When asking questions, and one isn't familiar with Markdown, adding a button such as this may be very difficult and frustrating.

I think many users's answers and questions involve solutions that involve pressing buttons. Ex. If I wanted to say that they pressed window key+z and Windows didn't undo my window closing... I wouldn't know how to do display the button. Am I the only one who thinks that having the < kbd > text < kbd > (without spaces) displayed without clicking advanced help would be helpful?

Lastly, as I'm not a HTML programmer, realizing that what I was actually looking for was inline HTML. Its hard to know that without seeing what each of these Markdown and/or HTML tags mean. I think there should be an option to "show effect" which would essentially look like this "surround text with ********double asterixes**** or ________double underscores____". Wouldn't that just be easier for everyone?

  • 2
    Windows-Z. Nobody ever complained in almost 800 answers.
    – Daniel Beck Mod
    Aug 30, 2011 at 17:16
  • Related: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/102841/…
    – user59659
    Aug 30, 2011 at 17:26
  • Well, it seems Jeff disabled it for meta once, but without much community support and (imho) no apparent reason. It also seems he's in favor of it now.
    – slhck
    Aug 30, 2011 at 17:30
  • It seems like a good idea, but I am not sure that it will get used a lot.
    – soandos
    Aug 30, 2011 at 19:29
  • I think the way to figure that out is to search through all the questions looking for keywords like "Ctrl" "Shift" "Alt" "Del" and letters by themselves excluding "a" ex. "z" "c" all of these with a plus somewhere between them. We can then probably assume that their talking about pressing keys, and from that we can probably figure out how many are formatted correctly. I understand we may need a mod/dev to do this, and that the search terms aren't perfect (yet, please comment) I also understand that weather the control is available and its use are separate things. Prompts to guide the user
    – wizlog
    Aug 30, 2011 at 19:38
  • to format this way probably would help up the usage.
    – wizlog
    Aug 30, 2011 at 19:39
  • Related to when typing in a 'naked' link (HTTP://WWW. Google.com) it automatically becomes a hyperlinked in the preview. A little popup just like those prompted by up-voting an answer to your question, but not giving it a "check". @daniel IK, used it as a joke...
    – wizlog
    Aug 30, 2011 at 19:44
  • Don't know that superuser ever does that kind of automated editing. Otherwise not a bad idea.
    – soandos
    Aug 30, 2011 at 19:47
  • 1
    I was referring to the formatting I use all the time. I don't bother with <kbd>, and got no complaints so far. It's quicker to type and just as easy to understand.
    – Daniel Beck Mod
    Aug 30, 2011 at 19:48

1 Answer 1


I agree with this. Often there are many posts that include answers using keyboard shortcuts. Its much easier to see the answer and understand it when the key's needed are more defined, and shown well. I was looking for this myself just yesterday, so I agree that it should be added in for users to see.

I do not think it will be abused in any way, as many other Markdown features are currently not abused, such as:


enter code here

$ commands and stuff

(The comments about abusing it are based on another answer for this question, that was deleted.)

  • It can't be abused... How could you abuse a button (format)? By someone answering with... "click the properties button" and the person who asked would look down at their keyboard and be even more confused?
    – wizlog
    Aug 30, 2011 at 19:27
  • @wizlog The comments about abusing it are based on another answer for this question, that was deleted. Aug 30, 2011 at 19:29
  • O I thought that was the process for adding something new...
    – wizlog
    Aug 30, 2011 at 19:50

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