I use a form maybe 100 times a day. I can tab between the fields with no problem but most of the time I don't have to fill out the entire form and would like to submit it without having to touch the mouse and press the bottom button. The other alternative is to whack Tab ten or twelve times through all the fields. Is there a keyboard convention for submitting a form? How could I design this to submit a form from the keyboard?

Some of the form fields are <textarea> so it probably would be good to keep the <Enter> key as a newline character.

  • 3
    Ctrl-Enter is the usual substitute for a new line in these scenario's. Commented Aug 24, 2011 at 18:51
  • FYI, Gmail uses ⌘/Ctrl + Enter to send
    – Davbog
    Commented Mar 8, 2019 at 17:33

5 Answers 5


Enter is almost always the "submit form now" button whenever you're in a field, if anything the textarea fields are horning in on this functionality and not vice versa; I would nix them and anything that accepts newlines unless it's actually necessary or used by your users. Just look at facebook; almost all the time enter posts immediately, and I like this, facebook is mostly small single paragraphs of text. But in the status post box this doesn't work...the inconsistency is annoying, and rarely if ever is a new line needed.

  • 3
    Yep, new lines could and usually are added by Ctrl-Enter in these circumstances. Commented Aug 24, 2011 at 18:50
  • And +1 for the comment.
    – eBeth
    Commented Aug 25, 2011 at 12:18
  • I would be careful about expecting them to use Ctrl-Enter unless you know they're going to be told/read about the keyboard shortcut (even then be careful). Very few people know about these shortcuts and if they don't use it outside of your program they may forget.
    – Zelda
    Commented Aug 25, 2011 at 13:23
  • 5
    If I'm inside a textarea in your form, and the form submits when I hit "Enter," I will come track you down and gouge out your eyes with a rusty spork.
    – GHP
    Commented Aug 26, 2011 at 18:14
  • That's why I suggest removing text areas all together, except in the rare case where they're needed (like here). If it's repetitive form entry to the point where one would need access to an immediate submit form button, a verbose textarea field is a bad idea in the first place.
    – Zelda
    Commented Aug 26, 2011 at 18:23

I vote for enter key but always let the users know that this is an available option, ie: or press enter description


I suggest to use Ctrl+Enter (or Cmd+Enter for macOS) to submit forms. As time goes by, more and more web apps and software are using this standard that, I guess, came from the shortcut to send emails (you can test it on Gmail).

List of software that uses it:

  • Gmail
  • Outlook
  • Jetbrains IntelliJ (For submitting a commit, a push or a comment on Upsource)
  • Jira (to submit edits on task description)
  • ClickUp (to create a new task)

and many others.


I believe that the [Enter]-key is the convention for submitting the form.


I say keep the enter key, even though it works as a newline in the text areas

Depending on what the form does, ctrl+s or alt+s might be appropriate shortcuts

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