I have noticed that many edits by members of various SE sites are to change keystrokes like CTRL + A to the proper Ctrl+A format.

Should information on how to properly use key command formatting be included in the "How To Format" list (i.e. when trying to post your question)? I think we could promote site consistency, and help save a lot of energy of the editing task force by implementing this.

  • 4
    +1 ....maybe only on technology sites -- the others don't really need it as much. ( similar to how MathJax instructions are only found on the science and math sites )
    – MTL
    Nov 23, 2014 at 4:07
  • 1
    And maybe hint about the Windows or Apple symbol Nov 23, 2014 at 4:53

2 Answers 2


I definitely think this is a good idea.

Although we've all seen <kbd>'s go bad, so it might be nice to have a little "you can use the <kbd> tag, but make sure you use it for good" disclaimer. Basically just a sentence that indicates Don't doanythinglikethis.

I think it's good practice to show new users all (or at least most) of the options available to them. I haven't seen anything of the sort be an actual problem for a long time, although that could just mean I'm hanging out in the wrong (right?) tags. But let's not let that come back into style by teaching people how to do something with no indication of when to (or not to) do it. Of course that's more relevant to the Advanced Formatting Help page, where there'd actually be space to take an entire sentence, and that page already has a slight reference to them in a single example.

But yes, on the whole, I think it does a lot for readability and engagement when there are actually keyboard keys involved, so it's definitely worth teaching new users about it.

  • Don't tell people they can do that, and they won't know LOL Keep it secret, keep it safe
    – Jonathan
    Feb 14, 2018 at 20:09

Well, technically speaking, from the editing help page:

If you need to do something that Markdown can't handle, use HTML. Note that we only support a very strict subset of HTML!

And that link does list kbd as an allowed HTML tag. If we document kbd, should dl and dd be documented as well?

Perhaps it could be made more obvious, but I don't think it's that important honestly. After all, if a user comes across a post with something like this he can always [edit] to view the source, and see how it's written.

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