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Change Home/End behavior in Firefox and Thunderbird
Authored by: bkemper on Mar 23, '07 09:41:15AM

Oy. Keyboard editing is one of the things that make the Mac so superior to Windows (or other UNIX based OS's, apparently). Just because you are used to doing something one way does not mean that it is better or "correct".

In applications that use standard Coca text panes, arrow keys are generally for moving distances based on the text, and the grouping of keys above those are for moving distances based on the window contents.

Thus, if you want to move a whole page at a time (where "page" means what is visible in the window) or a whole document at a time (where "document" means the entire contents of the window, including what is scrolled out of view), then you would use the grouping of keys that includes page up and page down. "End" goes to the end of the document, "Home" goes to the home (beginning) of the document.

The right and left arrow keys will move you right and left, either one letter at a time, one word at a time when holding down option/alt, or one whole line at a time (that is, to the beginning or end of a line) when holding command (the key with the apple and/or cloverleaf thing on it). Similarly, the up and down arrow keys move you up and down one line at a time, or one paragraph at a time when holding down option (holding down the command key will replicate the behavior of page up and down, since that is the next largest logical increment of movement).

The scheme means that your right hand is usually on the set of keys that you need for the type of moving around that you need. Holding down the shift keys with any of these combinations also selects the text.

It drives me crazy when I have to use a non-Mac machine (or Microsoft Word)where the keys don't work "correctly". If I already have my hand on the arrow keys for moving around within some text, why would I want to move to a different set of keys to go to the beginning or end of a line? And why is there no obvious way of jumping to the beginning or end of a document?

And for that matter, why does clicking on a single line text field in Windows or Word cause an automatic "select-all" of it? If I want to select all, I will use the "select all" keyboard shortcut (except that, IIRC, it inexplicably doesn't work in Windows single line fields).

FireFox is not a Cocoa app, but it does try to follow the Macintosh UI standards. Camino does a much better job (if you like the Mozilla engine), and of course Safari reigns supreme.



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Change Home/End behavior in Firefox and Thunderbird
Authored by: pascalpp on Mar 23, '07 10:41:57AM

RobG, you should create a 'Switcher' category of hints and post the above comment as the first hint in that category. Maybe edit it for snarkiness. : )



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Change Home/End behavior in Firefox and Thunderbird
Authored by: n8gray on Mar 23, '07 11:00:51AM
Keyboard editing is one of the things that make the Mac so superior to Windows (or other UNIX based OS's, apparently). Just because you are used to doing something one way does not mean that it is better or "correct".

Meditate upon these words, young Grasshopper. When you are suffused with embarrassment, then you will have achieved enlightenment.

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Change Home/End behavior in Firefox and Thunderbird
Authored by: nmerriam on Mar 23, '07 12:16:00PM

I have to admit, there were a lot of things that threw me off when I switched to the Mac, and this was one of them. Amazingly enough, once I simply accepted how it worked and tried to see the logic in Apple's design, 98% of the changes were superior, and more logical.

There are very few choices Apple made in system behavior that are "bad", and many of them stem from what was logical years ago but is no longer so (to which I say they should update the behavior to be logical now, but I can understand the desire for consistency).

Stop fighting it, and you may find out as I did that it makes a heck of a lot more sense to do it the Apple way then to do it the way you're used to.



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Change Home/End behavior in Firefox and Thunderbird
Authored by: pecosbill on Mar 24, '07 08:41:50PM

I cannot agree more. I can't stand having a commonly used key in Windoze like home or end right next to a destructive key (forward delete). I use home / end on the Mac some, but much less so I take the time to target the right key.

---
Pecos Bill



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