The text box I am writing this in and use to answer questions interferes with my normal browser usage quite a bit, anyone like myself who uses any sort of extension that changes editting areas (Emacs / Vim keybindings) would appreciate the ability to just write the markdown ourselves in a plain old textarea. At the moment the box is a constant source of frustration as you can imagine.

  • 1
    +1, or at least disable the meta key bindings.
    – Josh K
    Commented Jan 26, 2011 at 20:48
  • Looking at the HTML source, the text area is in fact a "plain" text area (i.e. it uses the <textarea> tag). The "fancy" text area is just a plain textbox with key-bindings implemented by JavaScript.
    – In silico
    Commented Jan 26, 2011 at 20:50
  • 1
    yeah, the ctrl-b is what enrages me the most, for emacs users that is move back a character, and here it inserts the bolding stuff, very painful.
    – re5et
    Commented Jan 26, 2011 at 20:51
  • @silico of course, that is what we are talking about. By "plain" I mean default browser behavior.
    – re5et
    Commented Jan 26, 2011 at 20:52
  • @re5et: I said "The "fancy" text area is just a plain textbox with key-bindings implemented by JavaScript." I didn't mean to imply that nothing has been done to it. Of course it does more than the "default" text area.
    – In silico
    Commented Jan 26, 2011 at 20:54
  • 4
    -1 until you change the title to "I reject your text area and substitute my own!" (No, I didn't actually downvote.)
    – Pops
    Commented Jan 26, 2011 at 21:10
  • +1 I'm all for user options Commented Jan 27, 2011 at 11:01
  • ctrl-b is driving me absolutely insane!!! Commented May 20, 2015 at 12:54

2 Answers 2


Why don't you just disable it via a user script? I'm not really kidding here.

In the scenario you describe, you're already modifying the browser which is causing the problem in the first place, so why not write a user script to disable the WMD editor? Note that you'd lose a lot of functionality like draft saving as well...but that seems to be precisely what you're after.

For example, here's a user script that disables the hotkeys: Is there a way to disable the hotkeys?


As argued in another answer you can edit text areas with an editor instead. Then you edit in an environment that works like you want.

Text areas can be integrated with an editor of your choice via plugins such as the Firefox plugin It's All Text. With such a plugin you can effectively switch from editing in a text area to editing the same text in an editor. An example on how to use that plugin is found in an answer to Emacs mode for Stack Overflow's markdown.

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