The Pitfall of Adding Keyboard Shortcuts to Web Apps

I’ve recently discovered a few keyboard shortcuts in Google Docs, Google’s office suite of applications. But unfortunately, I’ve stumbled onto them by accident while using a shortcut on my OS X operating system. When I tried to hide the browser window using the “Command + H” key combination, something unexpected happened. The “Find and Replace” window popped up inside the app:

<img class=”alignnone” title=”Find and Replace window in Google Docs” src=”/images/0811/find_and_replace.png” alt="” width=”461” height=”293” />

This is problematic because I still want to use my OS X command, but now it’s been overridden by Google. I think web application developers should be careful to check for at least the main window manipulation controls in the popular operating systems like Windows and OS X to make sure their keyboard shortcuts don’t block them.