+ and - Keyboard accelerators inaccessible on international keyboards (larger/smaller font size)

Assigned to



Keyboard: Navigation
17 years ago
6 years ago


(Reporter: Tim Magnussen, Assigned: Kathleen Brade)


({helpwanted, intl})

helpwanted, intl

Firefox Tracking Flags

(Not tracked)




17 years ago
alt+[, alt+], alt+-, alt+= are used in the Composer for controlling the font and
paragraph properties. These keys cannot be accessed with eg. a danish keyboard
("[]" chars lies on AltGr+8/9). It would be very nice if there was a
non-dificult way to change the keyboard accelerators.


17 years ago
Component: XBL → Keyboard Navigation

Comment 1

17 years ago
-> aaron
Assignee: hyatt → aaronl

Comment 2

17 years ago
This may be a duplicate bug...
Ever confirmed: true

Comment 3

17 years ago
Roy, what should I do with this one?

Comment 4

17 years ago
Same problem with a german keyboard on W2K.
I suggest Platform->all

Comment 5

17 years ago
[] are changing to tab/shift-tab iirc 

Comment 6

17 years ago
The keybindings with [ and ] are covered in bug #92284.
Unless this bug is intended to be a meta bug, we can have it cover the +/-
keybindings in Composer.

Aaron--if this isn't a meta bug, you can just assign this bug to me.
OS: Linux → All
Hardware: PC → All

Comment 7

17 years ago
Ask and ye shall receive
Assignee: aaronl → brade


17 years ago
Keywords: intl
Summary: Keyboard accelerators inaccesible on international keyboards → + and - Keyboard accelerators inaccesible on international keyboards
Target Milestone: --- → mozilla1.0


17 years ago
Whiteboard: EDITORBASE
Target Milestone: mozilla1.0 → mozilla0.9.6

Comment 8

16 years ago
The + and - keys are used by Browser to increase and decrease the base font size,
correct? So doesn't the Browser also see this problem for that keybinding?
Composer uses the same keys because this is related action: increase,
decrease font size while editing.
I don't think this is a Composer issue. 

Comment 9

16 years ago
We have decided to remove these keybindings altogether in Composer unless a 
workable solution can be found.  

Navigator and Mail have these keybindings as well.  So we need to address this 
bug there (and anywhere else it may appear).

Would , and . work or do those cause problems on intl keyboards as well?
Control-9 and Control-0?

Comment 10

16 years ago
',', '.' and '0', '9' would work on scandinavian keyboards I but don't know 
about the rest of the world. 
What about using <tab> / <shift-tab> for indenting / unindenting the selected 

Comment 11

16 years ago
See bug 98624 about using Tab key for indenting/outdenting.

Comment 12

16 years ago
This bug (in Composer) is for keybindings for larger/smaller font size.  Browser 
and Mail have similar functionality attached to the same keybindings.
Summary: + and - Keyboard accelerators inaccesible on international keyboards → + and - Keyboard accelerators inaccesible on international keyboards (larger/smaller font size)

Comment 13

16 years ago
Aaron, Jennifer--I need guidance on this bug.  I am planning to remove + and - as 
keybindings in Composer.  However, Navigator and Mail also have keybindings (and 
possibly other areas?).  Should we just remove the shortcut or should we provide 
an alternate keybinding (if so, what should they be?).

Aaron--Do we have a policy to not use these keybindings?

Jennifer--Should this bug cover all uses of + and - in keybindings or just 
Composer?  Do any specs need to be updated to not use these as accelerators or 

Is there anyone else who should be consulted?
Summary: + and - Keyboard accelerators inaccesible on international keyboards (larger/smaller font size) → + and - Keyboard accelerators inaccessible on international keyboards (larger/smaller font size)

Comment 14

16 years ago
I recommend that we not remove the keybindings, but provide alternatives if it's
a very common function.

If it's not so common, and it's still accessible enough through the menus that
might be good enough for some things. Usually that means it's only a quick 2-3
keystrokes away instead of just 1. If people are only using that command once or
twice per hour, that's good enough. It's not worth using up important keys for
rare commands.

For the commands you are considering alternatives for, how many keystrokes does
it take to do the command without the accelerator? How often do you think the
command will be utilized?

Comment 15

16 years ago
I don't know the actual frequency #'s regarding usage, but I would guess these 
accelerators are pretty popular, especially when viewing web pages.

Comment 16

16 years ago
As someone who is somewhat visually impaired, I can tell you that these are 
VERY important accelerator keys and use them all the time. You cannot expect 
users to rely on every web designer's whim for font sizes. 

Move them if you must, but please don't remove them.

Comment 17

16 years ago
Since these commands are high usage in both Composer and Navigator, we should 
probably have a keybinding on them.

Jennifer, Aaron:  Could you suggest some alternates we might use so that non-US 
keyboards can make use of these popular commands as well?  Could we use accel-
shift-, and accel-shift-. ?  I believe that those are i18n-friendly.  Are they 
already being used?  (Note: accel-. is reserved for "cancel" on Macintosh)

Comment 18

16 years ago
We're not going to remove these keystrokes, but we need alternatives for
keyboards that don't have them.

Since they're usable from the menus - a couple keystrokes instead of one, I
doubt they're popular enough to take away another set of possible accelerator
combos from the few we have left available. We're *desparately* short on key combos.

Again, since it's available with 3 keystrokes instead of 1 (Alt+V Z M and Alt+V
Z L), I don't think this is crucial. For users that need this all the time, once
that becomes part of their users muscle memory, it becomes like typing the word
"and". Very quick.

I would also imagine that intl 101 key keyboards have the + and - key on the
numpad. Can we make it also work with accel+numpadplus and accel+numpadminus?

Also, remember that as long as every keyboard has one set of accelerators
available, we're okay. 

For example, we could make accel+[ or ] redundant with + and -. Someone can
check to see if most/every keyboard layout that doesn't have +/- Has [ and ]
instead. The keyboard FAQ has a  link that points to diagrams of intl keyboard


Comment 19

16 years ago
if you're visually impaired, shouldn't you be using a user style sheet that has
fixed font sizes/ranges and !important?

someone described the browser as a useragent, and as such it should be helping
you to browse the web, not helping designers make it hard for you to see their
pages. this is where user.css should come into play.


16 years ago
Target Milestone: mozilla0.9.6 → mozilla0.9.9

Comment 20

16 years ago
removing EDITORBASE per meeting
Whiteboard: EDITORBASE


16 years ago
Target Milestone: mozilla0.9.9 → ---

Comment 21

16 years ago
removing myself from the cc list


16 years ago
Keywords: helpwanted
Target Milestone: --- → Future
*** Bug 277652 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***

Comment 23

12 years ago
This seems to be the oldest relevant bug.

This is still a problem, with firefox 1.5 
Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.8) Gecko/20051111 Firefox/1.5

I can use ctrl-+ and ctrl-- on the num pad, I can use ctrl-Ö for ctrl-+, as ö is in the same place as + would be on a us-english keyboard, and I can use ctrl-= as it appears properly on my keyboard.  ctrl-- works if I use what's labelled on my keyboard, but not if I use the key that actually makes a -.  (ie, for me, ctrl-þ has the effect of ctrl--)

gah.  I can type these keys! I can type + and -.  I can press ctrl and that key.  Why is something grabbing key events from some weird level before they are actually relevant?
Depends on: 359638
QA Contact: jrgmorrison → keyboard.navigation
Is this still relevant?
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