When I use Alt+Tab to switch away from an application, then return to that application, the Alt key does not work on the first press. Here's how to reproduce
- Open Chrome and Notepad++
- Activate Notepad++ using any method you like
- Alt+Tab to activate Chrome
- Alt+Tab to activate Notepad++
- Press the Alt key one time
The menu in Notepad++ is not activated.
This is reproducible for me using most applications. Notepad++ is the one that clued me in to what's happening, though. When I Alt+Tab away from Notepad++, I can see that the menu selectors (underlines) are visible. They remain visible even as the application is inactive and when I reactivate it. When I return to the app, the Alt key removes the menu selectors - the opposite of what I want it to do.
The only application where this doesn't happen, that I've tried so far, is SQL Server Management Studio (but I've only tried about a dozen). No matter how I activate and deactivate SSMS, the Alt key activates the menu on the first press.
It's easy to see that the menu selectors are being activated in Notepad++, but less easy in applications that use a RibbonUI, like Office. It doesn't show the Ribbon tooltips like pressing Alt alone in the application, but the effect is the same. That is, when I return to the application, I have to press Alt twice to see the tooltips.
It seems like I'm activating the menu before leaving the application, but that's not quite right. It's some weird third state. All other keys except Alt work as expected. If I activate the menu in Notepad++, then press the down arrow key, the File menu expands. But if I Alt+Tab away from Notepad++, then reactivate, the down arrow moves the cursor down one row as expected. So it's not as if Alt is necessarily persisting such that a down arrow would still expand the menu.
I want to Alt+Tab away from Excel, Alt+Tab back to Excel, press Alt+A+C, and not have AC appear in the active cell.