Enabling the tab key in markdown editor


(Hank Stoever) #1

Hey wonderful discourse maintainers,

I was wondering if there was a policy about enabling the tab key when editing markdown. I was recently composing a list and I wanted to indent, so I hit enter, tab, -, and then space, which triggered the “reply to topic” action unintentionally.

It would be fantastic if users could set a preference to enable the tab key inside text editors.

I’m sorry if this has been discussed before. What do people think?

(Kane York) #2

Hmm, I’m pretty sure that this would hurt accessibility, but it might be a good idea… We already have Ctrl-Enter to submit.

(Jeff Atwood) #3

Tab is expected to move from field to field, so this would seriously hurt keyboard accessibility and standard browser conventions.

(Hank Stoever) #4

Yeah, I totally understand that this would be non-standard behavior and less accessible. The right solution, I think, would be to enable it only by user opt-in.

(cpradio) #5

I can’t even do it in GMail. :frowning:

I was thinking something like CTRL+TAB which you would use in Excel, but I’m not finding any online composers that permit this behavior…

(Marco) #6

In Chrome CTRL TAB takes you to the next… tab.

I think it’s been a poor choice of using the Tab key to move to the next field. But now we have to keep it, it’s too late.

(cpradio) #7

That is browser design 101… You will find that was happening well back in IE 6. So that isn’t a Discourse only issue.

(Jeff Atwood) #8

Tab was used to iterate from field to field for as long as I can remember in computer GUIs.

Per Wikipedia, tab as a key to move from field to field in a GUI dates back to at least 1987.

(Marco) #9

As we all know, when working in a desktop editor, the tab always adds spaces. The problem is the choice of using the same key (tab) to do two completely different things.

Try it in Notepad :slight_smile:

(Rob Reed) #10

This has always bugged me. And I realize it’s not specific to Discourse. But it’s my understanding that Discourse is about ‘reimagining what a modern Internet discussion platform should be today’.

I’m wondering how other people handle it. I fully understand and appreciate the browser convention. This doesn’t change the fact that tab is valid content. Also, it’s preserved when copying and pasting content into the editor. I see it as 2 separate but overlapping issues.

The browser convention issue is resolved with…

But that leaves the content issue.

I’m not bringing this up just to be pedantic. I’m playing around with Discourse as a place to post code and markup snippets and this is something that does come up.


(Jeff Atwood) #11

Never gonna happen on my watch. Tab means move to next field in the browser, always has, always will.


this is a very old topic, so maybe there’s fresh stuff going on, but I’m with Jeff on ‘tab’ meaning field to field. so I came here to ask how I can change this:

tab followed by enter leads to posting the topic/reply.

which is seriously inconvenient in my case. Any suggestions on how I can stop that? thanks!