The editor has key equivalents for all the buttons (Ctrl+B for bold, etc.). However, the most annoying thing to type is <kbd></kbd>, but there's no key equivalent for this. Can haz?

  • But how often do you need to use it? So far, every control that is used most frequently in the editor to improve the format of the post has a shortcut. How often do we really need to use the <kbd> tags? I mean really need it. I just don't see this being accepted by the team if they think it was necessary to remove shortcuts to save (which is much more useful than <kbd> tags IMHO). Aug 17, 2011 at 23:37
  • 1
    Are you saying <kbd> doesn't improve post quality? I was going to edit a post to add <kbd> tags to improve it, but found it annoying when I had more than one set to add. This is also especially noticeable on sites that tend to use a lot of keyboard shortcuts, such as AskDifferent. Also, what do you mean by "to remove shortcuts to save"?
    – jtbandes
    Aug 18, 2011 at 0:12
  • No, I'm saying it's not used as much as the rest of the other controls that do have shortcuts. At one point, it was possible to save drafts through a keyboard shortcut. If you look at Jeff's answer, it seems highly likely that this would be rejected for pretty much the same reason, to save on the code size. Aug 18, 2011 at 0:17
  • @Jeff This is very different from saving drafts. All the shortcut has to do is insert the tiny text snippet.
    – user154510
    Aug 18, 2011 at 2:33
  • @Matthew: I know that, the point I was trying to make was that the shortcut was removed to reduce the size of the code for a not-so-important feature. Even small insignificant things such as this get shot down, especially if it's something that a user script can fix. I'm rather skeptical they'd add in another keyboard shortcut for a feature that isn't used on a regular basis but rather for something that would be used every day. Aug 18, 2011 at 2:48
  • What on earth is wrong with creating an entirely fictitious kbd key using the kbd tag itself?? Aug 13, 2014 at 17:21

4 Answers 4


In the new Stacks Editor, the shortcut Keyboard Ctrl-' is introduced.
Reference: https://github.com/StackExchange/Stacks-Editor/issues/51
Using the new shortcut you are able to create the Keyboard text in the editor.

Screenshot for reference:

Keyboard shortcut added - image

GIF for reference:

Keyboard shortcut added - gif


There's a userscript for this. It adds a keyboard shortcut (AltK), and a kbd button like this:

kbd button appearance

Update: The script now also adds a few other useful markdown shortcuts as well. See the post about the script at Stack Apps.

Directly install it from GitHub. (Requires Tampermonkey, or Violentmonkey, or equivalent.)


If every possible feature had an associated UI button to do the same thing, then there would be a stronger and stronger precedent to always have a UI button to do every little editing task. Then it would be impossible to add a new feature without also adding a new UI button. This is a fast track to a cluttered, unusable UI.

Also, people have been successfully training their fingers to type open-close HTML tags for twenty years. Get used to it.

  • 17
    Agreed, and I don't need a button, I'd just like a keyboard shortcut.
    – jtbandes
    Aug 18, 2011 at 4:04

Adding a keyboard shortcut would probably also include making people aware of its existence? Or make people who already knew about <kbd> use it more often? Please, no, don't increase using <kbd>.

(The formatting only looks acceptable to me on the Apple site. But even there it's not really needed, I feel. On all other sites: ugly, and hence, for me, annoying. As an aside: I see abuse of irrelevant inline tags too. Like . I rarely see a true need for <kbd> or [tag].)

  • I suspect that this (the possibility of increasing awareness about the <kbd> tag) is precisely the reason that we don't have an easier way to use it. Jeff disabled <kbd> completely here on Meta once, citing ridiculous overuse, and he'd probably do the same thing across the network if it became a problem. Given that I like it and wish for it to stay around, I'm not sure a shortcut is a good idea... Aug 18, 2011 at 8:02
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    @Cody What would you say about that though? Getting to Windows 7 shutdown menu with the keyboard (see Jeff's edits)
    – slhck
    Aug 30, 2011 at 17:45
  • Nice find, @slhck. And, I wonder if that's about testing a keyboard shortcut; editing in HTML is not a fun task...
    – Arjan
    Aug 30, 2011 at 17:54
  • what on earth is wrong with using the kbd tag itself?? thus:- <kbd>kbd</kbd> Aug 13, 2014 at 17:25
  • OK simple answer it don't work!! Aug 13, 2014 at 17:26
  • yet <kbd>caps Lock</kbd> does or does it?? Aug 13, 2014 at 17:28
  • Umm... not only the apple site. Many software related sites, like Super User, Graphic Design and Blender to name a few, all use the kbd functionality a lot. Jul 10, 2015 at 15:00

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