Modern operating systems appear to have fairly standard and consistent behaviour for interacting with text input boxes in various ways. For example:

  • Pressing Home or Alt+LeftArrow will move the cursor to the zeroth character position.
  • Single-clicking will set the cursor under the mouse position, double-clicking will highlight the whole word and triple-clicking will select all the text.
  • Shift+LeftArrow will additively select one character to the left of the cursor, while adding Alt to the combination will increase the additive scope to selecting one word per LeftArrow press.

Where can I find an exhaustive list of all these behaviours?

Apple's Human Interface Guidelines favour technical implementation details over behavioural explanation, and Microsoft's equivalent document focuses more on explaining which specific text box formats to use in given situations.

1 Answer 1


There is no single list since not all keyboards are identical in design. But you'll get quite a lot of them from





I don't know of any generic fine-grain operations for pointing devices (mouse, trackball, touchpad/"skating rink"). They seem to be app-specific, device-specific, or both. E.g.:




And many of them (e.g. text selection) are more easily done with the keyboard alone.

  • Thank you for pointing me in the direction of keyboard shortcuts. Can you link me to any other resources that enumerate mouse interactions too?
    – Bryce
    Sep 19, 2016 at 22:15

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