Looking at the WMD editor tooltips, I see that Ctrl+Q is supposed to create a blockquote:

"Blockquote <blockquote> Ctrl+Q"

In the German keyboard layout, the @ and Q share one key, you would press ALT-GR+Q or the equivalent (as far as keycodes go) CTRL+ALT+Q to get an @.

You can probably see where this leads: Every time I want to type an @ I get:

> Blockquote

on a new line. Doing many XSLT questions I need the @ quite often. Either I type all the code in an external editor, or I need to copy-paste a single @ off some other place around the browser. Every. time.

This annoys the hell out of me. I think checking the CRTL-Q shortcut for the state of the ALT key (must not be depressed) would fix this.

  • 1
    there's a "Gr" key?
    – Jason S
    Commented Jul 3, 2009 at 12:44
  • 2
    @Jason S: on German keyboards there is a ALT-GR key where on US keyboards is the right ALT key. Commented Jul 4, 2009 at 8:48
  • 5
    Not only German keyboards, Turkish keyboards have GR too :)
    – Canavar
    Commented Jul 18, 2009 at 11:49
  • 3
    Spanish keyboards also have this key. Commented Aug 1, 2009 at 12:29
  • Irish keyboards also have this key. On some symbols it gives you an alternative alternative (the € sign, the ¦ broken pipe characted). Alt-GR Q doesn't give me @ in anything however, @ is shift+' for me.
    – Macha
    Commented Aug 1, 2009 at 12:52
  • What browser are you using? This doesn't happen to me.
    – innaM
    Commented Aug 7, 2009 at 9:46
  • Firefox 3.5, on Windows XP, Keyboard layout is "German (IBM)". I'm checking with "German (Germany)"... same thing. I type "@", I get "> Blockquote"
    – Tomalak
    Commented Aug 7, 2009 at 9:51
  • 2
    I get the same behaviour on Windows Vista with FF 3.5; however not on Linux with FF 3.0.
    – balpha StaffMod
    Commented Aug 7, 2009 at 10:00
  • 1
    I can reproduce this in Safe Mode. Commented Aug 7, 2009 at 10:03
  • 3
    Duplicate: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/2051/…
    – laalto
    Commented Aug 8, 2009 at 22:51
  • 2
    The problem cause and solution can be derived from: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AltGr_key#History - As I said, checking for the ALT key would probably fix this (and all the other ALT-GR related) errors.
    – Tomalak
    Commented Aug 10, 2009 at 7:29
  • 3
    +1, annoying as hell :) (Chrome on XP) Commented Oct 6, 2009 at 13:40
  • 2
    This has been an enriching conversation about keyboards Commented Dec 10, 2009 at 2:33
  • 3
    @ilhan please vote to re-open the question. It has been closed as a dupe for another question, but the other question has been closed as a dupe for this one! Circular dependency of two closed questions sucks. Please also ask others to vote for to re-open the question!
    – Tomalak
    Commented Jul 20, 2010 at 0:41
  • 3
    fixed in dev ...
    – waffles
    Commented Jul 20, 2010 at 2:24

8 Answers 8


CTRL-ALT combination no longer maps to any shortcuts CTRL-Q and the rest of them.

Sorry it took us so long to sort this.


Background: why Ctrl-Alt should never be used for keyboard shortcuts. There are many other potentially-troublesome characters... indeed, on the keyboard I use, almost every AltGr+letter combination is used for typing various symbols.

If WMD must use the Ctrl key for shortcuts (and it's questionable, in a browser), it should check that the Alt key is not also held down before triggering.


A similar issue is AltGr + + (next to 0 in the upper row) on this Finnish/Swedish keyboard layout that normally would output a backslash but now toggles backtick enter code here.

So far when having to enter a backslash, I've typed it in some other app and then copy-pasted to SO answer box.

  • 1
    Oh, didn't realise I could have left a comment with 1 rep on mSO, unlike SO where you need 50.
    – laalto
    Commented Jul 4, 2009 at 7:35
  • add French keyboard (use AltGr+**+** for the } symbol)
    – serhio
    Commented Dec 18, 2009 at 23:29

Yes. How can you treat so badly your users from a country that invented a waffle variation as beautiful as this? (Yes, apparently we came up with the heart-shaped waffle.)

alt text http://media.kuechengoetter.de/media/105/12216445942780/waffeln_zutat.jpg

  • 8
    Ein Hoch auf herzförmige Waffeln! Rechtecke sind hässlich.
    – balpha StaffMod
    Commented Mar 26, 2010 at 13:43
  • 2
    Germanen est un weirdesch-lookinen languageschmord.
    – mmyers
    Commented Mar 26, 2010 at 14:05
  • 4
    @Downvoter: That's about Spanish. Totally unrelated.
    – balpha StaffMod
    Commented Mar 26, 2010 at 15:21
  • @bal, It's about using different languageschmords
    – juan
    Commented Mar 26, 2010 at 15:22
  • @Juan Manuel: I'll translate it for you: "Cheers to heart shaped waffles! Rectangles are ugly." Commented Jul 15, 2010 at 7:41

This is how the WMD Editor works. Since Shift + 2 is @ in american keyboards and does not cause trouble there.

This question could be turned into this UV item if the mods change it.

  • The URL is dead, and the whole uservoice thing predates my time here; is there a new URL for this?
    – sarnold
    Commented Jan 24, 2012 at 2:00

These are just shortcuts in the editor. "AltGr" is equal to Ctrl + Alt on a US keyboard. So the shortcuts in question are ctrl+alt+q and ctrl+alt+1.


I see the same behavior. Of course, you can work around this by typing Left Alt + NumPad 0 6 4.


I guess the shortcuts in the WMD editor will have to get localized to solve this...

  • 1
    In general, localized keyboard shortcuts are terrible. You need to learn a different set of shortcuts for each language you understand and you need to stop and think about the lang of the software every time you use them. Does SO need so many keyboard shortcuts that you absolutely have to use Ctrl+Alt? Commented Apr 13, 2010 at 9:33

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