CONNECT Edition - Using Position Mapping to get to Tools Really Quickly!

One of the features of the V8i interface, loved by those that discovered and ran with it, was Position Mapping. The ability to drive the UI with simple alpha numeric sequences led to me receiving support calls from some users referring to tools by their Position Mapping sequences instead of the tool name!

Position Mapping is the consistent mapping of keyboard characters to positions in the interface rather than attempting the impossible quest for consistent meaningful links between characters and command/tool names.

Position Mapping is now available across all CONNECT Edition applications based on the Power Platform (it was not available in early PowerDraft releases).

Similar to the V8i Preferences dialog, you will find the following options:

First tick ‘Use Position Mapping’ then (optionally, but recommended) ‘Show Position Mapping Aids’ to add the shortcut characters to the Ribbon Groups. Notice that in CONNECT Edition we have added separate mapping for Attributes and Primary tools. 

Once Position mapping is enabled go to the Ribbon preferences and change the ‘Position-Mapped Groups option to ‘Menu’. This will change the resulting pop-ups from Icon Groups to menus with Position Mapped numbers by each item. This enables the use of both memorised sequences or offers immediate visual guide to the next number in a sequence.

Pressing ESC with focus in the Tool Settings dialog will show Position Mapping characters:

Esc > N is a good shortcut to Select/Clear All. (This has changed from the V8i Esc > ; combination as the letters are now applied in two rows, the handle control tools on the right were treated as a separate coumn in V8i.)

Q Shortcut

Enabling Position Mapping assigns the Q Shortcut to the First Ribbon Group that follows Attributes and Primary instead of the Quick Tools pop-up. Quick Tools is still accessible (with the deafult Function Key assignments) by F7.

If users really want Q to start Quick Tools, Q can be removed from the letter sequence set in the 'Tasks & Ribbon' field shown above.

Processing Sequence

When this Position Mappingis enabled, if focus is on Home, a keystroke is first processed by the Position Mapping system. If the key is defined in one of the zones introduced above, the associated group or button will be activated. If the key is not handled by Position Mapping, the keystroke is then processed by the Keyboard Shortcuts system.


1. Position Mapping sequences will be different to those in V8i as tools on the Ribbon are in differnet positions.

2. I’m including the following just for information:

Position Mapping is enabled by the variable MS_POSITIONMAPPING_CONFIGURATION. Should you wish to prevent users from turning it on (which I do not recommend, Position Mapping is great!) this variable can be set to NULL by adding the following to your custom Configuration:


Setting this to NULL removes the checkboxes that enable/disable Position Mapping but does not disable Position Mapping if it is already enabled or remove the Position Mapping category from the User Preferences dialog.

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