I would like to write out a keyboard shortcut in a sentence, in plain text. This could be in any font - monospaced, or not - but there is no text formatting (color, size, weight), dingbats, or anything like that. For example, if I want the write Ctrl + Enter, I could write:

  • Press Ctrl+Enter to submit the form
  • Press Ctrl + Enter to submit the form
  • Press CTRL + ENTER to submit the form
  • Press [Ctrl] + [Enter] to submit the form
  • etc...

Are there any standards for how to write keyboard keys in plain text?

  • 1
    No standard. Just pick one and stick with it.
    – DA01
    Dec 15, 2016 at 22:57
  • Usually no space around the + because it's a chord, not a sequence.
    – MMacD
    Dec 15, 2016 at 23:09

1 Answer 1


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Compare Google vs Apple:

Apple = Command-C | Command-X | Option-Command-Esc
Google = Ctrl + n | Ctrl + Shift + w | Ctrl + Tab

Google's version makes more sense to me with the + (addition symbol), it's clearly spaced out and not in all caps. Visually more appealing and easier to understand.

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