ALT function for special characters blocked by MS Word office access keys

I’m using a keyman keyboard for which right ALT key + vowel, produces vowels with a specific diacritic.

However, when using MS word (windows 11, Office 365, 64-bit), any attempt at rightALT+(a/e/i/o/u) results in MS Word activating ‘office access keys’ which does things like select menu buttons or open the find and replace menu.

I’ve spent a couple hours trying to figure out how to disable these office access keys in MS Word, to no avail.

I wonder if anyone else has run into this issue and how they got around it?

@rice80, welcome back :slight_smile:

That’s a somewhat unexpected issue – Keyman generally captures key events before Word sees them.

@ross, can you work with @rice80 to try and diagnose why this is happening?

Just an update for the mean time.

I did a reinstall, now rightALT+a/o/u work correctly, but rightALT+i/e are still overridden by Office Access Keys.

And it’s not just in MS word, but the same happens in WordPad and Notepad++. In both programs rightALT+e opens the edit menu, rightALT+i gets me a “ding” error sound on my machine.

So I’m thinking it’s not specifically an MS word issue but a system issue.

This sounds like the keyboard itself is not implementing RAlt+i and RAlt+e. That’s the behaviour I would expect if the keyboard doesn’t have rules for those keys. Are you able to share the keyboard?

Sure thing, it’s the Piaroa keyboard: Piaroa keyboard

Looks like you are right, from the documentation page, there’s nothing set up for RAlt+i and RAlt+e

I’m also realizing now that is by design, the targeted characters ë and ï, as it turns out, are not present in the language’s orthography, I assumed they would be necessary because the rest of the vowels had a diathesized alternation. So this was a “me” problem more than a problem with Keyman or MS word.

occasionally I do still get some issues with MS function keys blocking the other characters, it looks like just selecting the Piaroa keyboard from my task bar wasn’t enough, I have to open the virtual keyboard and select Piaroa in order to get it to bypass the MS function keys.

Which, isn’t a big deal, so I think I’m good for now, no more assistance required, thanks Marc for the replies