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    Huh, makes sense in retrospect. However, since it’s such an esoteric difference, apps usually implement some other Return + modifier shortcuts that are more discoverable: Shift and Ctrl/Meta I’ve seen extensively. Funnily enough, I don’t think I’ve ever used the other combo mentioned by the author (Option + Return)

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      Wow, I had no idea! I checked with xev and indeed the keypad key marked “enter” sends a KP_Enter key event, while the main keyboard key marked with “the arrow around the corner” ↵ sends a Return key event.

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        The numeric keypad’s digits also send a different keysym than the other numbers. The hardware distinguishes between most the keys (even left and right modifiers are often different), but software treats them the same way since that’s user expectation almost all the time.

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          yeah, but those are the same events prefixed with KP_, like KP_Home or KP_7. My point was that it isn’t called KP_Return.

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            ah i see. indeed.

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        My Model M here has the label “Enter” on both the main area key and the numpad key. They both act identically unless I set up alternate remappings of these keys in games or my window manager. This article seems very Mac-specific. *shrug*

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          But are they really?

          Like the keypad numbers being different from the number row, and like control alt delete not having a dedicated key, this is historical trivia. It matters if you are designing a keyboard firmware. Otherwise, the pedantry of being right just makes people mad because this distinction was faded long ago.

          And it’s a user input device. It’s meant to input as the user intuits anyway, not as the historian knows it should have once upon a time.

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            So many of the computers I’ve used had separate Enter and Return keys, that I’m more surprised that it’s surprising than that it’s a fact. My PC keyboards have the “carriage return” glyph on both keys, but my Amiga 1200 has a return key and an enter key (my first Amiga was an A600, which didn’t have the numeric keypad or the Enter key). All of the UNIX workstations I’ve used had different keys, so I suppose I just got used to it.

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              That’s why I’ve always been slightly bothered when people call the return key “enter”.

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                Windows keyboards tend to have an Enter key but no Return key, Mac keyboards tend to have a Return key but no Enter key. They’re in the same place and at first glance do exactly the same thing so it’s easy to understand why people would say that.

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                  Even portable Macs used to have an enter key, where the right option key is now situated. I really missed it when it disappeared, only to discover fn+enter quite recently.

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                    Did you mean Fn+Return for Enter?

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                      Haha, of course.

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                    Well, non-Apple keyboards tend to label it “enter” but it sends the keycode that means “return”..

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                      That sounds like a recent development. Almost all non-Apple keyboards I’ve seen have labeled the key with the carriage return symbol, not the text “Enter”.

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                        I think the symbol is more common on ISO layout keyboards. The ANSI Thinkpad and Pixelbook I have both say “Enter”.

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                    Yes, this is one of my favourite pieces of trivia to bring up when I’m in the mood for teasing someone.

                    I’m also consistent in calling it Return, and most people seem to not even notice. (Unless I want to tease them by correcting them when they say Enter.)

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                    My MacBook Pro from 2013 has a key above the right shift key that is labeled:

                    ------------------------------
                    |                     enter  |
                    |                            |
                    |                    return  |
                    ------------------------------
                    
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                      Yeah, in the article, it says that you hit Fn+Return to get Enter. ‘Enter’ is written above to denote that.

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                      TIL. I had no idea about this and I’ve been using computers for three decades and macOS for seven years.

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                        In my experience at least, there was a huge emphasis on learning esoteric keystrokes among the first generation of Mac users. In return, Apple has been pretty consistent with their meaning over the years – for example, the key combo to take a screenshot (Cmd-shift-3) has been in place since the mid-80’s.

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                        This has tripped me up in Sublime Text occasionally. When using the search function, Return will perform the search and Enter will insert a newline in the search field. Sometimes the Enter key is closer at hand and I end up obliterating my search term with a newline.

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                          Funny, that’s the opposite of their intended functions. https://twitter.com/cdespinosa/status/1285399332817010688?s=21

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                          Confusingly, my Thinkpad laptop keyboard has only an Enter key (which isn’t L-shaped, and doesn’t have a return arrow printed), but xev says it sends Return, and indeed it really does seem to act as a Return key in all the ways I can tell from Linux. I’ve been typing so long I don’t think I’ve ever bothered to look at the label on it before, and now I find it highly annoying!

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                            which isn’t L-shaped

                            The (IMO awful) L-shape is found on ISO layouts, while ANSI has the (good) single row key.

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                              The (IMO awful) L-shape is found on ISO layouts, while ANSI has the (good) single row key.

                              Each to their own - I’ve learnt to always hit Return somewhere around its centre and usually miss it when typing on a keyboard with ANSI layout. There is no awful or good here my friend - just a matter of what one is used to.

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                            2020: DaringFireball blogpslains \r \n ..

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                              Those are the carriage return and newline characters, and the blog post is about enter vs. return key codes. Related, but they don’t actually line up.