The keyboard shortcuts for bold and italics on SO et al is incorrectly implemented on Mac, IMHO.

On Mac, we use the key to invoke keyboard shortcuts. However, on SO, I have to remember to use control.

Can we get the for keyboard shortcuts implemented please?

  • I am upvoting you now... not because I think we need this support, but, because the support is inconsistent across browsers :-) Commented Feb 8, 2011 at 22:43
  • Seems to be [status-completed], at least in current versions of Safari? (And some don't like that...)
    – Arjan
    Commented Jul 30, 2011 at 20:36

5 Answers 5


Update: nowadays, in Safari 5.1 on OS X 10.6, all keys seem to work for both Ctrl and Command, including Command-B and Command-I. I guess an update on Safari has fixed this; on an OS X 10.5 Safari 5.0.5 still showed the old behaviour, but not after I now updated it to 5.0.6.

Oddly enough, in Safari: Command-L does work (a tiny bit annoying, as I'm used to that to go into the location bar, but that's not happening a lot when I've started typing something). And so do Command-Q and Command-H (more annoying, as those are Quit and Hide on a Mac). Also: Command-G, Command-K, Command-O and others.

But, in Safari: not so much for bold and italic.

So: maybe Safari is only listening to keys that normally have some other meaning, and ignoring anything that Safari does not know about? If true, then map Command-B and Command-I to some of Safari's menu items, and you're settled.

  • 2
    To clarify off-hand, there was a WebKit bug that prevented Command + B, Command + I, and Command + A events from being raised in certain scenarios, because Safari was trying to use them for its own formatting shortcuts. To my knowledge, this was fixed sometime last year, but it seems that maybe the changes weren't pulled into Safari until recently.
    – Tim Stone
    Commented Aug 6, 2011 at 13:45

No, no, no, no, no!

This web app should not be hijacking my key! That key is for commands sent to the native application, in which a website happens to be displayed. You want ⌘-Q to be "blockquote"? ⌘-O to start a list? These key combinations have established meanings for which I (and plenty of other users) have decades of muscle memory. It's bad enough Control-B (emacs for "move back a character", which you can use in text editing on Mac OS X) gets commandeered for "mark up bold text". There's no way a web app should be changing the fundamental key bindings of my OS.

Stay off my lawn keyboard!


I hate Command+R is bound to insert ruler in editor window because it overrides refresh.


I've just checked: both versions work in Chrome, with cmd and control.

Kudos to SO team, very considerate.

  • Not by me... Incidentally, I can't seem to copy in chat either.
    – Moshe
    Commented Feb 8, 2011 at 22:21
  • @Moshe What browser? Commented Feb 8, 2011 at 22:22
  • @Moshe that's a separate issue Commented Feb 8, 2011 at 22:22
  • @NikitaRybak - Safari 5 on 10.6.6
    – Moshe
    Commented Feb 8, 2011 at 22:25
  • I can confirm it does not work in Safari. Commented Feb 8, 2011 at 22:26
  • And that it does in Chrome. Okay... strange. Commented Feb 8, 2011 at 22:42

This will be very difficult to implement because detecting the Command key on Mac OS using JavaScript is done very differently. I don't think it's worth it.

Also, it's likely that the OS will capture Command-key equivalents before the application does. It's very rare to be able to use -Any key combination on websites. I don't think most users will expect it.

Besides, should you just be writing markdown? :-)

EDIT: I can confirm this does work in Chrome for Mac... Meaning I change my position. This should be fixed to be made uniform. Either support it uniformly, or don't.

  • I actually find that most websites support ⌘ vis-a-vis the browser itself, as opposed to built in editors.
    – Moshe
    Commented Feb 8, 2011 at 22:47

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