Shortcut keys only work while typing in English

I’ve noticed that when I use a shortcut, e.g. ‘‘c’’ to add a comment, it only works if my keyboard is set to type in English. Perhaps it would work for other languages using the same alphabet, have not checked.
But when I’m typing in Hebrew, and I try to use shortcuts, they don’t work, even though I press the key that corresponds to e.g. the letter c.
This leads to my having to switch language before using a shortcut, then switch back afterwards, which sorta defeats the time-saving purpose.

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if it helps, you can change keyboard language in Windows using left Alt + Shift (or your own custom keyboard shortcut). i’m not sure if i would consider the problem you’re describing a bug, but i do think that iNaturalist should consider allowing folks to define their own iNat shortcuts (by language).

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Yeah, I was debating whether this is a bug or a feature request. I don’t know enough about software stuff to understand how the computer / website interprets input from the same key but with different language settings.

I do use custom shortcuts on my pc :)

I do know that copy/paste shortcuts DO work :
I can type “ctrl-ב” and it works like “ctrl-c”

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The keyboard shortcuts respond to letters, not keys, so if you hit the “c” key and your keyboard sends “ב” iNat doesn’t currently understand that. But, we can make it understand that! The observation detail page currently supports 3 shortcuts. Am I correct that the following mapping shows what those keys correspond to in Hebrew?

i: ן
c: ב
z: ז

The problem is that these characters don’t really “mean” anything in non-English character sets, so it might make more sense to translate the shortcuts too, e.g.

ז: add an identification
ה: add a comment

etc. Which would mean that these shortcuts would themselves need to be dynamic and shift with different languages, which would also mean we would need to document them on the page, all of which sounds good, but makes doing this a bit harder. Add to all this that I’m sure some (many?) people using the site in different languages have become used these English-oriented shortcuts and would be angry if we switched them around. That’s about the point where my brain explodes and I move on to something else.


You did indeed get the letter mapping correct. I’m an immigrant and have only really focused on improving my Hebrew typing in the last year or so, so I had to double check LOL

I am the sort of person who likes to remap shortcuts and make custom input schemes for my videogame controllers, so I would LOVE some shortcut customization options. Pretty sure there’s an open feature request for that. And it would probably be able to incorporate characters not from the Latin alphabet?

But auto-shifting it by language, as you said, would probably frustrate a lot of people.

Not to mention that there may be some disagreement over what characters to use where the translation isn’t obvious.
There is ongoing translation work of the site into Hebrew, and the accepted translation of “identity” being used is “זיהוי”, which is an unambiguous translation. So using ז as a shortcut makes sense. “Comment”, on the other hand, doesn’t translate so neatly. תגובה" means response (and seems to be the accepted translation), but הערה would also make sense. ((I would argue, more sense…))
In addition, Israelis, and probably most peoples?, use ctrl-c/ctrl-v just because it’s been ingrained by being the default for so long. And the c and x and v keys are adjacent, which is not the case with ז/ה nor ז/ת.

This is all indeed very brain-melting.