I often use the escape key to quickly write mathematical notation in a text cell(e.g. $\pi$ is written when pressing escape+"pi"+escape). I find the escape key annoying to use because it's too far for my fingers to stretch, so I wrote some code to use "/" instead.

The code below replicates the escape key using "/" (to get the alias delimiter). However, for some reason, it does not parse upon the second press of the "/" key. Unfortunately, my solution requires an extra press of any key. For example, to get $\pi$ I have to press "/" then "pi" then "/" and then also the space bar (or any other key). The escape key does not require the extra keypress.

  NotebookEventActions -> {{"KeyDown", "/"} :>
     NotebookWrite[InputNotebook[], "\\[AliasDelimiter]"]}

I'm looking for a way to force the parse to happen upon the second press of "/" without the extra keypress so that it truly replicates the escape key. I'm looking for a solution that uses NotebookEventActions. I know there is an alternative way of editing the keyeventtranslations.nb, however, I am looking for a solution that uses NotebookEventActions specifically.

Any ideas?

P.S. I tried programmatically writing in a space and then deleting it, but it still doesn't parse until I physically press a key on my keyboard.


1 Answer 1


This works in a text cell. I added functionality to move the current selection to a placeholder automatically if one exists (this feature to move to a placeholder broke in Mathematica years ago).

SetOptions[InputNotebook[], NotebookEventActions -> {
   {"KeyDown", ">"} :>
         "InlineCellPosition" /. 
         1] == True,
      FrontEndTokenExecute["Tab"], None];

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