I would never change other people's posts. But when looking for a standard then I'd say simply use the names, separated by a plus-character. Like Control+C, Command+Tab, Shift+Option+Space, Option+Escape. For semantics, and for cases such as Command++, one could add
This seems to works consistently in most cases:
Not all keyboards actually show all symbols. Like Option might not be labelled ⌥. Delete might be the word
delete or a left-pointing arrow on the keyboard, but is ⌫ in the menus. Shift might be ⇧ or
shift. It might not be clear what ⌥ and ⌫ are referring to here:
Not all keys have symbols to start with. Like I've never seen the Control key to show the ⌃ that is used in the menus†. And the Escape key is never labeled ⎋, and the spacebar never ␣.
It's hard to use all symbols perfectly right. Like ⌃ is really the up arrowhead, not the ^ circumflex one gets when pressing Shift-6 on many keyboards. And would one really want to use ⇧ instead of Shift too?
Anyone who does not know what symbol goes with which key, can surely Google it given its name. It's hard to do it the other way around.
Non-Apple devices might not show the symbols correctly. (Like a stock Google Nexus S does not.)
I don't know how screen readers pronounce the symbols. I also don't know if they prefer Ctrl over Control. The latter seems to be the safest choice. Also, using Control+C or Command+N rather than Control-C or Command-N might work better. (On a Mac, using
say "⌥+N or Option+N" works better than
say "⌥-N or Option-N". Also,
say recognizes ⌥ and ⌘, but not ⌃ nor ⇧. But, I've no idea what a screen reader uses, nor what non-Mac screen readers understand.
I dislike the way
<kbd> is rendered on these sites, but I can imagine that HTML-aware screen readers might actually like it. Also, Command++ looks ridiculous, so Command++ helps if one does not want Command+Plus.
As an aside, I'd say that
<kbd>Command+C</kbd>, or wrapping into an additional
<kbd> like in
<kbd> <kbd>Command</kbd>+<kbd>C</kbd> </kbd>, is semantically better than
<kbd>Command</kbd>+<kbd>C</kbd>. But that looks wrong with the keyboard-like rendering on these sites. If it would render differently, then one could drop the separator plus-character, like
Press Command + to zoom is okay to me, while
Press Command + to zoom is not. (Screen capture.) I guess it's too late to change that.
Using a plus-character rather than a hyphen, ensures key combinations are not wrapped at the end of a line.
Apple has changed their keyboards a lot. Remember the Command key being referred to as the Apple key, given its symbol on old keyboards? My August 2006 MacBook still has that Apple key, but not so much for later models. And Apple sells many different keyboards, some having just the labels, others having just the symbols. (True, even the labels differ, like
Folks don't even know why symbols like ⌥ and ⌘ are used.
Not all symbols are easily typed, so one cannot expect everyone to use those. (Again, things will be different for the many keyboard layouts that are used. Heck, even the backtick is hard to type on some keyboards!)
When nitpicking, for return use the word "Return". (Enter is actually a different key.)
And whatever you do: don't use "Alt" to refer to the Option key. True, that text is on the keyboard, but only relevant when using it to control non-Mac software, like a Remote Desktop session to a Windows machine! Mac OS does not use Alt.
† But Apple has a zillion different keyboards, so I might be wrong!