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(Well, there actually is a Q on this topic with a [faq] tag. But I don't see any consensus there so I'm trying to open a [discussion] in attempt to make one so that someone can possibly post it there.)


There are questions where keyboard shortcuts are the main topic. It's expectable (and often appropriate) that users will mention them all over the post. In every sentence, on every line. Single keys. Combinations. Lists of them. And with logic in between.

There should be consensus on how shortcuts should be denoted properly, without interrupting the text flow. As far as I have read, opinions vary on this topic. This is not a simple question. Therefore I believe the consensus should be written, possibly as a guide on this in FAQ.

I'll try to compile list of current possibilities, with notes on potential dangers:

  • just type Ctrl+Shift+T like there`s no markup

    • breaks readability of English text around

    • can lead to ambiguities with keys which name has a meaning (space, Windows, Enter)

  • use italics _Ctrl+Shift+T_ or bold **Ctrl+Shift+T**

    • can easily destroy readability, especially if we need those for their intended use
  • use <kbd>Ctrl</kbd><kbd>Shift</kbd><kbd>T</kbd>

    • distracts attention from the text

    • with its current presentation style, it has problems with line spacing: one can easily end up with a Mah-Jong board (see Q mentioned above)

    • destroys readability of plain-text markup source (that's why Markdown exists in the first place, right?)

  • use Emacs-like C-S-t style

    • not sure everybody will understand them

    • without proper use of rules, it will become ambiguous (e.g. Ctrl+Alt vs. Ctrl+A)

  • invent new markup

    • that was a joke, it could only make things worse

What are some good/best practices on this? Some that are usable also in a shortcut talk? Is there any consensus on usage of above? Could we agree on one here?

Or are there any completely new ideas how to address this?

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