I have noticed that many edits by moderators are to change keystrokes like CTRL + A to the proper Ctrl+A format.

Should information on how to properly use key command formatting be included i.e. on the tour page, or even when trying to post your first question?

I know it took me a very long time to figure out how to correctly format key commands, and I think it would take a lot of load off of the moderators if we could educate new users right from the get go.

  • $\begingroup$ Using kbd is optional even tho it's nicer to read. Generally speaking, edits should be substantial as opposed to small visual changes. See meta.blender.stackexchange.com/questions/241/…. There is a small header above the editing area with helpful tooltips and a help panel. A one minute glance at the help center should get anyone up to scratch with se if they are interested. $\endgroup$
    – iKlsR
    Nov 22, 2014 at 3:49
  • $\begingroup$ From personal experience, I could not find out how to properly format key commands, and every single time I posted a question or answer, it would be edited and the <kbd> tags inserted in the correct places, even if no other edits were made. This was both frustrating, and made me less likely to post anything that required you to press a button. I also could not locate the information on the web for several weeks. $\endgroup$
    – J Sargent
    Nov 22, 2014 at 12:31

2 Answers 2


The most important thing is we get clear & helpful answers, having to know too many details (and being an expert on SE markup) before you begin can also be off-putting.

SHortcuts formatted as Ctrl+C are clear, so any answers without <kbd> markup are still easily understandable.

So prefer not to be picky about this matter, popular answers from less experienced editors will likely be edited to improve the formatting later on anyway.

  • $\begingroup$ Good points. Between this and what @iKlsR said, I think that I understand why we shouldn't do this. $\endgroup$
    – J Sargent
    Nov 22, 2014 at 12:34

I'm inclined to think no.

Most users probably come here just to ask a quick question, and might not ever really plan on coming back regularly when they first join. There are enough active users here to edit and add <kbd> formatting to keyboard shortcuts.

For new users who want to learn/regularly be active, they will figure it out. This information is readily available in the help pages, which are linked in the Ask a question page:

enter image description here

Even if such places are left undiscovered, if active users edit keyboard shortcuts to add kbd formating, a curious user only needs to click edit to see the raw markdown and discover how it was accomplished.

And if all else fails, they can always ask ;)

TL;DR: We shouldn't force irrelevant and unneeded knowledge users don't want or necessarily need to know before they can use the site. Users who do want to know will find out easily enough on their own.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ More excellent points! However, could the <kbd> tag be included on the menu to the right, as how to write key commands? It wouldn't really clutter it, and it would make things a lot easier to figure out. Still, I get all of you guy's points, and maybe it is better just to let them figure it out themselves. It was extremely frustrating on my part, I know that . . . $\endgroup$
    – J Sargent
    Nov 23, 2014 at 3:00
  • $\begingroup$ I couldn't agree more, but that's a feature request for stackexchange. Feel free to ask on the global meta ;). BTW, in case you haven't already found it, iKlsR, CoDEmanX, and I wrote a userscript a while ago which adds a kbd button to the toolbar. $\endgroup$
    – gandalf3 Mod
    Nov 23, 2014 at 3:03
  • $\begingroup$ Sweet! That will save a lot of typing! $\endgroup$
    – J Sargent
    Nov 23, 2014 at 3:05
  • $\begingroup$ I put it on the global meta meta.stackexchange.com/questions/244032/… should I delete this question? $\endgroup$
    – J Sargent
    Nov 23, 2014 at 12:36
  • $\begingroup$ @NoviceInDisguiseGraphics No need to, it's relevant here. $\endgroup$
    – iKlsR
    Nov 23, 2014 at 20:31
  • $\begingroup$ Big difference between forcing it on people and offering the information. I agree that nagging is bad. Educating first time posters regarding the essentials in an entertaining way however is good. I personally miss a <LMB> <MMB> and <RMB> tag. "If they're interested, they will find it" is definitely not what I perceive as 'offering information' though $\endgroup$ Feb 8, 2018 at 18:58
  • $\begingroup$ @Haunt_House <kbd> is part of html, I doubt SE wants to add custom tags :P No reason we can't put RMB MMB and LMB in <kbd> tags, see for example how the <kbd> button script does it. $\endgroup$
    – gandalf3 Mod
    Feb 9, 2018 at 2:24
  • $\begingroup$ @gandalf3 You can persuade almost anyone if you are persistent and elegant and dedicated. I just have more relevant fights to do. I'd still like a cute little mouse with a highlighted button though. $\endgroup$ Feb 9, 2018 at 7:40
  • $\begingroup$ @Haunt_House That's what the kbd script inserts (using an image), see this answer for e.g. $\endgroup$
    – gandalf3 Mod
    Feb 9, 2018 at 7:43

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