Different people use different terminology and symbols for Mac keys/commands. I figured we should have one standardized list that can be a point of reference for editing guidelines.
In general, the site should follow Apple’s Style Guide and the macOS Human Interface Guidelines to avoid confusion:
- Names go from most to least common, so use the first in the list whenever possible.
- Terms in italics are obsolete, slang, and/or terms used on other platforms; these should only be used when it's unavoidable.
- No images were used here so that the symbols can be copied/pasted into questions and answers (and please do!).
- When typing shortcuts, don't include characters that aren't pressed. In Safari, for instance, ⌘+ zooms in while ⌘- zooms out. Using ⌘++ or ⌘-+ would just be confusing.
<kbd>tag is problematic: for instance, ⌘+ is readable, but ⌘⇥ is not.
- Bolding shortcuts helps readability, but not inside
- When typing shortcuts, don't separate keystrokes that must be made together. For instance, typing in ⌥ N N or ⌥N N produce different results—and the latter makes it clear which two need to be pressed simultaneously.
- If you're using the
<kbd>tag, that means use ⌥N N, not ⌥ N N.
- If you're using the
- Name(s) and alternate symbols
- Command, Cmd, Cmnd, Clover, Apple
- Control, Ctl, Ctrl
- Option, Opt, Alt
- Caps lock
- Return, Carriage return, ⏎, ␍
- Enter, ⎆, ␤
- Delete, Backspace, ␈
- Forward delete, Fwd delete, Delete, ␡
- Escape, Esc, ␛
- Right arrow
- Left arrow
- Up arrow
- Down arrow
- Page up, PgUp
- Page down, PgDn
- Tab, Tab right, Horizontal tab, ␉
- Shift tab, Tab left
- Space, Blank, ␣
- I'm not crazy about the way this looks either, but there's a limit to what I can do without tables and formatting. If you can improve it, please do!
- This is currently solely based on the American English keyboard, so it could really use some internationalization help.
- These didn't come down from on high; it's a work in progress based on community consensus. If you have suggestions for changes or ideas for additions, add them below for discussion.
Edited to add:
For those who can't see the table above, or who want to know what to type in rather than copy paste, this might help: