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request: don’t switch cells on arrow up / down

Right now if I am at the bottom (or top) of the text input for a cell, and press the down (respectively up) arrow key, Observable switches to the adjacent cell, pinning/unpinning cells as necessary, scrolling the page around, and committing/running the cell that was just left.

This violates the basic expectation of standard text boxes (on the web, in other apps, …) that the up/down arrows do nothing at the boundaries of the text. It is also disorienting, and the side effect of running the code from the cell that was just left can have unpleasant consequences. For example if some error was introduced, and many cells depend on that one, the page can end up scrolling wildly with the cursor off screen (I might have mentioned that elsewhere, but the page not re-scrolling in that case should probably also be considered a separate bug).

I don’t think it’s too much hardship for people to use option-shift-tab or option-tab for moving between cells. But if moving to the near boundary of the adjacent cell is important, a different shortcut like option-up/down could be used for this.


I also would prefer if this were made optional. I often hold down the up/down keys to quickly reach the top or bottom of a cell, and wrong timing lands me in a different cell.
At the very least cells should only switch when a single up/down keypress is performed at the top or bottom.

I’m always surprised when I hit down too many times and am suddenly in a new cell. Especially since this can cause a big reflow of the webpage (large cells, cells that output big charts, cells that had been showing a big chart and now return just a single error line, unpinned cell is now open, etc).

I honestly do not want or expect to be able to jump cells in this way. I agree with others here that this is some advanced-user kind of stuff that is better reserved for some special hotkey.

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Thanks for the feedback, folks!

We hear you, and agree that jumping between cells shouldn’t be easy to do inadvertently — and that we can rely on the existing Option-Tab and Shift-Option-Tab hotkeys for now. We’ve removed the arrow key shortcut.