Disabling The Backspace Key in IE

A half-hour’s lost typing in a web form was the impetus for me to spend two hours trying to prevent the same thing from ever happening again, by disabling the Backspace key in IE. It’s a terrible shortcut.

First stop: grabbing Turnabout for IE. Turnabout is basically Greasemonkey for IE – it lets you run your own scripts on a web page, as if they were a part of the page. So if something about a page annoys you (with time, effort and sufficient development patience) you can actually fight back and do something about it using GreaseMonkey/Turnabout scripts, without having to go through a pleading flamewar with the damn web developer. Or in this case, the browser developer.

Next up: Writing and debugging the script… (flash forward two hours)… Wow. For such a short script, I sure had a bastard of a time getting it to work at all. As far as I’m aware, the script is IE-Only, feel free to hack it to pieces. It’s clunky, but seems to work for my purposes. There’s some rudimentary logic involved to prevent backspace working in non-text elements – in short: if the element you’re in is an input box or a text element, backspace is allowed. If it’s not, it’s silently dropped.

What It Does: This turnabout script disables the Backspace key in non-input boxes. This should make it really hard to navigate accidentally while filling out a form.

But I Use The Backspace Key: Tough. Don’t use this script. Instead, consider Alt+Left Arrow.

Download: NoBackspace (zip file, uncompress to your Turnabout scripts folder). Note: You’ll need the Advanced version of Turnabout in order to load custom scripts.

Known Issues: 0.1 didn’t like the edit control at MSN Spaces. Fixed in 0.2.

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