Community Wishlist Survey 2021/Editing/The Visual Editor for math tags should be usable without the mouse

The Visual Editor for math tags should be usable without the mouse

  • Problem: When using the visual editor you waste always a little bit of time when adding a math tag because you have to leave the keybord, click on the apply changes button and click again at the point you inserted the math tag in the text to return the curser and continue writing. On some articles this really adds up and breaks the writing flow.
  • Who would benefit: Everybody who uses the math tag a lot
  • Proposed solution: A shortcut like shift+enter to apply changes and after that the curser should be behind the new math tag.
  • More comments:
  • Phabricator tickets:
  • Proposer: Nabloodel (talk) 21:51, 18 November 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]


  • Good idea.AMX (talk) 18:00, 21 November 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I'd love to see this too. It's easier for me to copy and paste a short formula and update it with new contents than to "Insert>More>(where is it?!)>Math formula" with the mouse. Ctrl+M as in LyX would be good, and the whole way math editing is done there too: Alt-M-a for α, Alt-M-f for \frac{}{}, etc. (maybe in 2022?). When formulas are inserted, they should be in a (new) "math paragraph style", indented, so that the hackish :<math> would not need to be used any more. Ponor (talk) 03:33, 22 November 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • You can press Ctrl+Enter in any VE dialog to submit it. This works in Math dialogs too. ESanders (WMF) (talk) 16:21, 24 November 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Or Cmd+Enter on macOS. the wub "?!" 15:13, 30 November 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I just came to say that I agree with the editor above. It would be awesome if we had a keyboard shortcut to insert math equations in the visual editor instead of insert>more>etc. — The preceding unsigned comment was added by Braulio rs (talk) 00:59, 27 November 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    There is a shortcut sequence <math that will launch the math dialog. ESanders (WMF) (talk) 16:42, 28 November 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • @Nabloodel: Do the above keyboard shortcuts work for you? —SWilson (WMF) (talk) 02:50, 3 December 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    @SWilson (WMF):The shortcuts do work, but are undiscoverable and unconfigurable (?). Any reason why Ctrl+M could not be a shortcut for (one of) the math dialog(s)? Are there any other shortcut sequences we should know about? Thnx, Ponor (talk) 07:23, 3 December 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • @Nabloodel: The <math shortcut is the same as for various other wikitext shortcuts: if you start typing the beginning of a known construct, VE realises and gives you the appropriate dialog (e.g. <ref to get a reference). The ctrl-enter shortcut is a fairly common one, and is standard in OOUI and therefore in lots of Wikimedia software. As for making them more known about, I think the main reference is mw:VisualEditor/Portal/Keyboard shortcuts. —SWilson (WMF) (talk) 08:13, 3 December 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There is a keyboard shortcut help dialog within the editor itself (under the help menu, or ctrl + ?). There are very few single letter shortcuts that aren’t already in use by VE, the browser or the operating system. The few that are left we probably wouldn’t want to assign to less-frequently used tools like the math dialog.
Other options here may be to implement user customisation as you suggest (although that would be a very complex undertaking) or to use more complex modifiers, like ctrl+shift, or alt+shift. ESanders (WMF) (talk) 12:39, 3 December 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@SWilson (WMF) and ESanders (WMF): There is the acronym RT*M for a reason, I guess :) My apologies. What's confusing is that other menus in VE list the shortcuts, but not the Insert menu. That should be an easy fix. (shortcuts like <MM [or <mm], <SS, <CC would be even more awesome, even if only as easter eggs) Thanks for your responses! Ponor (talk) 16:09, 3 December 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
We distinguish between shortcuts (pres "ctrl+x") and sequences (type "<math") as they behave slightly differently. We currently only short shortcuts in the menu, although what you are suggesting is that we show sequences as well. I think there is an argument for that to happen, especially when no other shortcut is available. ESanders (WMF) (talk) 20:17, 3 December 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@ESanders (WMF):The thing is, only people familiar with wiki markup will discover those sequences, most likely by chance; you can see that from this very proposal and the comments. If my only experience is with VE, I will not want to enter <math>, because that's not something I want to be shown. So yes, please add (some of) those sequences to the menu, I'm sure many will be grateful. You know how bad people are at reading manuals ;) Ponor (talk) 14:47, 4 December 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]