When I press Ctrl-Backspace, Mathematica inserts what looks either like a tiny white space or sometimes is invisible. Actually, though, it is an ascii character code 8, also enterable in Mathematica as \.08. The presence of this character completely messes up code and is very difficult to diagnose (for example, \.08a is different from a, but they look identical).

I can't imagine the purpose of this behavior but I desperately want to get rid of it. Ideally, Ctrl-Backspace would delete the previous word, like in a sensible application. I would be completely content, though, with disabling all behavior when I press Ctrl-Backspace.

I have tried looking in KeyEventTranslations.tr but I didn't find the origin of this behavior.

Note that I am using Mac OS X 10.9.3 and Mathematica on a MacBook 2012.

  • $\begingroup$ "Ideally, Ctrl-Backspace would delete the previous word, like in a sensible application." ...and like it works here on my Linux box. $\endgroup$
    – halirutan
    Jul 2 '14 at 22:04
  • $\begingroup$ Don't fight OS X, learn how to use it. The standard modifier key for operations on full words is Option, not Control like on Windows/Linux. Use Option-Delete to delete the previous word. $\endgroup$
    – Szabolcs
    Jul 2 '14 at 22:26
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ FYI, this remains an issue in Mathematica 10. $\endgroup$ Aug 21 '14 at 20:28

This isn't an answer, but I think it casts some light on the insidiousness of the problem jondaman21 has found.


Before the last input line was evaluated \.0842 had the color of an unevaluated symbol, but after the last input line was evaluated it is visually indistinguishable from integer 42.


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