All frequently used PowerGREP commands have keyboard shortcuts associated with them. They key combinations are indicated next to the menu items in the main menu. The fly-over hints that appear when you hover the mouse over a toolbar button also indicate keyboard shortcuts.
Some key combinations are associated with only a single command. Pressing such a key combination invokes the command, regardless of where you are in PowerGREP. F9, for example, is only associated with the Action|Preview menu item. At any time, pressing F9 will start a preview of the action.
Other key combinations are associated with multiple commands. All commands that share a given keyboard shortcut perform conceptually the same task, but in a different area. Which command is executed when you press the keys depends on which panel has keyboard focus. Ctrl+P, for example, is associated with Results|Print and Editor|Print. If you press Ctrl+P while inspecting the results, PowerGREP prints the results. If you press Ctrl+P while editing a file in the editor, PowerGREP prints the file you’re editing. If you press Ctrl+P while selecting files or editing the action definition, nothing happens.
See the editor reference for a list of key combinations you can use to edit text in multi-line text boxes in PowerGREP. In addition to the editor box on the Editor panel, all boxes for search terms on the Action panel are full-featured text editing controls. So is the results display, except that it is read-only.
Press the Tab key on the keyboard to walk through all controls presently visible in PowerGREP. Press Shift+Tab to walk backwards. To enter a tab character into the search terms, press Ctrl+Tab.
You can quickly move the keyboard focus to a particular panel by pressing the panel’s keyboard shortcut as indicated in the View menu. Press Alt+2 to activate the File Selector, Alt+3 for the Action panel, and Alt+6 for the Results. These keyboard shortcuts, and the associated menu items, activate the panel whether it was already visible or not, making it visible if necessary. If you like to use the keyboard rather than the mouse, memorizing the Alt+1 through Alt+9 key combinations will greatly speed up your work with PowerGREP.
You can also directly focus a few controls via the keyboard. These keyboard shortcuts focus a control, showing and activating the panel it sits on if necessary. Alt+S focuses the Search box on the Action panel. Alt+I focuses the Include Files box on the File Selector panel.
Instead of navigating the folder tree, you can directly type in a path in the Path field just below the folder tree in the File Selector. The tree will automatically follow you as you type. You can also paste in a path from the clipboard. You can focus the path field by pressing Alt+2 followed by Tab.
To include the path you entered in the search, press Ctrl+I (Include File or Folder) or Shift+Ctrl+I on the keyboard. To include multiple paths, type in the first path and press (Shift+)Ctrl+I. The text in the Path field will become selected, so you can immediately type in the second path, replacing the first. Press (Shift+)Ctrl+I again to include the second path. To start over, press Ctrl+N to clear the file selection.