Return key doesn't always work in Chrome / Ubuntu
January 8, 2019 6:28 PM   Subscribe

On my laptop, in a few websites I can't use "return" properly. For example, on the web version of What'sApp, return does not send my message. I have to manually click the little arrow key to submit it. Within Gmail, if I type a search term then click return, it doesn't search. I have to click the dropdown for advanced search and then click on the "search" button. Has anyone else seen this before? Is there any fix?

I'm using Ubuntu on a Dell laptop with Chrome browser. Everything works fine in Firefox. Everything worked fine in Chrome with Windows previously. I THINK the problem has existed since I first installed Ubuntu a couple of weeks ago. I have not had any other problems with Ubuntu on this laptop. Everything just worked out of the box.

I have tried disabling all extensions in case one of them is interfering.

When I turn on developer tools and look at the console, there is no error message. It's like the browser is not even detecting that I am pressing the key.

The only similar problems I can find that other people have had involve the enter key not working in their browser at all, i.e. not even for carriage return within Gmail, and I don't have that problem.
posted by lollusc to Computers & Internet (4 answers total)
I had the same problem with GMail's search box in Ubuntu, though in my case it was happening in Firefox. I'm afraid I don't remember when I fixed it. I do know I've had to change my keyboard input method to fix something before, though, and it may have fixed this issue. The third screenshot here shows where you can do this in a default 18.04 install.
posted by whatnotever at 8:05 AM on January 9 [1 favorite]

Web app code is somewhat limited in scope, especially across browsers. If developers make a web form that tabs through correctly on a couple browsers and a couple OSs there's no guarantee that it will work in another browser or OS.

Basically, web developers have to handle various "events" that are user interactions. But there are some inconsistencies. Do they handle "keypress," "key down," "key up," "focus," "click," or what? Most web apps don't handle them all, and different browsers handle them differently.

This description of the key down event might be helpful for some context.
posted by bendy at 9:26 AM on January 9

Whatnotever, you are a genius.

It's some weird interaction with keyboard language. I had German as my default and when I changed that back to English, the problem was solved. (Which is mildly annoying, because I need the German keyboard symbols often enough that having it as default makes sense, but I can live with it.)
posted by lollusc at 3:05 PM on January 9


If you try changing the input method away from IBus, that might work too and let you stick with the German as default.
posted by whatnotever at 6:17 PM on January 9

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