Steve sent me a note today saying:
I love my InDesign shortcuts but sometimes they get me into trouble. For instance, I have the cursor on some text and then I switch apps, come back, forget that the cursor is on the text, go to type M to switch the tool to the Rectangle tool, and the next thing I know I have introduced an errant M in the document. What do you suggest as a way around this?
This makes me crazy also. So I've modified my keyboard shortcuts to avoid this problem. You can use the same shortcut keys you've grown to know and love for each tool, but you will add a modifier key so that you can use the keyboard shortcut even when your cursor is in text. Here's how:
1. Choose Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts
2. Choose Tools for the "Product Area"
3. Choose Rectangle Tool, (or whatever tool shortcut you are trying to change) in the list of commands
4. Click in the "New Shortcut" field, and press the keyboard shortcut you want to use (try option-M on the Mac, or alt-shift-M on Windows)
5. Click the Assign button. You may be asked if you want to create a new set. If so, answer Yes.
6. Click the OK button.
This also works, with slight variation, in Flash. But unfortunately, the keyboard shortcut editor in Photoshop, Illustrator and Fireworks doesn't let you assign modifier keys to tool shortcuts.