Meta Stack Exchange is where users like you discuss bugs, features, and support issues that affect the software powering all 153 Stack Exchange communities.

What is meta?
Here's how it works:
  1. Any Stack Exchange user can ask a question
  2. The community provides support, votes on ideas, and reports bugs
  3. Your voice helps shape the way Stack Exchange operates

When I view any normal site on a Macintosh using Safari, Chrome or Firefox, Command-L selects all the text in the address bar, allowing me to navigate somewhere by URL. This is similar to Alt-D, the command for going to the search box right away, which Jeff had mentioned he likes in a podcast.

I get a little annoyed when the Markdown editor overrides that for creating a hyperlink, especially if no text at all is selected in the editor. Could that key combination be made to work only when text is selected, leaving people who must do it with no text selected to click the icon?

Do you have the capability to track how many users actually type in links, use Markdown by hand for linking, use the link button by clicking on it, use the key combination with text selected and use the key combination with no text selected? Is there some spike in the latter with users of say, Chrome (where the address bar is also the search box)?


If the data, assuming they exist, suggest that people on Macs are using WMD shortcuts erroneously (e.g. pressing Command-L and then Cancel) more than other platforms, I suggest, in agreement with the answer below, that the option to use the WMD with Command modifier key combinations be removed, and notice given that the Control modifier key combos remain in operation.

share|improve this question
Also, Cmd+R should refresh the page rather than insert a line (if there was content being entered, there'd be a confirmation anyway). – BoltClock's a Unicorn Jul 30 '11 at 6:42
alt+d is what moves to the command bar in Windows. – Jeff Atwood Jul 30 '11 at 6:49
@Jeff Atwood thanks for the correct hotkey. – dlamblin Jul 30 '11 at 20:06
And the opposite request: Keyboard Shortcut for formatting posts on Mac should support ⌘. (Which, at the time it was created, only mapped some of the keys, but not all. Nowadays it seems all Ctrl-mappings also apply to Command. Not sure if this is caused by updates in Safari, or in the editor.) – Arjan Jul 30 '11 at 20:29
Someone with a lot of rep decide whether this should go from being tagged discussion to being tagged feature-request. – dlamblin Aug 3 '11 at 20:34
Done - but I recommend that you clarify exactly what the feature is that you're requesting. – Dori Aug 4 '11 at 1:35
+1 for Command-H! – timothymh Jul 5 '12 at 4:17
this has been over a year and no comment about this? can this be changed, or at least give an explanation for why not? this is super annoying. overriding the default shortcut keys is not good UI. – Jeff Nov 16 '12 at 1:52
the only available solution, AFAIK: – Jeff Apr 1 '13 at 3:15
@PopularDemand Data is commonly used in both singular and plural context. There is no need to switch the use. – dlamblin Jun 7 '13 at 0:59
Well, common use alone doesn't prove anything. "how to make foo bar" is commonly used on SO to mean "How can I configure foo to perform bar?" and we fix that... but yes, okay, I admit those aren't equivalent examples. I just still think the word "data" is valid as a plural only, but I know I'm on the losing end of that battle. – Pops Jun 7 '13 at 14:51
up vote 22 down vote accepted

WMD's issues with the Command key () on Mac browsers:


  • should and does: bold selected text


  • should: find next
  • instead: display "Insert image" dialog


  • should: hide browser app
  • instead: creates a heading


  • should and does: italicize selected text


  • should and does: indent selected text


  • should: move cursor to address bar
  • instead: display "Insert hyperlink" dialog


  • should: open file
  • instead: create ordered list


  • should: quit browser
  • instead: insert blockquote


  • should: reload window
  • instead: insert horizontal rule


  • should and does: create unordered list


  • should and does: undo previous edit (albeit with different scope)


  • should: redo previous edit
  • instead: nothing

Summary: 5 of 12 commands work the way Mac users would expect.

The Control key () works correctly:

⌃B - bold selected text
⌃G - display "Insert image" dialog
⌃H - creates a heading
⌃I - italicize selected text
⌃K - indent selected text
⌃L - display "Insert hyperlink" dialog
⌃O - create ordered list
⌃Q - insert blockquote
⌃R - insert horizontal rule
⌃U - create unordered list
⌃Z - undo previous edit

The simplest way to fix the above (imo): stop catching the Command key and stick with Control only.

share|improve this answer
Actually, Command-Z is doing the right thing. If you are typing in any text field and press it, it is the traditional undo typing instead of undo closing tab. – ughoavgfhw Jul 30 '11 at 17:54
Wow, I guess I hadn't noticed the others yet. Generally I like the undo behavior of ⌘Z though. – dlamblin Jul 30 '11 at 20:08
But: how often are you typing in the editor and then wanting to get out of it without first posting? And I too very much disagree about Command-Z. That is Undo Edit in any input field on any website, not just in the WMD editor. Just like it should be, I think. – Arjan Jul 30 '11 at 20:40
(Likewise: Delete is previous page, unless one is in some input field in which it is, err, delete!) – Arjan Jul 30 '11 at 20:57
Yeah see, the behaviors that change due to context as decided by the browser are not the topic here (⌘Z, Delete). Only the changeable behaviors overridden by wmd. – dlamblin Aug 1 '11 at 21:19
How WMD should handle Command-z/Control-z is a red herring: there's no need for it to handle it at all. All browsers handle undo in text boxes. – user149432 Aug 4 '11 at 2:05
I added the commands that work and put ⌘Z in that category. Does what's there now work for everyone? – Dori Aug 4 '11 at 2:09
Thanks Dori; The discussion as it was has moved on to become a feature request, so thanks for your answer and edits. – dlamblin Aug 5 '11 at 5:50
@dlamblin - got a link to it? It's not this one—or at least it's not until there's an answer to my comment above. – Dori Aug 5 '11 at 5:54
@Dori - okay you must be on PDT or something. I made the comment regarding your edit before noticing your comment after the edit. Here's my edited question. Previewing markdown in comments would be nice too eh? – dlamblin Aug 5 '11 at 6:02
You know what's interesting? In Firefox, ⌘I works correctly with the Dvorak keyboard layout. That is, pressing what appears to be ⌘G (but is actually ⌘I) will italicize the selected text. ⌘B also works for me in both Dvorak and Qwerty. – Chris Frederick Aug 5 '11 at 6:05
Command-B and Command-I work perfect in the editor in Chrome, Safari and Firefox on my Mac. And I disagree about the proposed "stop catching the Command key and stick with Control only", as that would need Mac users to use Ctrl-B and Ctrl-I while the Command-B and Command-I are working just fine. – Arjan Aug 5 '11 at 20:46

the option to use the WMD with Command modifier hot-keys be removed

I disagree. Why should Mac users fall back to Ctrl-B and Ctrl-I while the usual Command-B and Command-I work flawlessly nowadays?

(True, Command-L can be an minor annoyance, but I hardly ever want to disregard my edits and use the same browser window. To get an additional window, for me Command-N/Command-T followed by Return are good workarounds for Command-L followed by Command-Return.)

Also, I'm using Windows at work, on which I am used to Ctrl. There Ctrl-L does not get me into the location bar either, while editing. Not a big deal for me either, but I guess this is not just Mac related. In retrospect, the choice for L might have been a bad one.

share|improve this answer
⌘B and ⌘I may work flawlessly for you; they certainly do not for me (Safari 5/OS X 10.6). My #1 frustration is ⌘G, because I use it frequently and the workaround is a real pita—for something where "G" doesn't even make much sense.. – Dori Aug 5 '11 at 22:08
@Dori, are you using an up-to-date version of Safari? Older versions had issues with Command-I and Command-B. – Arjan Aug 6 '11 at 13:51
I understand that ⌘B and ⌘I work under Lion, and I haven't upgraded (yet!). But I've heard no reports of ⌘G working any differently under Lion, and that's my biggest frustration. – Dori Aug 7 '11 at 0:10
@Dori, I'm not on Lion either, but I noticed that Safari was fixed a few weeks ago. That fix is not helping you, but did make Command-B and Command-I work, making (my) Safari behave the same as Chrome and Firefox on 10.6 and 10.5. – Arjan Aug 8 '11 at 5:37

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .