shortcuts for bold and italics November 4, 2011 2:07 PM   Subscribe

Would it be possible to have keyboard shortcuts (like ctrl-b and ctrl-i) for bold and italic formatting when composing posts and comments? I would envision it automatically putting the correct tags around whatever is highlighted. I don't use a mouse much when I compose stuff, and it would feel oh-so-good to ctrl-shift-arrow highlight, and then ctrl-b.

I apologize if this has already been asked ten times and rejected, if it is a feature that already exists, or if it's available as a grease monkey script.
posted by SpacemanStix to Feature Requests at 2:07 PM (80 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

We used to have keyboard shortcuts for these but the problem we ran into is that browsers have taken most of the keyboard shortcuts for themselves. For example, in Firefox ctrl-b opens your bookmarks in a sidebar. (Here's a full list.)

Maybe we can come up with shortcuts that aren't already in use in major browsers, but it seems like once you're hitting three keys at once you might as well click a button or type it out.
posted by pb (staff) at 2:12 PM on November 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


We used to have control-shift-b and control-shift-t for bold and italics, but it didn't work too well on a mac and we did continually run into browser keystroke problems as new browsers came out.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 2:14 PM on November 4, 2011


What made me think about it was that Google docs has it built in, and it's pretty handy, but I'm not sure what wizardry they use to work around the issues for multiple browsers.
posted by SpacemanStix at 2:18 PM on November 4, 2011


I just type less than strong greater than (word) less than slash strong greater than. Shortcuts are for the weak.
posted by phunniemee at 2:28 PM on November 4, 2011


We used to have control-shift-b and control-shift-t for bold and italics

Ctrl-shift-t does two things simultaneously for me when reading MeFi (windows 7, FF7) - opens the last tab I closed, and puts tags in the MeFi comment posting window. It's annoyed me for ages, because I have to scroll back up to where I was in the thread if I just happen to ctrl-shift-t to reopen a tab from a link in the post, etc. Are you saying that's not MeFi behavior and something I could turn off in Firefox or some other add-on? I've always assumed it was local code, I only notice it here.
posted by donnagirl at 2:32 PM on November 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sounds like that's code that's left over from the keyboard shortcut days. We should probably both get rid of that code and remove the keyboard shortcut info when you hover over the buttons.

I think we lost the war of trying to find a new key combination every time a browser claimed one.
posted by pb (staff) at 2:35 PM on November 4, 2011


We used to have keyboard shortcuts for these but the problem we ran into is that browsers have taken most of the keyboard shortcuts for themselves.

Could we maybe have special combos browsers don't use like
down down up up i is italic, and

up up down left esc is flag a comment, and

up up up down up left right up esc up down left up up right is impugn the chastity of a mod's mom? that would sort of be like an extreme combo reverse fatality kind of situation.

FINISH HIM!
posted by Admiral Haddock at 2:41 PM on November 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


I just type less than strong greater than (word) less than slash strong greater than. Shortcuts are for the weak.

Omigod I do the same thing because we are BEST FRIENDS
posted by shakespeherian at 2:49 PM on November 4, 2011


up up up down up left right up esc up down left up up right is impugn the chastity of a mod's mom?


BTW, I did your mom ... a disservice by making this tacky joke about her.
posted by aubilenon at 2:50 PM on November 4, 2011


Oh thank god I'm not the only one typing out full HTML tags. Although I'm still doing it with 'b' and 'i'.
posted by griphus at 2:51 PM on November 4, 2011


Clicking the buttons has always seemed harder to me than typing the tags.
posted by silby at 3:04 PM on November 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


You can over ride those default shortcuts. That's how google docs works.
posted by empath at 3:06 PM on November 4, 2011


That's what I was wondering. It looks like Google disables/overrides the shortcut to the browser or something only when that particular typing area has focus.
posted by SpacemanStix at 3:10 PM on November 4, 2011


This sounds like an idea for a greasemonkey trick, which would allow users to customize their experience without putting the burden on the site to work with all browser and add-on configurations.
posted by filthy light thief at 3:42 PM on November 4, 2011


As others have alluded to, it only requires a total of seven keystrokes to do that formatting in HTML, if you aren't worried about using the latest most correct code.

For instance:<b>bolded text</b>(bold text)<i>italic text</i> (italic text)

It's deprecated code but it still works fine and it's hardly any more effort than a keyboard shortcut would be. Especially if we started hunting for less-used shortcuts and ended up using something like control+meta+hyper+super+λ to make text italic and shift+top+front+* for bold. And it's a handy bit of knowledge to file away because it works in all kinds of places on the web.
posted by Scientist at 3:42 PM on November 4, 2011


Alternately, if you're using Windows, you can do this really easily with AutoHotkey, as long as you can do a tiny, tiny amount of programming.
posted by koeselitz at 3:48 PM on November 4, 2011


phunniemee: “I just type less than strong greater than (word) less than slash strong greater than. Shortcuts are for the weak.”

If you hate shortcuts so much, why didn't you just type &lt;strong&gt;(word)&lt;/strong&gt; so that it would look like <strong>(word)</strong> instead of just lazily spelling all the keys out?
posted by koeselitz at 3:52 PM on November 4, 2011


Let's try it. I just added code that will override browser keyboard shortcuts if you're in the textarea. So we have Ctrl+B for bold, Ctrl+I for italics, and Ctrl+L for a link. If you're on a Mac, command will work too.

I tested this in the latest versions of Chrome and Firefox on a Mac, and IE6 on WinXP. So there's lots more testing to do, but I felt like that was a good enough sample to try it live.
posted by pb (staff) at 3:52 PM on November 4, 2011 [5 favorites]


Rich text is eew
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 3:52 PM on November 4, 2011


I am happy about this change. Despite the fact that change is often scary.
posted by prefpara at 3:53 PM on November 4, 2011


Holy cow, pb – this works fantastically!

(Chromium / Ubuntu 11.10)
posted by koeselitz at 3:54 PM on November 4, 2011


Sweet! Works great in the newest versions of Chrome and Firefox, Windows 7.
posted by SpacemanStix at 3:59 PM on November 4, 2011


Nice! Now what's the keyboard shortcut for blink?
posted by Forktine at 4:05 PM on November 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


Holy crap, this is fantastic!!!! THANK YOU!
posted by zarq at 4:06 PM on November 4, 2011


I will never be as good at anything as pb is at implementing features minutes after a request is made.
posted by auto-correct at 4:07 PM on November 4, 2011 [7 favorites]


Glad to hear it's working so far. Sometimes I forget that we're using jQuery now and it is magic. I should also say thanks and thanks for the resources that helped with this.
posted by pb (staff) at 4:12 PM on November 4, 2011


Matt said it was OK to add CTRL+G for images. No need to check with him.
posted by shothotbot at 4:25 PM on November 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


donnagirl, that Ctrl+Shift+T problem in FF/Win should be gone.
posted by pb (staff) at 4:32 PM on November 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


AWESOME
posted by lazaruslong at 5:15 PM on November 4, 2011


I can't wait to imphasize and btrong things this way.
posted by fleacircus at 5:32 PM on November 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


This makes me very happy thanks.
Yippee!
Don't mind me, I was trying to remember how to make the comment tiny earlier today, and this post just triggered my recollection, so I'm trying it out.
posted by sardonyx at 7:26 PM on November 4, 2011


Matt said it was OK to add CTRL+G for images. No need to check with him.

After 6 pm Friday, anything Matt says doesn't count.

Hey this works great!
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:52 PM on November 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


BOLD TYPE IS HOW I FEEL INSIDE RICK

Nice job, pb. What about Ctrl+S for small?
posted by Vectorcon Systems at 8:36 PM on November 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


I think we'll wait and make sure this addition works and then revisit for any changes/additions next week.
posted by pb (staff) at 8:43 PM on November 4, 2011


It's deprecated code

When did that happen?

I mean, I can get behind using <em> when you you're italicizing for emphasis, but what if you're italicizing a quote, or a title, or for some visual joke that needs slanty letters? Of course the W3C never asks my opinion...
posted by stebulus at 8:49 PM on November 4, 2011


Neato!
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:51 PM on November 4, 2011


When did that happen?

Wasn't that with the introduction of HTML 4.0 in about 1997?
posted by Quinbus Flestrin at 8:58 PM on November 4, 2011


I don't think so. Here they are in HTML 4.01, not deprecated (though they are "discouraged in favor of style sheets", which of course is not helpful in the context of writing a comment on Metafilter).
posted by stebulus at 9:06 PM on November 4, 2011


OK, "deprecated" has a specific technical meaning that I was using too loosely, but semantic markup was being encouraged even before CSS became the normal way of achieving it.

As the Web Hypertext Technology Working Group says: "The inclusion of these elements is a largely pragmatic decision based upon their widespread usage, and their usefulness for use cases which are not covered by more specific elements."
posted by Quinbus Flestrin at 9:20 PM on November 4, 2011


FEAR MY MAD FORMATTING SKILLZ
posted by Meatbomb at 10:40 PM on November 4, 2011


You might want to change Ctrl+L for linking -- that's the shortcut for selecting the address bar in Firefox (and probably Chrome). Pressing it both brings up the link box and highlights the URL, though focus defaults to the address bar.

I don't mind, myself -- I don't envision using Ctrl+L for links so this isn't getting in the way -- but people who want to do a quick Ctrl+L / (Ctrl+A?) / Ctrl+V / Enter to paste a link will probably be annoyed when the URL pastes into the address bar instead and then navigates to that page, possibly losing their comment in the process.
posted by Rhaomi at 1:10 AM on November 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is brilliant, pb!

Scientist: It's deprecated code...

It isn't, in fact the HTML5 spec has clarified the difference between strong and b, em and i in quite a sensible way. Eg.: "The b element represents a span of text to which attention is being drawn for utilitarian purposes without conveying any extra importance and with no implication of an alternate voice or mood..."

Also, the small element represents 'side comments', which fits its use on MetaFilter rather nicely.
posted by jack_mo at 6:17 AM on November 5, 2011


That is very sensible.

On the feature: I am opposed to it, for the (already mentioned) reason that it conflicts with browser shortcuts. (I use Ctrl-L a lot. I guess I can tab out of the textarea first, but it's annoying.)
posted by stebulus at 8:07 AM on November 5, 2011


Yay! Thanks for making the ctrl-shift-t thing go away as well.
posted by donnagirl at 8:32 AM on November 5, 2011


Yeah, the conflict with Ctrl-L makes sense. We can't use the next logical choice—Ctrl-A—because that's select all text. People might want to do that too. So I just switched it to the baffling Ctrl-K. Let's try that for a while and see how it goes.
posted by pb (staff) at 10:09 AM on November 5, 2011


testing testing testing
posted by Think_Long at 1:02 PM on November 5, 2011


Very nice.

re: i & b tags, the HTML5 folks appear to have taken the eminently reasonable approach that everyone keeps using them and browsers aren't going to stop doing what people expect here, so let's just say they've got some semantics and move on with life.

If you're worked about standards, there no longer appears to be any reason to feel guilty about this one. Myself, I typed <strong> religiously for years, but <b> is a lot shorter, and pretty much every browser in existence knows exactly what it means.
posted by brennen at 4:54 PM on November 5, 2011


Ctrl-U for Url?
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 5:57 PM on November 5, 2011


so let's just say they've got some semantics and move on

I think they did a lot better than that — they tried to formalize the actual semantics of italics and bold. It's not a merely pragmatic decision (like "we can't stop you people from doing this stupid thing, so we're gonna roll with it"), it's an effort to understand and respect actual usage (like "we get that you're using italics and bold to communicate things about the text, following established typographical traditions, and we want to work with you"). Whether the semantic analysis is right or wrong, at least they're trying to do the right thing.

This makes me realize I need to take a serious look at HTML5.
posted by stebulus at 7:52 PM on November 5, 2011


I think they did a lot better than that — they tried to formalize the actual semantics of italics and bold.

Yeah. I don't really mean to suggest that they didn't grapple with the problem. Actually I think that, while it probably contains a good number of major flaws (what standards effort doesn't?), the "let's proceed from actual usage and work it out" approach has done a lot to improve HTML5 over previous efforts.

I also haven't been involved in the actual politics of the thing, but from the outside, as a dude who has written (and parsed) approximately one metric shit-ton of HTML, they're doing ok. Largely by not being like "you people are doing this stupid thing".

Anyway, all I really meant to say that's pertinent to this thread was pretty much "don't worry about it, <i> & <b> are ok."
posted by brennen at 8:46 PM on November 5, 2011


Now we just need iPhone gestures. (Two finger rhombus for bold, ten finger pinch out for italic?)
posted by ~ at 4:30 AM on November 6, 2011


Hey mods just wanted to say thanks for re-visiting a previous suggestion and deciding to implement it!
posted by radioamy at 9:04 AM on November 6, 2011


Gah, you effed me up. Text boxes in OS X use basic Emacs key bindings, which I use and are now broken for this site. Not that I need my special snowflake requirements to take precedence -- nor do I desire to be Emacs Guy in a UI discussion, but for the record, I vote boo.
posted by middleclasstool at 1:06 PM on November 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Gah, you effed me up. Text boxes in OS X use basic Emacs key bindings, which I use and are now broken for this site. Not that I need my special snowflake requirements to take precedence -- nor do I desire to be Emacs Guy in a UI discussion, but for the record, I vote boo.

Maybe it would be possible to make it so that it could be deactivated in user preferences, for those times that it might interfere with what someone wants to do at the browser level (like middleclasstool's situation above). Perhaps as a checkbox under Website Settings that toggles keyboard shortcuts.
posted by SpacemanStix at 2:05 PM on November 6, 2011


Didn't know about that middleclasstool. What do Emacs key bindings do for you?
posted by pb (staff) at 2:13 PM on November 6, 2011


Basic cursor navigation and character deletion without having to leave the home row. It's really not that big of a deal. If the majority says yea to this, then I'm willing and able to do without. I was mostly just harrumphing.
posted by middleclasstool at 3:30 PM on November 6, 2011


So it looks like you'd lose Ctrl-B and Ctrl-K from this list. Is it possible to map those actions to a different key on your end?
posted by pb (staff) at 3:36 PM on November 6, 2011


Yes, it looks like it is just those two. Like I said, no worries. I can figure something out.
posted by middleclasstool at 5:37 PM on November 6, 2011


What about having just the command-key combinations, not the control key ones, do special things on OS X?
posted by JiBB at 11:17 PM on November 6, 2011


I don't know if I completely support the following argument, but I think it should be made.

It used to be that the way of the web was dumb markup, smart browser. Mefi having its own keyboard shortcuts in textareas is smart markup, and assumes a dumb browser; it makes Mefi less like a page and more like an application; it puts pb in charge of the interface instead of the user. Of course pb is better at it than nearly all the users (certainly including me), but still, as a group we have a large variety of needs and contexts and preferences, so it's better if we are individually in charge of things as fundamental and pervasive in our experience of our computers as how we edit text.
posted by stebulus at 6:44 AM on November 7, 2011


That makes sense, setbulus. I think the problem is that no browser can be smart enough to have conveniences built in for every possible writing situation. We use HTML for formatting here. Many sites use their own WYSIWYG editor. Each different environment is going to have different needs. Until there's a standard for formatting text in a textarea, sites are going to need to provide buttons and keyboard shortcuts to help users format text.
posted by pb (staff) at 7:38 AM on November 7, 2011


Yeah, that's a good point, that the user's purposes are site-specific, and site-specific interfaces can profitably adapt to that.

But here, we use plain old HTML, which is, by design, very very typeable. (On skimming the thread again, I don't find anybody claiming that typing raw HTML is too onerous.) Thus it is a completely feasible option here (as it might not be on other sites) to treat the commenter's task as simply one of text entry, and letting them use their favourite tools for text entry, whatever those may be. I don't see that the need to help users produce HTML is so pressing that it's worth giving up that flexibility, that clean separation of concerns.

...

Are these keyboard shortcuts implementable as a greasemonkey thing (as filthy light thief suggested upthread)? Alternatively, would it be possible to suppress these keyboard shortcuts via greasemonkey?
posted by stebulus at 8:58 AM on November 7, 2011


a greasemonkey thing (as filthy light thief suggested upthread)

And, I belatedly observe, as SpacemanStix mentioned in the original question.

posted by stebulus at 8:59 AM on November 7, 2011


Greasemonkey might be an option either way. I try not to think about that too much because there will always be people who can't use Greasemonkey for one reason or another.

I don't see that the need to help users produce HTML is so pressing that it's worth giving up that flexibility, that clean separation of concerns.

It's all about finding balances. Yes, we use HTML for formatting here. Well, a subset of HTML. Well, a subset of HTML with some additional changes to work with how we use linebreaks. (And so on.) Our job is to find the right balance between the ideal and practical. There will always be folks who lean toward one side of those options or the other. If we go with the ideal clean separation, people who want keyboard shortcuts and can't customize their browser will be disappointed. If we add the keyboard shortcuts then folks who want to use Emacs bindings and can't customize their browser will be disappointed.
posted by pb (staff) at 9:14 AM on November 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't find anybody claiming that typing raw HTML is too onerous.

We've definitely gotten consistent feedback from users over the years that typing the raw HTML is actually too onerous for them, especially on mobile devices. Since we're pretty much a generalist site that skews geeky, we're really not in a position to require users to code all of their own HTML, and especially not in a position to roll back to that as the default position. And some of this is a functionality issue as well. If we don't include the "link" button, people will just paste URLs into the text box [which, with our current setup, means they're not live links] and this has lower utility for users than giving them a link button option and even still, many people don't use it. Same thing with italics. The site has developed a style where you quote a comment using italics and it's an open question how many people would be doing this if there weren't a button. We have to be realistic about our userbase and take all of the feedback to heart even though some of it goes against what we might personally want. And at some level the site is big enough that users' desires will basically always conflict.

I totally get what you're saying stebulus, but there's a pragmatic aspect to what we're doing as well. The site has sort of built tools on top of tools and we've set the expectations of many thousands of users that text entry is going to be more or less a certain way [some tags with buttons, some tags allowed but not with buttons, many tags disallowed] and even small tweaks are seriously contentious.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:20 AM on November 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Even though I just said I try not to think about Greasemonkey, here's a quick script to disable these shortcuts: Disable MetaFilter Textarea Keyboard Shortcuts. I have a hunch that folks who are disappointed with this addition will tend to be folks who are also comfortable using Greasemonkey.
posted by pb (staff) at 10:04 AM on November 7, 2011


I thank you and my neckbeard thanks you.
posted by middleclasstool at 12:00 PM on November 7, 2011


Ok, I guess I'm coming to the limit of how far I want to push the argument. It's clear y'all understand the issue (which is no surprise, since the argument I'm making is at least as old as the web). Like I said, I thought the argument should be made, and y'all are meeting it well. The point about mobile devices is particularly good; I bet your hunch is exactly right, pb; and the facts of user behaviour are what your long experience shows them to be, no matter how clearly superior my luminous techno-utopian vision is.

(People won't learn enough to type <a href=...>?! IT'S EASY ARGH GACK GRAR FNORD THBPPT) (This is one reason I'm not a sysadmin anymore.)

Just one more point about separation of concerns: If the interface is hard to customize, then almost all users will be using the same interface, which means that changing that interface is a political issue. (You alluded to this already, jessamyn.) But if the interface is easy to customize — which needs clean separation of concerns — then people can use whatever kind of interface they want, and changing interfaces is a mere technical matter, which is much more tractable.

That's my theory, and what it is besides.
posted by stebulus at 12:18 PM on November 7, 2011


Good point, but what is a mere technical matter to one person is an insurmountable obstacle to another person. Browser plugins are a viable option for only a small percentage of people. You could argue that we should make all of these changes preferences so non-technical folks can tick boxes to configure things, but giving people too many choices is also hostile. Sending a new, non-technical user to a page with dozens of checkboxes is offloading our responsibility to make decisions.

I hear what you're saying though, and it's important to think through these changes carefully and make sure we're not going to have a slew of unintended consequences.
posted by pb (staff) at 12:29 PM on November 7, 2011


Additionally and weirdly, it really never occurred to me before that we're also sort of answerable to the larger ecosystem of the web in terms of setting expectations correctly with users and their expectations when they come here. So five or six years ago people didn't really expect to be able to do a lot of the things that they'd now like to do [stuff like auto-linking URLs, edit windows, using blockquote tags for example, but also embedding videos or audio, that sort of thing] and so if we do something here that is at large variance with how it's done on other major sites, we have to answer for it in some way. Not that this is a huge deal, but if we keep doing exactly the same thing here and the web changes around us (and it does, boy howdy!) we have to have decent explanations for why we don't do things more like facebook/twitter/nytimes/whatever.

And yeah, I'm with you, I really wish people would just do all their own HTML and we could just focus on a clean user interface and building nifty features. But at some very real level, we all work for the userbase and so we try to balance what they say they need with what we feel is integral to the MeFi experience, such as it is, and also how we want this site to grow. Tricky stuff.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:50 PM on November 7, 2011


what is a mere technical matter to one person is an insurmountable obstacle to another

Absolutely. But even so, isn't it easier to overcome such an obstacle than to mount a political campaign? Finding one person with relevant competence who's willing to help you out has got to be easier than getting a big chunk of the user population to take your side.

(This is a variant on a standard argument that software being open source is beneficial even for users who cannot themselves code.)

answerable to the larger ecosystem of the web

Huh. Yes, that's another good point. Unfortunately for me, it implies that these issues unavoidably include social/cultural/political concerns.

And that point makes me realize that my last line of argument — that it's better for everybody if customization is easy, because that makes some issues technical instead of political — is itself a political position, and what I've been doing in this thread is (a very low-key kind of) activism in support of my political goals.

Damn it.
posted by stebulus at 2:15 PM on November 7, 2011


Markdown?
posted by d. z. wang at 5:16 PM on November 7, 2011


We've discussed Markdown several times in the past, and our answer has always been no. You can take a look through the archives to see some of our past reasoning. Unless there's something new about Markdown as it relates to this discussion I'm afraid the answer is still no.
posted by pb (staff) at 6:55 PM on November 7, 2011


Hi pb, thanks for implementing the keyboard shortcuts! (FWIW, I'm so used to typing out markup, but I think the shortcuts are handy and can imagine using them a lot.)

I wanted to refer back to Rhaomi's comment about Ctrl-L being the Firefox shortcut for selecting the address bar. The new link shortcut assignment, Ctrl-K, is the Firefox (and Chrome) shortcut for using the search engine (in Firefox it selects the search box, and in Chrome it highlights the address bar and prompts for search terms).

So, the conflict that Rhaomi described well about Ctrl-L applies similarly to Ctrl-K -- it will invoke the MeFi form field for "Please enter the site you'd like to link!" but, in FF, the cursor will land inside the search field instead. I either have to click manually on the MeFi link field, or press the Tab key three times to get to it. (Observing this on FF 7.0.1 / Vista.)

Was trying to think of an alternate keyboard shortcut, but nothing pops out at the moment. A lot of the letters that would make some sense with "link" or "URL" are already mapped/used by Firefox. I suppose there's also the option to try Ctrl with an unused punctuation key instead of a letter, but that's also not very intuitive (maybe as a last resort?).

Since Ctrl-U is the shortcut for viewing the page source code in FF (and Chrome), my guess is that'd be even more of a conflict than Ctrl-K since the source opens up in a new window (or tab).

Ctrl-J opens the Downloads window in FF, which might be OK to override from within the comment form, but again it's not exactly a letter that indicates something to do with links/URLs.

After a quick check from within the form and reviewing the Firefox list of shortcuts you linked earlier, the only Ctrl-{letter} shortcuts that seem unmapped by FF are:
- Ctrl-E
- Ctrl-G
- Ctrl-M
- Ctrl-Y (which I think some users will associate with undo or paste, so maybe not the best choice)

In any case, I just wanted to bring up the Ctrl-K issue in case no one else had mentioned it off-thread.
posted by rangefinder 1.4 at 12:47 AM on November 8, 2011


Whoops, I meant redo, not undo, for Ctrl-Y:
- Ctrl-Y (which I think some users will associate with undo redo or paste, so maybe not the best choice)
posted by rangefinder 1.4 at 12:56 AM on November 8, 2011


Control-alt-delete could be replaced by a "self destruct" button.
posted by spitbull at 2:55 AM on November 8, 2011


good catch, rangefinder 1.4, thanks. The code was not stopping the browser keyboard shortcut in Firefox on Windows. It should be now.

And I do think Ctrl-K to search could be useful while you're composing a comment, so I removed it. I think the need to view source (Ctrl-U) while composing a comment will be much less frequent. So I switched the link shortcut to Ctrl-U.
posted by pb (staff) at 3:34 PM on November 8, 2011


Cool, thanks for fixing and changing it, pb!

(I often use Ctrl-U to view source when composing a comment, to search if anyone's already linked to a URL that I'm thinking of mentioning. But I agree that overall, it's probably not used a lot. I know I can just click/navigate outside of the textarea field to use Ctrl-U to bring up the page source, and that's easy enough to do.)
posted by rangefinder 1.4 at 12:28 AM on November 9, 2011


I often use Ctrl-U to view source when composing a comment...

gah, sorry about that. We're in no-win territory here so we're just trying to do the least harm possible. If you're comfortable with Greasemonkey you could remap Ctrl-U.
posted by pb (staff) at 8:35 AM on November 9, 2011


Hey, no worries, pb. I totally agree with you about keeping Ctrl-U as the keyboard shortcut for adding a link. Normally I just need to view source once (unless I'm catching up on a thread even later), so navigating away from the textarea to do that isn't a big deal at all (seriously). Thanks again for adding the shortcuts -- I know I'll find all three of them useful.
posted by rangefinder 1.4 at 10:26 PM on November 9, 2011


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