Solved: Ctrl+F3 hotkey not working

I had a problem where the key combination Ctrl+F3 stopped working everywhere. In most editors, this moves a selection to the next instance of the currently select string of characters, so it’s a quick way to skip through all the uses of a function inside a file, for example. It’s a deeply-seated part of my muscle memory, and having it not work is frustrating.

The reason for this turned out to be Parsec, which I had recently installed, and which registered for several global hotkeys that are very commonly used in IDEs. And since Windows prioritizes global hotkeys over application hotkeys, it was eating all my Ctrl+F3 commands. Changing the Parsec hotkeys made my problem go away.

Developers: Don’t do this. Ctrl as the sole modifier for a hotkey should be reserved for applications, where it isn’t already used by the OS (like Ctrl+F, Ctrl+Z, Ctrl+V and Ctrl+C). Same goes for unmodified function keys. F1, F3 and F10 have a canonical purpose in every application. Any combination of modifiers with F1 is probably used by an IDE. Microsoft used to publish interface guidelines that spell this out, but I cannot find a recent version of them, only this page that says it’s discontinued.

3 thoughts on “Solved: Ctrl+F3 hotkey not working

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.