Are my two Control keys different?

Steve Fanning stevemfanning.wh at
Wed Jun 3 07:49:57 UTC 2020


I am a member of the Documentation Team, currently helping to update the 
Calc Guide. I have found a system behaviour that I don’t understand and 
wondered whether anybody could explain what is going on?

My keyboard has two Control keys, one located at the bottom left and one 
located a few keys to the right of the space bar. I had assumed that 
they would be interchangeable and that I would be able to use either 
when a Ctrl key was to be pressed. However this assumption appears not 
to be valid in some cases.

An example where my assumption holds can be found by pressing the 
keyboard shortcut Ctrl+F3, which is intended to be equivalent to 
selecting Sheet > Named Ranges and Expressions > Manage in Calc’s Menu 
bar. Both methods display the Manage Names dialog. In this case I can 
use either of my Control keys, the shortcut works for both.

By way of counterexample, the Calc keyboard shortcut Ctrl+F2 is intended 
to be equivalent to selecting Insert > Function in the Menu bar and both 
should display the Function Wizard dialog. However using my left Control 
key, Ctrl+F2 appears to do nothing, while using the right key, Ctrl+F2 
displays the Function Wizard dialog as expected. This behaviour is 
identical for my native Windows 10 version of Calc and for a Linux 
version running in a virtual terminal through VMWare.

So in summary, is there a technical reason why my two Control keys are 
not always interchangeable?


Steve Fanning
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