Key Navigation

As an alternative to having subjects click on the Continue and Go Back buttons, you can have subjects use the keyboard to navigate their way through your experiment. The Backspace and Space bar keys will simulate mouse clicks on the Go Back and Continue buttons, respectively. This does not apply to essays, fill-in-the-blanks, and thought-listings which can still be ended with the Escape key as an alternative to the mouse click (since the Space bar and Backspace keys are necessary for open ended responses). Note: If you use an Executable item, the navigation keys will become active only after the executable program has ended and control is returned to MediaLab.

Not: When using an HTML item in your questionnaire that allows for spacebar or backspace input, you may want to add a k-1 parameter to disable keyboard navigation for that item. This does not apply to Custom items made with HTML because custom items do not allow for keyboard navigation.

Secret Keys

When test-running an experiment, you may want to skip over various items, files, or questionnaires that you already know are working. You also may have timed items that you don't want to wait for while you're testing things out. For this reason, there a few secret key combinations that will allow you skip around. All use the right or left arrow keys on your keyboard in combination with either or both of the Alt key or Ctrl key. Press each key down and hold it until each of the remaining key(s) is pressed.

Ctrl + Left Arrow

Go back to previous question in a questionnaire

Ctrl + Right Arrow

Skips to next question in a questionnaire

Shift* + Alt + Right Arrow

Quits the questionnaire or other current file

Ctrl + Alt + Right Arrow

Quits the experiment in progress


*In previous versions, the combination Alt + Right Arrow would end the current questionnaire or file. Because this combination is now commonly used in web browsing we added a shift key to the combination to avoid accidental endings.

Some item types that involve videos and or HTML may require that you first click on the outer border of the MediaLab space in order to use the secret keys. This is because the Windows Media Player and Internet Explorer engines will sometimes intercept keystrokes and won't share them with MediaLab. For the same reason, the space bar may cause a video to pause rather than causing MediaLab to continue to the next item. In any case, a click on the outer border will return keystroke input to MediaLab if and when this happens.

Due to setting of some Intel and NVidia brand chip sets, use of Ctrl + Alt + the arrow keys may rotate your screen orientation instead of quitting the experiment in progress.  To disable the screen orientation in Windows 7, right click anywhere on your desktop and select Graphics Options > Hot Keys > Disable.

Status Bar

The Status Bar is displayed at the bottom of the main MediaLab window. Allows you to view some convenient information about the experimental session. The first cell in the status bar displays information about current activities and when nothing else is going on, it displays the name of the last experiment run during the current session. The next cell displays the last Subject ID and Condition run during the current session. The next two cells display the current date and time.

To disable the Status Bar, open any Explorer Window (Windows key + E). Click View on the Menu bar and make sure that Status Bar does not have a check mark next to it. To activate the Status Bar, make sure that Status Bar has a check mark next to it.