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There is provision to make existing text bold by simply selecting the text and pressing CTRL+B. There is a keyboard shortcut of CTRL+ALT+M, but instead of putting existing content in Math mode, it erases the highlighted content and creates a place holder for the writing contents in Math mode.

I was wondering, does a keyboard shortcut exist to achieve what I want?

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Sadly No AFAIK. – Harish Kumar Jan 15 '13 at 4:10
I guess this can be request item for TexMaker. However, I am wondering why they made the shortcut for Math mode in this manner? – Shamim Hafiz Jan 15 '13 at 4:17
I agree, this sounds like a reasonable feature request. Other commands, e.g. bold or italic, already work like this. – doncherry Jan 15 '13 at 6:44
up vote 3 down vote accepted

I am afraid the answer is NO. All math (except math fonts like \mathit etc) shortcuts do not recognize selection. Hence you can't select something and put it in math mode, at present.

You can see those shortcuts by going to Options --> Configure Texmaker to get

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Click on the shortcuts button at the left end to see all the shortcuts (assigned and to be assigned). You can clearly see that all text and math text shortcuts can be used with selection but not math mode shortcuts.

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This may be a feature request for texmaker IMO.

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