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Cannot type unicode in hex form when character code contains letters

Making moves

When trying to type unicode characters using alt+character code in hexadecimal, Firefox enters menu selection mode when you select a letter. For example, when typing β in unicode, you hold alt and type "+03B2", but typing in B is considered the same as individually hitting alt+B, despite already typing in multiple characters prior to the letter. Typing in alt + any letter activates menu selection mode, which breaks the unicode string, thus making it impossible to type the code. A solution would be to deactivate menu selection mode when alt key is held while the string starts with the numerical plus key which is required to type in unicode in hexadecimal form.


Making moves

Similarly for unicode characters containing F in the hex code triggering the find in page function (Ctrl + F).


On Windows, you can disable Alt from activating menus by changing your menu key. This probably works on other OSes but I don't have personal experience. Here's how you can experiment:

(A) In a new tab, type or paste about:config in the address bar and press Enter/Return. Click the button accepting the risk.

More info on about:config: Configuration Editor for Firefox. Please keep in mind that changes made through this back door aren't fully supported and aren't guaranteed to continue working in the future.

(B) In the search box in the page, type or paste ui.key.menuAccessKey and pause while the list is filtered

(C) Double-click the preference to display an editing field, and change the value as desired (see options below) then press Enter or click the blue check mark button to save the change.

  • 0 => No keys trigger the menus on the menu bar
  • 17 => Ctrl key triggers the menus on the menu bar (Mac OS default)
  • 18 => Alt key triggers the menus on the menu bar (Windows default)



Thanks for the workaround. However, I would prefer not to lose functionality of the menu shortcut for this, so I hope they can implement a way to have any letter input while holding down the alt key to not activate the menu access shortcut, if the + key is pressed first within that same alt key press. Of course, they can also just do this for the A to F key since those are the only ones used for hexadecimal.