Keyboard problems
February 7, 2004 10:21 AM   Subscribe

Demons of the keyboard - I use both an iMac and an Apple laptop, and they both have certain keys which fill me with dread. The "Esc" and "Clear" keys erase the text in my browser's (IE 5.0,5.1) text input box. How can I turn off these key functions or resurrect the deleted text ? (more inside)

The Satanic "Esc" and "Clear" keys. I am a spastic, sloppy typist and - when I am typing text into my browser's text field (IE 5.0, 5.1), if I hit either of those keys, my typed text all vanishes. After this happened to me a few times, initially, I took up the habit of just grabbing text out of the browser text input field and dropping it on my desktop for periodic spot backups. But sometimes I forget to do this and still lose chunks of text. With my habit of writing epic Metafilter comments now metasticizing into short stories, you can see the problem. Maybe I just need to truncate the comments and lose the habit, but the forum helps to get my creative juices flowing.

Is there any way I can turn off that evil, sadistic function of those keys ? Or does anyone know how to restore the deleted text ? I assumed that it was just dumped from the RAM memory, forever gone.
posted by troutfishing to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
( Waaah !....Waaaaah! )
posted by troutfishing at 10:26 AM on February 7, 2004

You could try this lil' haxie: U.S. International,
a keyboard mapper which mimmics Windows style settings.
posted by Smart Dalek at 10:34 AM on February 7, 2004

It's a particularly nasty "feature" because you can't undo it. If you're not too attached to Explorer, you'd be safe from those keys in Safari. (Or are we talking OS 9?)
posted by teg at 11:08 AM on February 7, 2004

not sure what keys you're talking about, but ctrl-z undoes editing changes in ie on windows.
posted by andrew cooke at 11:29 AM on February 7, 2004

IE is also flaky about preserving filled out form information on a "back" or "reload"... Mozilla's behavior is superior in this regard.

There are so many forms of Moz goodness on the Mac (Camino, Firebird, and Mozilla itself), not to mention Safari, that you really ought to look at migrating to one or two of them. I haven't completely ditched IE 5, but Microsoft has, and that says a lot right there.

For a while, though, when IE was pretty much the only viable option on OS X, I made sure anything long I wrote I composed in TextEdit or something like that and then pasted into a browser window.
posted by weston at 11:35 AM on February 7, 2004

Could you just pop them out of the keyboard?
posted by stoneegg21 at 12:41 PM on February 7, 2004

That's a thought, stoneegg21 -- I actually did this with my laptop when the capslock key got hypersensitive -- but escape is a reasonably important key. You'd want it.

Come to think of it, though, where is this "clear" key, trout? I don't seem to have one.
posted by weston at 12:46 PM on February 7, 2004

Wow, I've never noticed that. You can use Ctrl-Z or alt-Backspace (on Windows) to restore text after you delete it or type over it, but neither one works if you use ESC to clear the window.

I've never hit that particular key by mistake, though.
posted by mmoncur at 12:59 AM on February 8, 2004

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