In the past, when I implemented shortcuts for web applications, I used different ones for different browsers: for example Ctrl+Shift+A was used in Chrome, but would be something else, like Ctrl+Shift+C in Firefox, since Firefox reserves the Ctrl+Shift+A shortcut for add-ons.

Actually, I have a project where it would be nice to have the same shortcuts for every browser.

Is there a list of shortcuts which are not reserved in any major browser (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, IE and Opera) or do I have to do my own by listing?

Google wasn't helpful, since it rather shows the list of shortcuts which are common to all major browsers.

  • You can use a CTRL+ALT+SPACE+(...) prefix
    – ionFish
    Commented Jul 9, 2012 at 19:23
  • 2
    I would have thought keyboard shortcuts should (must) be consistent across browsers. Unless you use obscure key combinations then I would have thought there is always the possibility of clashes (particularly if you include browser extensions in the mix). But users might not mind if there is a conflict (if your shortcut does indeed override the underlying browser shortcut). Give your users the ability to disable the shortcuts and, ultimately, to customize them.
    – MrWhite
    Commented Jul 9, 2012 at 21:18
  • @w3d: +1. The inconsistencies were acceptable in previous projects, since the few users who used the shortcuts used the same browser all the time (but yes, if it's possible to be consistent, it's much better). As for the ability to customize the shortcuts, it's an excellent point and an excellent UX suggestion, especially for intranet web apps used 8 hours per day. Commented Jul 9, 2012 at 23:10

1 Answer 1


As you seem to be approaching it, this is probably going to be futile. At best, you're going to come up with a very small list of combinations that don't conflict in the base browsers, then find out that there are plenty of add-ons that then go ahead and use them which are common enough to be a problem anyway.

You should avoid the standard patterns like Ctrl+[letter] altogether. There are JS libraries like Mousetrap that make this easy. For example, one of its options binds your functions to Shift+[foo] patterns instead.

  • 2
    Furthermore, I would like to add that the common approach to this issue is to use key shortcuts without modifiers. Google products use plain text shortcuts, same as Facebook, Trello, and several others.
    – Alpha
    Commented Jul 12, 2012 at 22:58

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