Keyboard operation of C-law software.


When C-Law Windows software was designed we appreciated that many experienced users and bookkeepers prefer to use the keyboard to find matters and make entries. Using the mouse is easier for non experienced users (and can be quick and useful on occasions even for experienced users!) but it tends to be a slower process than using the keyboard for repetitive entries.

With C-Law Cashier for Windows we made sure that the design was such that you can make entries by using keys - with very little need for the mouse during the general run of entries. You can alternatively use the mouse - or a combination of the two.

For those who prefer to use the keyboard we will set out below the operating method using keystrokes. Many of these are similar to previous versions of C-Law so that bookkeepers used to the old version will quickly feel at home. But note there are some differences!

Logging On

To enter the program and log on the mouse is probably easiest - although keystrokes can be used. Pressing Enter on the initial screen works as well as clicking the OK button. Then when on the main screen Alt + C selects the Cashier menu - and then press Enter to Log on.

Pressing L then selects the last entry date or pressing T selects today’s date (ie the computer system date). The cursor is flashing in the date box so you can enter another date as required or press the Up or Down keys to change the date forwards or backwards. Then press Enter to accept the date of operation. When the "Successfully logged on" message appears press Enter.

Selecting account entry mode

You will then be on the main screen with the list of matters. If you wish to make entries the first thing to do is to select the mode of operation (with the mouse at this point!) to "Account Entry".

Finding accounts

Then if you want to find an account by name you enter the name or part of the name in the "Find name in list" box. (This is where the cursor ends up by default so usually just typing the name will be sufficient - you don’t usually need to click to put the cursor in the text entry box)

As you type the name the list will alter as it responds to what you are entering. You can then press Enter to select the account (or if there are several use the up/down keys to locate the one you want and press Enter).

Alternatively you may prefer (or need) to enter the C-Law account number. No problem. As long as you enter a valid account number the account will be found for you. (The listing will NOT in this case alter as you type and the highlight (if there is one) will disappear.)

If you want a nominal account you need to press the minus or hyphen key and then the account name or number (as you press the hyphen the nominal account selection screen automatically appears). Press the Esc key to return to the main listing from the nominal listing.

Whether client or nominal ledger you should now end up with the account entry screen for the chosen account.

Making entries

Unlike previous versions of cashier (where the first thing you entered was the details then the cheque number then the journal) in C-Law 2005 onwards it is suggested you first select the journal then the cheque number and then the details and finally the amount and press + or - to tell it whether it is a debit or a credit. However you can, if you wish, ignore the journal at this point

and enter it before you get to the amount - just as in previous C-Law versions.

You press Enter to move forward a box or Home to go back a box. Just like previous versions.

Selecting the journal code

You can select the journal in several ways from the keyboard…

If you want Office Bank press O. The display will step between the sheets starting with the letter O. When you have the one you want press Enter key. If you want Client Bank then press C. The same principal applies. For Bill Book press B. For Petty Cash sheet press P etc

This is even easier than previous versions of C-Law systems where you needed to type the whole code.

If you want to step through all possible journal options you can use the up or down keys. Press Enter when the one you want is selected.

(You can, as with previous versions of C-Law, enter the code manually in the box between the details and the amount. Moreover pressing the up or down keys when the cursor is in this box will cycle through all possible journal codes.)

Cheque Number Box

There is in C-Law 2005 a cheque number box. This is new from previous versions. You can either enter a number or code - or press Enter to skip this. All this does is to position the cheque number at the end of the details field. It still inserts it in the details as per previous versions. So there is no great change.

If you want to go back to change the date press the home key. Then either alter the date manually or press the up or down keys to cycle through the dates. Press Enter to go forwards (or home to go back to the journal selection).


By pressing Enter step to the details box - where you enter details as per usual. Note that the cheque number goes in the details line at the right hand end - so you must be sparing in what you enter if you have a big cheque number or code! There is NOT a separate field for the cheque number. In previous C-Law versions you entered the cheque number at the end of the details line. However in C-Law 2005 there is now the possibility of an EXTRA line of details if needed.

Supplementary details

Press Enter and the focus moves to the supplementary details line. This is for when you need a second line for extra details and one line is not enough. You don’t need to enter anything. It is useful - indeed essential - for OT or CT entries when you use the second line of details to enter details - the first line is ONLY the other account name (unlike previous versions of C-Law)

Journal Code box

Pressing enter in the supplementary details box will next take you to the journal code box. If you have already set it then just press Enter . Or enter the required code and press Enter.

The Amount

You will then be in the amount box. Select whether it is a debit or credit by pressing the + or - keys on the keyboard. Enter the amount and press Enter.

Draft entry flashing - Ctrl Enter to accept

The entry will now appear in draft - flashing (as in previous versions of C-Law). This is for you to check it is correct. If it is correct hold down Ctrl and press Enter to accept it. If it is wrong press Home to go back to the details box and then home or enter to go backwards or forwards as appropriate.

After accepting entry

If you pressed Ctrl Enter you then have a choice of making another ledger on the same account. If you want to do this press Enter. If you don’t want to do this press Esc.

Then you are asked whether the entry(ies) are to be saved. Unlike earlier versions of C-Law the entries you have made and accepted are not saved to the disk until you ask for them to be saved. So you could if you wished jettison them and start again at this point. If you want to save them press S.

Then you will be back to the main listing where you need to enter the next account name or number - etc.


In general terms when dialog boxes appear asking questions you need not use the mouse. You can usually press the first letter of the choice you wish or use the left or right keys to highlight the response and press Enter. Usually pressing Esc is equivalent to clicking on Cancel or Quit and pressing Enter is equivalent to clicking OK or to do whatever is prompted.

In general terms pressing Esc will (as in previous versions) take you back a stage at a time.

You should find it is possible with a little practice to make entries very quickly using keystrokes.

F keys speed keyboard operation

Note that there is also the facility to store details (all whole entries) on F keys so that for frequently used entries or details it is just one or two keys to press. The method of storing is to set out the entry as you wish and then click on "store details" and select which F key combination you wish and then select the F key. Thereafter just pressing the F key or the K key combination (with Alt Crtl or Shift) will instantly set up the required entry without further effort.

Note that unlike previous versions of C-Law the account names (both nominal and client) can be stored on F keys and these are additional and separate to the account details - so you have a possibility of storing a whole range of frequently used account names on F keys for quick recall. This is particularly useful for nominal ledger accounts that are frequently used as it avoids needing to go through the nominal account selection screen.

If you find a keystroke that you need but isn’t present please let us know. It may well be we can incorporate it for you.

Simple Selection Screen mode 

C-Law contains a second matter selection screen to assist cashiers and other users who want to access accounts with maximum speed for making entries. It is a very simple screen for minimal distraction with just an entry box for putting in the required account number or name. It is the screen that is instantly familiar to users of our previous DOS type systems as it is almost a straight copy of this.

It has larger fonts for ease of visibilty.  Entering an account name or account number in the text box  and pressing the Enter key produces the details screen with a display of the chosen account name and matter for confirmation. This is confirmed by pressing Enter or, as with C-Law for DOS, pressing the Space Bar.

(If the account has been selected by name all accounts with matching names can be seen one after another by pressing the < or > keys.)

Pressing Enter or hitting the space bar on the details screen will call up the accounting entry screen for the chosen account so that the required entry can be made on it. On quitting the entry screen the software reverts back to the account selection screen as shown above ready for another account name or number to be inputted.

Or alternatively pressing SHIFT shows the account entries, or pressing P prints the account or pressing T allows time entries to made on systems which have time.

This to a large extent mimics our previous DOS system which mainly operated on key strokes only, and this system has been designed for maximum speed of operation for cashiers and other regular users who prefer to use keystrokes.

Note that the "tool buttons" on the right hand side are still present and also the cashier drop down menu is still accessible.

This screen is an add on to the previous system and does not change C-Law. The standard C-Law screen with all controls can be returned to at any time and all the functions of the former screen are preserved.

The "simple" selection screen has access to the cashier drop down menu and also to the "tool buttons" for selecting cashier functions quickly - like the reconciliation sheets or VAT report or backups or bank sheets etc.

Pressing Esc takes the user back to the usual main screen whenever desired.

Selecting the keypress only simple screen

The "Option" menu item on the main screen allows the new simple screen to be selected but it is easier and quicker for experienced users to simply hold down the Ctrl key and press the letter S. This instantly takes them to the new selection screen shown above.

IMPORTANT NOTE:  When using the simple selection screen and choosing accounts alphabetically only those accounts visible in the listing in the main page will be selectable. So for example if you have hidden accounts marked for archiving you will not be able to select these by name - only by number. If you have a shortlist only the accounts in the shortlist are selectable by name.

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