely well in ... gee, all the other things I do with computers.

 

And I still strongly believe Adobe could and should fix this problem.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 29, 2022 May 29, 2022

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Let me simplify, then: Mapping combined-function keys depends on the hardware, driver and OS involved, and the number of even basic variations runs into the 100s. (Compact and laptop keyboards vary considerably in layout, combination of keys and 'function shift' methods.)

 

I'd suggest that it's more up to the user to select standardized components suitable to the job than it is up to the software house to automatically parse some very large number of alternate — I'd prefer to say 'non standard' — combinations.

 

Your choice seems to be to wait for Adobe to fix things your way, or buy a relatively inexpensive, superior solution for using ID effectively. But either way, I think it would serve you to recognize where the issues actually lie, here. (I say the same thing to people who want to do magazine layout on a 12-inch laptop or a tablet, so don't feel singled out.)

 

|| Word & InDesign to Kindle (& EPUB): a Professional Guide (Amazon)

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Engaged ,
May 30, 2022 May 30, 2022

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Thanks, James, for this workaround. But I'm asking Adobe to improve their software. Replacing my keyboards is not a "solution," since the problem still exists. It's a feature request, posted in that context.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 30, 2022 May 30, 2022

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Okay. I am a big believer in "doing things your own rotten way" and certainly have mine. 🙂  But, maybe just to be ornery, I'd say the adaptations for compact keyboards are the workaround, here; the software enables all the keys on a full layout both by default and for workflow efficiency. Expecting them to work on a different configuration is... a convenience, not necessarily a feature.

 

You may be cussing all your keyboards a while, though. I'm not sure Adobe would consider this a very high-priority fix, and I'd tend to agree.

 

|| Word & InDesign to Kindle (& EPUB): a Professional Guide (Amazon)

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 29, 2022 May 29, 2022

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Running Windows 11, InDesign 2022 17.2.105.

15" laptop with dedicated Page Up/Down keys, also with an external full size keyboard and 38" monitor.

 

No bug noticed. Using either the laptop's page up/down keys or the external keyboard's, it works as expected.

 

@James Gifford—NitroPress is correct: it depends upon your keyboard and its drivers.

 

With previous laptops, those without dedicated keys for ANY InDesign KB shortcut were not likely to work, especially if it required holding a FN key to access the shortcut. That's not an InDesign problem: that's your hardware and drivers. And the KB shortcut failure can be seen across most programs, not just Adobe's.

 

Bevi Chagnon | PubCom | Designer & Technologist for Accessible Documents
| Books & Classes | Accessible InDesign | Accessible PDFs | Accessible MS Office |

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