Thursday, January 29, 2009

Ctrl-backspace is broken

Something that continues to really bug me about using Windows is the interface is just so inconsistent. And I'm not talking about Microsoft-delivered apps look and act differently from third-party apps - I mean different Microsoft apps just don't behave the same.

Case in point: Ctrl-Backspace. Why doesn't it do the same thing everywhere?

Under Linux, Ctrl-Backspace always did the same thing, no matter what application I was using: it deleted the current word. For example: I always have a long passphrase, usually 10-12 characters long. When typing my passphrase under Linux, if I got 8 or 9 characters in, then felt I'd mis-typed a key, I'd just hit Ctrl-Backspace and start over.

Under Windows, this doesn't work! At login (or when unlocking the screen) Ctrl-Backspace inserts a Ctrl-Backspace character. How confusing!

Yet in other Microsoft apps, Ctrl-Backspace works "properly", and deletes the current word. It does that in MS Word, MS Powerpoint (but not MS Excel), and Internet Explorer. Use Notepad, and it inserts a Ctrl-Backspace character - but Wordpad works "properly".

I even found another instance where Ctrl-Backspace just backs up over the last character (just the same as hitting Backspace) and another instance where Ctrl-Backspace does nothing (I'm looking at you, Excel.)

These are all Microsoft apps, but they don't act the same. Why the inconsistent behavior!?

1 comment:

  1. Worse yet, in Word 2003, Ctrl-Backspace deleted the current word but left the space in front of it, so that you could immediately start typing the new word. In Word 2007, it deletes the current word AND the space before it. This has absolutely no utility.

    Oh, and in this box right here, Ctrl-Backspace appears to do nothing at all, presumably due to some stupid Javascript, since it works everywhere else in Firefox.


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