Ask Different is a question and answer site for power users of Apple hardware and software. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Ever since I installed osx and xcode on my new macbook (about a year ago) I got this weirdest problem I can't get rid of. Anytime I press Esc key in xcode, one character gets printed. I can't copy paste it here (it won't paste anything), but it looks like upside-down question mark. When I paste it to the Pages app, it looks like ordinary exclamation mark, probably because of different encoding or something.

This is very annoying, how can I get rid of it? I sure hope it is not a desirable feature. Reinstalling xcode or upgrading from 4.2 to 4.3 didn't help, upgrading osx from 1.6 to 1.7 didn't help either. I would prefer to avoid reinstalling of osx if possible

share|improve this question
Can you paste it into the search of the Character Palette and tell us what comes up? – timothymh Mar 18 '12 at 14:11
I can't paste it there either, looks like it is one hell of a mystery character :) – Lope Mar 18 '12 at 14:49
Very weird. What shows up when you display the clipboard in Finder? – timothymh Mar 18 '12 at 14:51
(I see the problem's been solved, but I still wonder what the character is! :D) – timothymh Mar 18 '12 at 14:52
It is empty, as if nothing was copied. I never knew I would learn so many new (basic) things about osx through this question (show clipboard and character palette), thanks for that :) – Lope Mar 18 '12 at 14:54
up vote 1 down vote accepted

A quick google shows this

Take a look at your key binding setting and make sure that ESC is not binded

share|improve this answer
Thanks for pointing that out. I feel like stupid again, because I was googling this many times before and couldn't find any info while you could do that in matter of seconds :/ Weird think is that ESC was not binded but it looks like it should have been. I bound it to "Cancelation" and everything works now. Thanks a lot! – Lope Mar 18 '12 at 14:44

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.