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dafkey-1.0.0b.zip (12K) a zipped hfs disk image and checksum file. The disk image can be mounted with Mini vMac. Includes source code.

DAFKEY is a set of simple FKEYs to open items in the Apple menu.

It includes 5 FKEY resources. If they are installed in a Macintosh system, then Command-Shift-5 will open the first Desk Accessory item from the Apple menu (not including the initial "About" item or other items provided by the application), Command-Shift-6 will open the second item, and so on up to Command-Shift-9 which opens the fifth item. (Command-Shift-1 through Command-Shift-4 are already used by Apple.)

You can rename the Desk Accessories you wish to use with DAFKEY, so that they start with '5-', '6-', and so on. This puts them in order in front of all the Desk Accessories whose names start with letters, and provides a reminder of how to open them with DAFKEY.

ClipOut and ClipIn are provided already named this way, as '5-ClipOut' and '6-ClipIn'. I normally use Command-Shift-5 for ClipOut, and Command-Shift-6 for ClipIn, and so have those as items one and two in the Apple menu.

DAFKEY works in System 6 and earlier, and also works fine in System 7, where it can be used to open things in the "Apple Menu Items" folder besides Desk Accessories.

DAFKEY may be installed using ResEdit (listed on my "Programming Tools" page). Open the DAFKEY file with ResEdit, then select the FKEYs and choose "Copy". Next, while still in ResEdit, open the "System" file in the "System Folder" of a bootable disk. Then choose "Paste". (If the "System" file is on the disk you are currently booted from, ResEdit will give a warning, but the above still seems to work.)

You don't need to install all five of the FKEYs, just install as many as you want to use.

You can also renumber them if you want. For example, if I want to use DAOpener, which launches the first item, and still have ClipOut and ClipIn available with the usual keys, but as items two and three, then I could discard FKEY-5, renumber FKEY 6 to FKEY 5, and FKEY 7 to FKEY 6.

DAFKEY works by creating a private copy of the Apple menu with AddResMenu, then getting the name of the appropriate menu item, and using that to call OpenDeskAcc (which normally is called by the application in response to the user choosing an item in the Apple menu).

Warning: DAFKEY is not compatible with all applications. Some applications may get confused when Desk Accessories open in this unexpected fashion, and not properly copy their private clipboard to or from the global clipboard, for example.

Warning: you should only invoke DAFKEY in situations where Desk Accessories can be chosen from the Apple menu, otherwise unpleasant things might happen.

Here is the md5 checksum for the download:


6856e9b6ee36eccaf88ef1444d581921 dafkey-1.0.0b.zip

Version: 2.6


You can redistribute DAFKEY and/or modify it under the terms of version 2 of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation. See the included file COPYING.

DAFKEY is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the license for more details.


If you find DAFKEY useful, please consider helping the Gryphel Project, of which it is a part.

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copyright (c) 2010 Paul C. Pratt - last update 10/21/2010