Summer of Love this Week: The ESC Hotkey

Holy moly! Temperatures in our neck of the woods are expected to hit 109 degrees today. The Summer of Love keeps on rolling and the features keep on flowing. Today, we're announcing an awesome little treat we've added to LightCMS. It's our first hotkey!

The Versatile ESC Hotkey

Perhaps you've experienced a situation like the following. You're viewing your LightCMS website and you notice something you want to edit, but you're not logged in. To get logged in, you type "/login" into the address bar following your site's domain. But then, after you login, you're now on the home page, not the page you want to edit. So, you re-navigate to the previous page where you can finally make your changes.

If you've been wishing for a faster way to get logged in and start editing we've got you covered.with the new ESC Hotkey. Now, when you're looking at that page you want to edit, simply hit ESC and you'll be taken to your login page. Once logged in, you'll be automatically redirected to the page you were viewing!

But that's not the only trick up our sleeve. The new ESC Hotkey is a very versatile friend. It also performs the following tasks:

  • If you're logged in and looking at one of your pages, the ESC Hotkey will toggle been the preview and edit modes.
  • If you're viewing any system setting screen, the ESC Hotkey will cancel and return you to the page you were editing.

The ESC Hotkey is already live and active in your LightCMS account. Give it a try and let us know what you think in the comments below!

14 comments (Add your own)

1. David wrote:
I'm not sure what the majority of Light users are, but the ESC key will release full screen mode on Macs. I guess one in full screen would have to press ESC twice, once to exit full screen mode in Lion or Mountain Lion and then another time to access the new Light features.

Mon, July 30, 2012 @ 2:31 PM

2. David wrote:
BTW, the ability to log in and edit the page you are looking at instead of landing on the homepage is outstanding. Bravo.

Mon, July 30, 2012 @ 2:32 PM

3. Matthew wrote:
Thanks, David.

We are aware of this behavior. You only have to hit the ESC key once even in full-screen mode on a mac —It will perform the necessary action for you.

The ESC key is already a widely used keybinding in web applications. Its most common binding is to modals or menu contexts. In those instances, you are able to close or cancel them with this shortcut. Our implementation is merely expanding on this common using.


Mon, July 30, 2012 @ 2:53 PM

4. Martin wrote:
Great initiative, UX fail.

Was this initiative for efficiency in the CMS carefully considered before implemented? For all users that use hotkeys, this hotkey has a crucial side-effect:

When you exit the fullscreen-mode in an image-gallery using the hotkey, you are redirected to the login screen, which accidentally re-directs visitors to the login screen.

I am sad this feature cannot be disabled but it should at least be when watching a gallery, since visitors are likely to press esc in that situation.

Please disable the hotkey while being in full-screen, or give us the chance to disable this function.

All the best

Thu, August 30, 2012 @ 2:34 AM

5. Tim Wall wrote:
Martin, thanks for your feedback. We are aware of the the specific issue you mention and we are looking into ways we might be able to improve it.

Thu, August 30, 2012 @ 10:33 AM

6. Martin wrote:
Thanks, and thank you for your CMS, I really believe in you guys and would rather give feedback than search for alternatives any day! Btw. thumbs up for the new responsive implementations—looking forward implementing them :)

Thu, August 30, 2012 @ 7:11 PM

7. Luke wrote:
Is there a way to disable this hotkey?

I really really really don't like hotkeys being forced upon my UX.

Plus, I accidentally discovered this "feature" when trying to exit an image gallery. Not cool.

I'm sure some visitors of LightCMS sites will also get very confused when they try to exit an image, then suddenly get asked to login to something x_x


Thu, September 20, 2012 @ 4:25 PM

8. Luke wrote:
Sorry for the earlier nerd rage. Just a bit frustrating when my site doesn't behave the way I want it to.

You guys do make an awesome product!


Thu, September 20, 2012 @ 5:15 PM

9. Tim Wall wrote:
Luke, no problem. To answer your question, there is not a way to disable the hotkey currently. We are considering ways to improve the functionality and we appreciate your feedback. Thanks!

Fri, September 21, 2012 @ 9:08 AM

10. Sethicus wrote:
Our clients are frequently running into this problem... with phot galleries, the escape key is frequently used to close. Instead, they report that it "freaks out" and takes them to some login screen they are not supposed to see.

Please get rid of this new "functionality", it's hurting business.

Fri, June 7, 2013 @ 10:47 AM

11. Sethicus wrote:
I respect the attempt, however.

Fri, June 7, 2013 @ 10:49 AM

12. Martin wrote:
Over a year ago the ESC-Hotkey to login launched. Some developers liked it—my clients hated it.

What has happened to: "We are considering ways to improve the functionality"

I suggest: disable the hotkey, when users have any modal or full-screen element open like an image-gallery or video. If this is not possible, the hotkey should all-together be disabled, because people are simply used to use the ESC-key to close things in general:

Life is short and I am sad that nothing has happened in a year. My clients are still pissed and if the client says it's a bug—it's a bug. I don't have any client who appreciates this feature.

Improving outdated features is a drag, but it would be much appreciated!

Thu, August 22, 2013 @ 7:45 AM

13. Henning wrote:
Any news regarding "We are considering ways to improve the functionality" ?

It should be possible to disable this feature...

Fri, November 20, 2015 @ 8:50 AM

14. Brett Martin wrote:
Hi Henning,

Thanks for the feedback. I passed this along to our product team for review. I also noticed you submitted a ticket to our support team, so please let us know if there's anything else we can help you with.

Fri, November 20, 2015 @ 10:28 AM

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