Wednesday, January 23, 2008

EQ6 keyboard shortcuts

One of the slightly annoying things about EQ6 for people who've used pro design software like QuarkXPress or Adobe Illustrator is the lack of keyboard shortcuts. Sure, there are some key commands (the help file and tips of the day list some), but it's hard to keep straight what the Ctrl key does when you're drawing a Bezier curve (turns it into a line segment), drawing a rectangle (makes it a square), or coloring a one-patch quilt (colors a whole line of patches).

But I wanted the to poke keys for everything EQ6 does! Rarely able to resist a tinkering challenge, I called AutoHotkey to the rescue. Now whenever I run EQ6, I run my AutoHotkey script too (you can download it below), adding the following keyboard shortcuts to the program:
  • Alt+B: Change to block worktable
  • Alt+Q: Change to quilt worktable

  • Alt+N: New horizontal quilt/EasyDraw block (depending on which worktable is active)
  • Alt+Shift+N: New on-point quilt/PatchDraw block
  • Ctrl+Alt+N: New variable point quilt/PatchDraw motif

  • P: Print quilt
  • Shift+P: Print fabric yardage
  • Ctrl+P: Print block
  • Ctrl+Shift+P: Print templates
  • Ctrl+Alt+P: Print rotary cutting sheet

  • Ctrl+B: Open Block Library
  • Ctrl+F: Open Fabric Library
  • Ctrl+L: Open Layout Library

  • + [plus sign on the number pad]: Add block/quilt to sketchbook (when viewing the worktable)
  • - [minus sign on the number pad]: Show sketchbook (same as F8)

  • Alt+Z: Suspend (or reactivate) hotkeys (to enter appliqué text etc. without triggering the commands)
If you already have AutoHotkey or are curious about the source code, download the script here. But even without AutoHotkey, you can run the script as a stand-alone executable. Whichever version you download, just double-click on the file to run it. The commands should only fire in EQ6 (unless you're looking at a web page with "EQ6" in the title; I'll fix this when I have a chance).

The key commands are free to use and adjust to your own preferences. PatchDraw tools are top on the updates list, along with better commands for starting fresh blocks and quilts—I'll upload new versions whenever I have 'em.

Hopefully other people will find the shortcuts useful—just being able to switch worktables without the mouse gives me a practically unholy delight every time!

The keyboard icon overlaid onto the EQ6 icon above comes from famfamfam.

1 comment:

carmen8 said...

Great! I think the only shortcut key in EQ is F8 for the sketchbook.