Bug 38891 - Ctrl+Alt+? shortcuts don't work on some keyboard layouts
Summary: Ctrl+Alt+? shortcuts don't work on some keyboard layouts
Status: NEW
Alias: None
Product: LibreOffice
Classification: Unclassified
Component: UI (show other bugs)
(earliest affected)
Inherited From OOo
Hardware: All Windows (All)
: medium major
Assignee: Not Assigned
Depends on:
Blocks: Shortcuts-AltGR
  Show dependency treegraph
Reported: 2011-07-01 08:43 UTC by khagaroth
Modified: 2023-06-15 16:39 UTC (History)
7 users (show)

See Also:
Crash report or crash signature:


Note You need to log in before you can comment on or make changes to this bug.
Description khagaroth 2011-07-01 08:43:42 UTC
Default use of Ctrl+Alt+? shortcuts (where ? is any key) breaks keyboard input in some locales. This combination is used to input characters, that are not directly accessible from the keyboard (\|[]{}<>#&$@).

On Czech keyboard, for example, the shortcut Ctrl+Alt+F (Find and replace introduced in 3.4) is used to enter '[', Ctrl+Alt+C is '&' and so on. The same very likely applies to other keyboard layouts.
Comment 1 Rainer Bielefeld Retired 2011-07-01 11:07:37 UTC
That means:
 Expected (general Czech use): Ctrl+Alt+F types "["
 Actual LibO 3.4.1 CZ:  Ctrl+Alt+F brings up 'Search and Replace' dialog

Your WIN version? WIN Localization?, LibO UI localization?
Comment 2 khagaroth 2011-07-01 12:01:11 UTC
Looks like I messed up, as I didn't notice that my keyboard layout switched to EN-US, that's why I couldn't input any of those extra characters.

So the real bug is actually the opposite of previously reported, as after switching to Czech layout (double checked this time), I can input the special characters, but I can't open the 'Search and replace' dialog (changed the summary accordingly). 

The conclusion is still the same, Ctrl+Alt+? shortcuts shouldn't be used, as they are not guaranteed to work on all keyboard layouts.

(Czech Windows 7, Czech LibO localization, but the behavior depends on the keyboard layout, not on the software localization)
Comment 3 Jeff 2011-08-09 06:13:36 UTC

Reproduce on FrenchUI, with a keyboard's driver for specials characters.

With this special keyboard's driver, AltGr+F give "

With 3.4.2, Ctrl+Alt+F give " too.

No problem wiht default keyboard's driver.

It's possible to differentiate AltGr and Ctrl+Alt ?
Comment 4 Olivier R. 2011-08-11 00:37:07 UTC
I confirm the bug.

Ctrl+Alt is the equivalent of AltGr which modifies often the behavior of keyboard layouts.

The shortcut Ctrl+Alt+F should be replaced by Ctrl+H, which opens the "search and replace" dialog box on many applications, like:
- Microsoft Office
- Notepad++
- PsPad
Comment 5 khagaroth 2011-11-20 02:02:52 UTC
Posting just to get this CCd to kendy as he was the one working on the Findbar.
Comment 6 GerardF 2011-11-20 13:46:58 UTC
Find & Replace is now opened with Ctrl+H in Master.

I don't know if other Ctrl+Alt+Key need to be changed.
If not, this issue can be closed.
Comment 7 khagaroth 2011-11-21 01:39:27 UTC
Only other Ctrl+Alt shortcut that I know of is Ctrl+Alt+C. That should be replaced too and if there are any other then they should be replaced as well. Look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AltGr_key, there basically isn't any safe Ctrl+Alt shortcut on Windows, where Ctrl+Alt == AltGr.
Comment 8 Andras Timar 2011-11-21 06:07:52 UTC
(In reply to comment #7)
> Only other Ctrl+Alt shortcut that I know of is Ctrl+Alt+C. That should be
> replaced too and if there are any other then they should be replaced as well.
> Look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AltGr_key, there basically isn't any safe
> Ctrl+Alt shortcut on Windows, where Ctrl+Alt == AltGr.

Ctrl+Alt+C is for Insert Comment, a rarely used function. The problem is that there are more functions than good shortcuts. Also, I saw many Ctrl+Alt+Shift+? in officecfg/registry/data/org/openoffice/Office/Accelerators.xcu. In theory we should change those, too.
Comment 9 Björn Michaelsen 2011-12-23 12:25:21 UTC Comment hidden (obsolete)
Comment 10 khagaroth 2011-12-23 13:01:37 UTC
Three posts back someone fixed the shortcut for Find and replace (changed it to Ctrl+H), so thats now fixed in 3.5.
But this bug still applies for any current or future introduced Ctrl+Alt+? shortcut. Any such key combination is simply unusable on many keyboard layouts in Windows.
This bug could be possibly closed, because the original reason for this report was fixed, but someone should decide what to do with this limitation, there is no workaround and if LO starts using these shortcuts, half of them (and on some keyboards even more) won't work.
Comment 11 QA Administrators 2015-07-18 17:44:49 UTC Comment hidden (obsolete)
Comment 12 Rogerio Luz Coelho 2015-10-12 15:12:36 UTC
This is a bug since Ooo. 

Every entry in the functions table for Windows that has a shortcut that starts with CTRL+ALT should be changed to one with ALT+SHIFT. 

This makes it virtually impossible for Windows keymaps to send the caracter instead of the function to LibO. 

The ENG-ITL keyboard used in many countries constructs CTRL+ALT as ALTGR so we get a mess in documentation of the shortcut funtions for LibO. 

For example a generally used function such as Comment is supposed to be used by CTRL+ALT+C but what this does (even now in Firefox) is the "©" character. 

This is a major bug because it is a MAJOR pain in the ***  to explain to newcomers on the help lists why this behavious is obvious in Windows boxes. 

Comment 13 Juergen Funk (CIB) 2015-12-17 21:30:15 UTC
Look to tdf#95761
Comment 14 QA Administrators 2018-04-19 02:34:20 UTC Comment hidden (obsolete)
Comment 15 QA Administrators 2020-04-19 03:36:10 UTC Comment hidden (obsolete)
Comment 16 QA Administrators 2023-05-14 03:19:05 UTC Comment hidden (obsolete)
Comment 17 khagaroth 2023-05-15 08:59:34 UTC
This bug still applies, but is a non issue as long as CTRL+ALT+? shortcuts are not used (which they presently aren't, at least in Czech localization).
I would say this should be resolved as a documentation issue - add a warning to  dev docs to not use such shortcuts and also add a warning about the possible (depends on KB layout) conflict in user documentation. Handling AltGr and Ctrl+Alt differently (tdf#95761) is a possible solution as well, but needs to be an optional thing as not all keyboards (especially laptops) come with an AltGr key.
Comment 18 Philippe Cloutier 2023-06-15 16:39:28 UTC
Ctrl+Alt+E is still used for the extension manager, as reported in ticket #119676. As for Ctrl+Alt+C, I reported that it conflicts with BenQ's Display Pilot (which is unrelated to keyboard layout) in ticket #155809.