Not that this really matters, but what's the "standard" (or most commonly accepted) order of modifier keys in keyboard commands? For example, one would be more likely to see Ctrl+Alt+T than something like Alt+Ctrl+T.

So suppose I have a hypothetical application with a lot of key commands to document. How would I order something that uses every modifier key?

Ctrl+Fn+Super+Alt+Shift+Menu+Esc+SysRq+Break+D (joke)

And what about Fn?
e.g. some keyboards might have Ctrl+Fn+ instead of Ctrl+Home.

  • Most people put [ctrl] before [alt] before [shift]
    – DavidPostill
    Aug 5 '17 at 19:41
  • I suppose I see that a lot, too, but what about Super/Win? Aug 5 '17 at 19:42
  • {shrug} Don't see those much.
    – DavidPostill
    Aug 5 '17 at 19:43
  • I would have a browse around shortcutworld.com and see how they order them :)
    – DavidPostill
    Aug 5 '17 at 19:44

Looking at the examples in Microsoft's guidelines for keyboard user interface design the order of the modifiers seems to be:

CTRL - ALT - SHIFT - WIN - [key]

This is consistent with the OS X Human Interface Guidelines, which explicitly state that the correct order is:

Control, Option, Shift, Command.

For any other keys that follow, I would say that you may choose your order.

  • That's funny...I would have expected Microsoft to rewrite the convention and make the Win modifier come first. Aug 5 '17 at 22:31
  • @Twisty: This also was a surprise for me, but I theorize that Microsoft thinks of Win as being more than just a modifier.
    – harrymc
    Aug 6 '17 at 6:47
  • I would've thought that [Win] would come between [Ctrl] and [Alt] due to the keyboard layout. Aug 27 '17 at 14:55
  • The 'Win' key didn't exist until 1994 when Microsoft came out with the first 104 key, "Natural Keyboard". The 3 extra keys are 2 windows keys and the menu key which I haven't see on keyboards in a while. Windows 95 was the first OS to recognize the key. The design order was likely created in 1980 for MS-DOS 1.10. -- The Apple Command key has been on Macintosh computers since 1980, but their spec was likely written for the the Apple 1 or ][+ documentation in 1978.. Apr 26 '20 at 0:34

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