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Clear typed-in but not-yet-sent replies in iChat 3 Apps
Prior to 10.4, iChat had a feature that was handy: you could start typing a reply, but if you changed your mind, you could hit Escape to erase and clear the typing.

iChat 3.0 doesn't use the Escape key for this any more (it now brings up a list of possible word completions), and it appears that you have to either backspace over everything, or highlight and delete it all! This really bugged me when upgrading...

Luckily, using two Emacs control-key combinations, you can emulate the old behavoir. First hit Control-A followed by Control-K. If you've created multiple paragraphs (say by using Option-Enter), you'll have to use multiple control-K's to clear everything.

[robg adds: This change bugged me, too, as it was very easy to erase the rant poorly constructed sentence you'd just typed and start over. In my case, I found it easier to retrain my fingers to use Command-A (Select All) and then hit Delete. This also handles the multiple-line example properly, since Command-A selects everything. Note that these methods also work in previous versions of iChat, so I haven't marked this hint Tiger-only.]
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Clear typed-in but not-yet-sent replies in iChat 3 | 13 comments | Create New Account
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Clear typed-in but not-yet-sent replies in iChat 3
Authored by: Eukaryote on Sep 20, '05 11:55:31AM
I never knew about the Escape key method of clearing text, but I use a slightly different one that helps me a lot.

If you hold command and press the left or right cursor, it takes you to the end of a line. With up or down it takes you to the top or bottom of everything that you've typed in. If you hold shift at the same time it highlights everything, making for easy deletion of the entire thing, or just one line.

If you want to do just a word, or a few, hold option, instead, and press left or right to move the cursor one word at a time. Once again, hold shift to highlight words as you do it.

The cool thing about these commands is that they work in every single text area throughout the system, (at least so far as I have noticed) including the Safari address and search bars. I find this helpful for getting rid of the end part of addresses if it auto-recognizes past the home page.

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Clear typed-in but not-yet-sent replies in iChat 3
Authored by: meikokun on Sep 20, '05 02:11:07PM

don't forget that command-z undoes the most recent rant/ode/shameful-teenage-poem-scribed-in-a-minute too, if you don't like to hit comm-a, delete



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Clear typed-in but not-yet-sent replies in iChat 3
Authored by: alternapop on Sep 20, '05 02:58:26PM

you can hit Command+A and then just type and it'll automatically replace the existing text. you don't need to hit Delete after Command+A.



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Clear typed-in but not-yet-sent replies in iChat 3
Authored by: Pointless on Sep 20, '05 04:24:02PM

shift + up-arrow = select the line... delete/retype and you're there... all with just using the right hand... works faster for me anyway

---
-what the f**k did I do now?!



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shift-uparrow
Authored by: sjk on Sep 21, '05 09:26:50PM

Man, now I have a reason to practice using that shift key on the right side of the keyboard. :-)



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Clear typed-in but not-yet-sent replies in iChat 3
Authored by: vykor on Sep 20, '05 05:19:36PM

I didn't even know emacs key bindings worked outside of...emacs.

Neat.



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Emacs-style key bindings
Authored by: sjk on Sep 20, '05 06:29:39PM
This might interest you:

Text System Defaults and Key Bindings

The Key Bindings section in particular. Yet another reason to prefer Cocoa apps. :-)

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key bindings vs. accesskeys
Authored by: sjk on Sep 20, '05 06:53:04PM

Oh, I forgot to mention that accesskey support in Safari (et.al.) uses a "control-" character prefix that can annoyingly interfere with your preferred Emacs-style key bindings. A common example is to type control-p during text input on some forum and have it activate the accesskey for "preview post" instead of moving the input cursor to the previous line. And sometimes an accesskey can accidentally invoke the "submit post" function, which can be embarrassing (or worse) when you can't delete or edit such a post.

I've argued that the choice to use the control key as the accesskey prefix on OS X is a poor one because of that issue, especially since the Cocoa bindings predate it. Until there's a user-defined accesskey prefix (or some other fix) my workaround for that infuriating conflict is a PithHelmet machete script that kills all accesskeys in Safari.



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Clear typed-in but not-yet-sent replies in iChat 3
Authored by: kps on Sep 20, '05 07:46:28PM

I want vi key bindings!



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vi vs. emacs bindings
Authored by: sjk on Sep 21, '05 03:56:31PM

Using vi bindings in this context would require entering a mode so single characters would navigate instead of being inserted into the text, then exiting that mode when you're done. That quickly becomes more tedious than the simply adding a modifier key prefix like control or option to characters when you want emacs-style navigation. And emacs bindings are more like traditional Apple shortcuts than vi bindings will ever be. :-)



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Clear typed-in but not-yet-sent replies in iChat 3
Authored by: skully dazed on Sep 23, '05 10:31:16PM

While ctrl-k is good for deleting from the curser position to the end of line, why combine that with ctrl-a when there is a perfectly serviceable method that requires only one key combination, not two.

You can use ctrl-u to delete from the curser position to the beginning of the line. If you're in the middle of the line you can use ctrl-u and ctrl-k to delete the entire line, or first move your cursor to the end of the line with ctrl-e and then use ctrl-u.



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Clear typed-in but not-yet-sent replies in iChat 3
Authored by: sjk on Sep 25, '05 01:05:41PM

Control-u doesn't do a "kill-whole-line" in iChat for me. Maybe you're thinking of how it commonly behaves in interactive shells (bash, tcsh, zsh)?



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Clear typed-in but not-yet-sent replies in iChat 3
Authored by: PCheese on Sep 25, '05 11:00:25AM

I use command-a then command-x to clear the field myself, or just command-a then start typing if I want to rewrite the sentence. It's handy if I change my mind a few messages later, because command-v brings back what I erased.



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