Are my two Control keys different?

Phil Turmel philip at
Wed Jun 3 11:51:36 UTC 2020

Good morning,

On 6/3/20 3:49 AM, Steve Fanning wrote:
> All,
> 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?

The two control keys generate different keyboard scan codes.  By 
*default*, they are routed to the same functions.  But specific 
combinations of left- or right-ctrl with a given key can be re-routed 
based on firmware or installed software.  If you examine the global 
hot-keys features of your OS, or the configuration of international 
keyboards (compose keys, dead keys, etc), you will find that they are 
identified separately.

This is true of left- and right-alt keys as well.


More information about the LibreOffice mailing list