Stack Overflow and most (all?) other sites got a pretty kbd style not so long ago.

Will this eventually be propagated to Unix & Linux, or are we sticking with the old one on purpose?

Sample hypothetical before/after renderings (Chromium 19):

old pretty

In a text block before:




Can we get the fancy <kbd>, pretty please?

I mean, this doesn't really look good, does it?

enter image description here

  • 4
    Any news on this front? The biggest problem with the old kbd styling that we currently still have is that they are too large and don't fit in well with surrounding text. Dense usage typical of posts about keyboard shortcuts (which is what kbd tags are for right?) ends up looking like a cramped mess. Semantically kbd tags make more sense but I am sorely tempted to just ignore them and use normal code markup instead, in the interest of readability.
    – jw013
    Oct 3, 2012 at 20:43
  • 3
    This is getting ridiculous...
    – jasonwryan
    Oct 23, 2012 at 17:01
  • No promises, but our designer is looking into it.
    – Jaydles
    Mar 14, 2013 at 15:05
  • @Jaydles: Thanks for the feedback! Expecting an answer in the usual 6-8 week timeframe :-)
    – Mat
    Mar 14, 2013 at 15:14
  • @Shog9: yay! Thanks a lot.
    – Mat
    Apr 16, 2013 at 7:28

2 Answers 2


The nicely styled kbd tags are present in the mobile interface; surely it would not be difficult to migrate the CSS across to the main site?

Update This question presents a compelling argument for the change...

keyboard screenie

  • This is because the mobile site has a common skin, whereas each site gets its own main skin--and SE forgot (or deliberately ignored to preserve the design) unix. Jul 4, 2012 at 20:08
  • 3
    @Manishearth They forgot us?! :)
    – jasonwryan
    Jul 4, 2012 at 20:57
  • 1
    :P Either that or they deliberately wanted the old look of the kbd on U&L. It does look appropriate here, to me :) Jul 5, 2012 at 1:51

With as "nuts & bolts" as Unix & Linux is, I don't think that the kbd format being a little "jarring" is a "bad thing".

It does kind of make the keyboard commands "pop out" at the user, which is a good thing if you're trying to walk through a guide for how to do something, and the keyboard commands help you keep your place.

I think I like keeping the old format.

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