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This is a minor point but annoying. I have just upgraded to version 10.0.2.0 and discovered that you must select a bracket before doing Alt+1, or Alt +7 to make a cell a heading or text cell. This was the case in version 9 but in version 10.0.0.0 it changed so you did not have to select the cell bracket you just did Alt+n. I dislike having to move my hands from the keyboard it was nice in version 10.0.0.0 while it lasted. Is this a bug? Could someone confirm? I don't see any reason why you have to select the cell bracket. Perhaps I am just being cantankerous... (In Help under Text Styling it just states Alt+n, no mention of selecting the bracket.)

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This is not entirely true. You only have to select the cell-bracket if you have already typed something. When the cell contains no input then you can just switch the type.

If you indeed have already some cell-content, then the solution is easy: Press Ctrl+Shift+] to select the cell-bracket of the cell you are currently in.

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  • $\begingroup$ This is a useful workaround to avoid using the mouse-thanks. Is this a bug? $\endgroup$ – Hugh Dec 20 '14 at 15:56
  • $\begingroup$ @Hugh I just learned that this seemed to work in Windows in earlier Mathematica versions. In Linux, I this never worked. I wouldn't say it is a bug. It is just bad UI design. $\endgroup$ – halirutan Dec 20 '14 at 20:20
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Well spotted! I hadn't noticed the behaviour change in v10.0.0 -- probably because I've never found much use for the unshifted versions of the style shortcuts.

I've always preferred ALT-SHIFT-1 over ALT-1 because the shifted version works while I'm still in the middle of typing content into a cell, without having to move the selection point. The good news is that it still works in v10.0.2 (on my Windows 7 64-bit installation anyway).

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  • $\begingroup$ In Linux, this never worked, at least not that I can remember. So when I started typing something, then I cannot change the cell style without marking the cell bracket. I tried version 8.0.4 - 10.0.2 and neither does it work with Alt+1 nor with Alt+Shift+1 :-( $\endgroup$ – halirutan Dec 20 '14 at 20:18
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for your observations. Alt+Shift+n seems to be the work around. I too seem to start typing and then want to change the cell to a heading or text; I never seem to do it before I begin to type. It is a pity that this is not working properly. I think the design of the notebook is very good especially the ability to fold away sections. This detail is just an annoying pity. $\endgroup$ – Hugh Dec 20 '14 at 21:56
  • $\begingroup$ I did not know about the Shift variant of these commands. Is that documented somewhere? +1 of course. $\endgroup$ – Mr.Wizard Feb 4 '15 at 8:11
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    $\begingroup$ @Mr.Wizard I am unaware of any documentation for such key sequences. I somehow found out about it years ago (V5 or V6 maybe?), but I cannot remember if I read about it somewhere or it was just a lucky typing accident. $\endgroup$ – WReach Feb 4 '15 at 15:36
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    $\begingroup$ @Mr.Wizard I found out about the Shift variant through the old Mathgroup. Discussion on how not to use the mouse always interest me. Perhaps someone could write a code that went through combinations of keys to find those that did something? $\endgroup$ – Hugh Feb 5 '15 at 22:03

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