key combinations that allow quick access to certain functionality, often used for power users or command line interfaces.

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50
votes
4answers
20k views

Why does backspace go back a page? This behavior is so frustrating!

When using a browser, like Firefox, I appreciate that I can easily navigate my tab history with Alt+← (for back) and Alt+→ (for forward.) That makes perfectly good sense to me, and I've used that ...
26
votes
6answers
1k views

What is the best way to get users to discover and learn keyboard shortcuts

In a mouse driven desktop application, with a ribbon style interface and which has no menubar, what is the best way for users to learn about the shortcuts and accelerators which can help a user work ...
24
votes
4answers
2k views

Why CTRL + C multiple times [duplicate]

I have recently noticed that I press CTRL + C more than once, even if I know that the file has been copied to the clipboard. But I press CTRL + X or CTRL + V only once. Why do I do this? Is this ...
21
votes
5answers
3k views

Are there any recent studies of the “Keyboard vs Mouse”-issue?

Back in the late 80's, Apple Human Interface concluded that the mouse is faster than the keyboard, objectively. But also that every test person subjectively thought that the keyboard was faster. ...
20
votes
6answers
1k views

Why doesn't pasting (Ctrl-V or Command-V) default to unformatted text?

Like most people, I use copy and paste a lot in my day to day life, but I can't think of a single time that I have wanted to copy the formatting over with the content. Instead, I always seem to have ...
15
votes
6answers
526 views

Will a Paste button increase usability?

There comes cases where it's quite obvious that users are most likely to copy and paste a value into a given text-box. One of those cases is a URL fields. This made me thinking of adding a paste ...
15
votes
4answers
1k views

Can you see a good reason to remove the plus sign in Google Chrome's create tab button?

I am talking about this button: The plus sign that used to be on that button has been removed in recent versions. I am very intrigued as to why they might have found it convenient. I'm a ...
14
votes
3answers
653 views

Is Shift+Click for item selection a historical mistake?

I recently encountered a proof of concept demonstration which used the mouse to "drag and select" multiple items in a list. The current, widely accepted solution for multiple item selection is to ...
14
votes
3answers
546 views

Web app keyboard shorcuts

Is it a good practice to give keyboard shortcuts to web apps that allows a user to do tasks that are repeated often. In my personal experience, I've rarely used keyboard shortcuts offered by GMail to ...
12
votes
6answers
6k views

Why doesn't the Mac OSX finder have a Cut option? [closed]

I observed that MacOSX finder does not have a Cut option (or shortcut Command+X) to move the contents. Is there a reason for removing this option? Does it improve usability in any way?
12
votes
1answer
285 views

How should keyboard mnemonics be localized?

Is there a standard approach to localizing (internationalize) keyboard mnemonics? For example, in Windows Notepad in English, if the user types Alt+E then P, the Edit menu opens and then the Paste ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

Why is shortcut command Control-C not trusted again? [duplicate]

Even if users of computers don't know any other shortcut commands, Ctrl-C is a very common one and the easiest for users to pick up. This is backed up with personal experience and little study of most ...
10
votes
4answers
252 views

Where should pasted objects in a drawing application be placed?

We are creating a drawing application where users can add shapes to a canvas. They can cut/copy/paste via keyboard shortcut or context menu. For the context menu, it's pretty clear that the pasted ...
9
votes
1answer
439 views

Most intuitive keyboard shortcut for search & replace dialog

Extending the question on askubuntu what would be the most intuitive solution for the Search & Replace and maybe Find dialog? Ctrl H -- Gnome, Windows Ctrl R -- KDE Ctrl F -- Mac OS Which ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

Patterns for keyboard accessible drop down lists

Are there any standard keyboard shortcuts for making drop down lists appear? (in any kind of software, not just web based.) I'm going to write some JavaScript to make the drop down lists (select and ...
8
votes
4answers
608 views

If the 'delete' key deletes, what key inserts?

I have an application with a standard data grid in which each row represents an object. Our current application uses F6 and F7 for add and delete, respectively. I'd like to keep these around for our ...
8
votes
2answers
243 views

Is there any research into the cost of switching between using a keyboard and a mouse?

My intuition and own experience tells me keyboard shortcut keys can be faster than using the mouse. However, some tasks like browsing the internet or a folder hierarchy truly benefit from using a ...
7
votes
5answers
228 views

Add new field to the form as user focuses on the field

I'd like to hear opinions and pros/cons for the following approach to handling HTML forms http://jsfiddle.net/FsY7y/6/ (this is a simple demo). As user focuses on a field, a new field is added in case ...
7
votes
3answers
260 views

Industry standard for button captions that use a Function Key as the keyboard shortcut

If I have a button that has the caption _Save then when it shows up on the screen it will show the S as underlined. This tells the user that Alt+S will make that button "press". But what is the ...
7
votes
4answers
916 views

Keyboard shortcut to sort columns in a table?

Clicking on column headers in a table to set the sort order (or toggle ascending/descending if already sorting by this column) is a standard UI technique. However, it is mouse-only. Is there a ...
6
votes
4answers
473 views

Unintuitive order of vi directional keys

Currently unix text editor vi has the following keys for navigation. h move left j move down k move up l move right On keyboard they aligned: Left, Down, Up, Right But while ...
6
votes
4answers
463 views

Why most websites don't use keyboard shortcuts?

I was wondering that why websites don't use keyboard shortcuts as often as desktop software tends to. I really like keyboard shortcuts in software, they makes me work more efficiently. But why don't ...
6
votes
2answers
493 views

Keyboard shortcuts on non-QWERTY keyboard layouts

I've been using the Dvorak keyboard layout for a few years, and something that's always bothered me is keyboard shortcuts. On a QWERTY keyboard copy and paste are conveniently positioned as Ctrl+C and ...
5
votes
5answers
469 views

What's a good shortcut key for a global shortcut

I'm writing an app that allows the user to open up a window when they put in a shortcut key. I have this feature working but I would like to know what shortcut key combination would be best. I ...
5
votes
4answers
645 views

Alt key shortcuts anymore?

Do standard users use Alt key shortcuts for controls such as buttons anymore? eg. an OK button could have a shortcut of Alt-K which would be the same as pressing it. Any control on a form or window ...
5
votes
1answer
312 views

Best Practices in keyboard navigation of JavaScript Controls?

Apparently "best practice" when creating DHTML widgets, such as menus etc., is to allow users to navigate to the widget using the tab key, and navigate within the widget using arrow keys. This follows ...
4
votes
7answers
782 views

Dedicated buttons for Copy/Paste on keyboards [closed]

Given that many people (myself included) use these functions a lot, wouldn't it make sense to have two keys that would replace Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V in modern keyboards?
4
votes
5answers
2k views

Shortcut for “Mute”

Is there some sort of accepted keyboard shortcut to mute the sound of a piece of software? I'm mostly interested in Windows, but an answer for Mac would also be appreciated. I was thinking maybe Ctrl ...
4
votes
3answers
144 views

Should shortcut keys be prefaced by shift/alt/ctrl?

In a non-word processing context, is it okay to have key presses do actions without having the user preface them with ctrl, alt, shift or command? If I do have them just be single key presses, do they ...
4
votes
2answers
240 views

What's the convenient key do delete something on Mac?

I've developed a paint application on the web using HTML5 Canvas element and JavaScript. The user can select stuff he drew and then delete it using the Delete key on Windows (which is convenient in ...
4
votes
2answers
364 views

Keyboard shortcuts for blog navigation

Actually this is inspired by 9gag.com's browsing style and as well as some Google sites (like Gmail and Reader.) These sites use keys like J and K keys as a way to browse through posts -- probably ...
4
votes
6answers
611 views

Good example of a Keyboard Shortcut Manager implementation [closed]

I am implementing a keyboard shortcut manager in which the user can assign shortcut keys to global (or contextual) commands in a Windows desktop application. Note that the application has load of ...
4
votes
1answer
85 views

Merits of smaller less verbose keyboards for phones/mobile devices

Are there any merits to using a smaller and or possibly less verbose keyboard on mobile devices in certain scenarios? I was thinking possibly changing keyboards for logins or other areas where you ...
4
votes
2answers
830 views

Emerging conventions for keyboard shortcuts within web applications

Scott Hanselman recently wrote an article titled "The Web is the new Terminal: Are you using the Web's Keyboard Shortcuts and Hotkeys" in which he notes emerging conventions on major sites (Gmail, ...
3
votes
2answers
135 views

What is the best way to disclose hotkeys to my users?

I am developing an intranet web application and have added in a couple of hotkeys such as "expand all". I have made sure to not use any of the same hotkeys as the browsers are already using. I found ...
3
votes
3answers
89 views

Tabulation order in preferences dialog

Let's say I have a basic preferences dialog (tabs at the top, but I could also have put them at the left, it doesn't matter here). I like to use the tabulation key to navigate through the options. ...
3
votes
4answers
654 views

Keyboard shortcut design methodology (for keyboard and touch screen)

What sort of methodologies should I employ to choose which letters and shifting keys to assign to different functions? Is underlining the accelerator letter the best practice, or should I spell out ...
3
votes
2answers
175 views

Best Practices for Hotkeys / Accelerators

In one of our web products we have ‘hot keys’ to allow a customer service rep to maneuver quickly to a specific function without using the mouse. We have a series of tabs in the customer screen which ...
3
votes
2answers
782 views

What function keys can be safely used for a web app?

I'm creating a small web app and I want to be able to toggle it on and off via a keyboard shortcut. I would like to use one of the function keys (F1–F12). I'm planning on overriding F4, F8 or ...
3
votes
1answer
112 views

Hotkeys and localization?

The app runs on a basic handscanner- tiny screen, physical keyboard with English letters and numbers. For 95% of user interactions, the flow is standard happy-path, no keyboard or screen interaction ...
2
votes
3answers
192 views

Starting Instant Search as you type

This is something I've implemented in a Game Library application, the ability to type a letter or a number and have the search box go instantly into focus and search through your library as you type. ...
2
votes
2answers
201 views

What intent does the Tab key convey?

My particular case is an autocomplete dropdown, but this goes for the general use case too: what does the user intend when they hit Tab? Is it merely to leave the current field, or to deliberately ...
2
votes
1answer
55 views

Is multi-layer ESCAPE expected?

We design an application, containing a grid with an active filter search and inline-editable columns. Each row represents a record, of which multiple fields are editable. The application should be ...
2
votes
1answer
104 views

Is it reasonable to expect users to know the F1 short-cut to access help

I am creating some in-line help documentation for my software and I was wondering whether it is reasonable to expect that the user knows that pressing the F1 key will allow them to access this help, ...
2
votes
2answers
112 views

For programmers, what's the most intuitive keyboard shortcut for switching between programming logic and unit tests?

I'm developing a browser-based application for programming and unit-testing. What's the best keyboard shortcut to switch between the programming pane and the unit-testing pane? Ctrl+T would seem good ...
2
votes
1answer
46 views

Adding keyboard shortcuts to the web

I am a heavy keyboard shortcut user. Given that I have a web application, which may require heavy browsing (let's say.. craigslist rentals section), would it be better to have keyboard shortcuts for ...
2
votes
2answers
275 views

Dialogue Box supposed to be closed by default with the [ESC] key?

I started working for a software company, and while using the software we produce, I noticed that the dialogue boxes that we pop-up aren't closed with the [ESC] button. I'm assuming this would be the ...
2
votes
1answer
154 views

Should Desktop UI Patterns include Keyboard Shortcuts?

Not much to describe here. But I think that it'd be a good idea to have UI-Pattern documents to suggest relevant keyboard shortcuts. However, I haven't seen it anywhere and I'm wondering whether this ...
2
votes
1answer
112 views

Submitting form to new window

On websites, links can be opened in new windows/tabs using the middle-click button, CTRL+left click or Context Menu->'Open in new tab' option. However, this behaviour seems to be not implemented for ...
2
votes
1answer
91 views

Accesskeys for enterprise web apps / SaaS - worth it?

(Not sure what accesskeys are? Here is an ALA post about them) If you've ever implemented accesskeys on a web app, do you know if they got used (outside of accessibility concerns)? There seem to be ...