Posts in Category "Keyboard Shortcuts"

Celebrity Keyboard Shortcuts: Casey D’Andrea

Casey D’Andrea is an InDesign expert, trainer, consultant, and the patron saint of keyboard shortcuts. Casey has done his own makeover of InDesign CS3’s keyboard shortcuts, functional area by functional area. In addition to creating his own customized keyboard shortcut file, Casey also produced a layered PDF file that hi-lites his changes, and adds some color commentary to explain many of his changes.

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Celebrity Keyboard Shortcuts: Anne-Marie Concepción

Anne-Marie Concepción, along with David Blatner, run the InDepsensible InDesign Secrets website. Anne-Marie has also recently produced an excellent InDesign/InCopy workflow training series for If you want to learn about using InCopy in concert with InDesign (espcially if you go "commando"), you need Her Geekness to show you the way.

Here are Anne-Marie’s favorite keyboard shortcut modifications:


  • Selection Tool: add the Esc key as an alternate kbsc
  • Direct Selection Tool: add option/alt+Esc as an alternate kbsc
  • Toggle Preview/Normal: add option/alt+W as an alternate kbsc

Edit Menu

  • Spelling: Dynamic Spelling option/alt+D to toggle on/off (show/hide the squigglies, quick check for misspellings)
  • Keyboard Shortcuts: option/alt+K (it’s embarrassing this has no default shortcut!)

Layout Menu

  • Margins & Columns: control+M (Mac only, would have to experiment on a PC) … I’m frequently in this dialog box

Type Menu

  • Change Case: Sentence case command+option+shift+K (one more modifier than for making all caps; I use this command to convert horrible all caps text to "normal" so it’s easy to remember.)
  • Fill with Placeholder Text: option/alt+F (I use this command all the time, esp. during training, and have the students add it as well)

Type Menu

  • Insert Footnote: shift+option/alt+F (bonus that this becomes the same kbsc for Go to Footnote Reference when the cursor is in a footnote)

Window Menu

  • Workspace: Load 1st/2nd/etc.Workspace: shift+F1, shift+F2, etc.
  • Palette Menus Character: Open Type: Fractions: Ctrl+C (would have to experiment for PC shortcut) toggles fractions on and off. I press this shortcut right before I enter a fraction, then press it again to turn it off so the commas I enter don’t end up above the baseline (common prob. w/some OT fonts like Myriad Pro)
  • Palette Menus Color: Add to Swatches shift+option/alt+S


For people who use InCopy:

Notes Menu

  • New Note: shift+option/alt+N (so no need to switch to Note tool from Type tool just to insert a note)

Edit Menu

  • InCopy Export Selection: shift+option/alt+E

Palette Menus

  • Assignment: Update All Assignments: shift+option/alt+U

Ignore Textwrap Script

Dave Saunders was kind enough to write Russell Viers a script that toggles a text frame’s Ignore Text Wrap setting.

Copy and paste the javascript code into a text editor, save it with the name ToggleTextWrap.jsx, and drop it into your scripts folder. Because it’s a javascript it will run on both Mac and Windows platforms. Note: the script has not been written to deal with multiple selected frames.

//DESCRIPTION: Toggle text wrap of selected or active text frame
try {
app.selection[0].textFramePreferences.ignoreWrap =
} catch (e) {
try {
= !app.selection[0].parentTextFrames[0].textFramePreferences.ignoreWrap
} catch (e) {}

Once you’ve installed the script, you can use InDesign’s Keyboard Shortcut Editor to assign the shortcut of choice to the script. Just open the editor, pull down the Product Area menu and choose Scripts. Then, scroll down the list until you find your new script, select it and assign your shortcut. At that point you don’t even have to have the Scripts palette open. Hitting the shortcut executes the script.

Celebrity Keyboard Shortcuts: Dave Saunders

Dave Saunders is one of the planet’s most knowledgeable PageMaker and InDesign users. He’s a world class script writer for InDesign, and, along with his wife Pam, the owner and founder of PDS Associates. Check out their website for InDesign tips, scripts, and publishing services. Dave is also a frequent contributor to the InDesign Scripting Forum.

Dave shares the following favorite keyboard shortcut edits (Dave is a Mac user, so, once again, Windows users will need to adapt these shortcuts to the Windows environment. I clearly need to find more experts who do their shortcut edits on Windows). Many of Dave’s keyboard shortcuts trigger scripts that he’s written for InDesign:

  1. I swap cmd+ctrl+V and cmd+ctrl+Shift+V because I often want to paste in place and rarely paste inside. This also makes cmd+ctrl+V consistent with PageMaker.
  2. I assign cmd+Shift+W to fit page in Window. (A la FreeHand.)
  3. I assign ctrl+~ to a script that toggles the two characters on either side of the insertion point.
  4. I assign ctrl+A to a script that presents a list of that last 15 scripts I’ve run as well as all the scripts at the first level down in the Palette so I can easily repeat recent scripts and get at most palette scripts without having the palette consuming acres of screen space.
  5. I assign ctrl+opt+A to a script that runs any script anywhere in the file system by throwing up a dialog–it also adds that script to the recent list used by the previous script I mentioned. This means that if I’m working on a scripting project, I can keep the scripts with the client’s files where they’ll be backed up, and after calling them with this shortcut they’re available in the "last 15 list" for as long as I need them.
  6. I assign ctrl+W to a script called Reset Window Size that overrides the annoying default window sizes that InDesign tries to foist on me and instead uses a size that is kept in a default file (this allows me to run the same script on any machine or monitor because if the script fails to find a default file and there is an open window, it offers to make the current active window the default for that machine).
  7. I assign ctrl+1 to a similar script that makes the window half as wide as above (using another default text file in the same way). If a window is already occupying those coordinates, it puts the new window to the right of that other window, allowing me to easily have two windows side by side on my 20-inch monitor.
  8. I assign ctrl+opt+1 to a variation of this last script that always positions the front window at the designated coordinates. This allows me to see ESTK on the right and an InDesign window on the left.
  9. Nearly forgot: I assign ctrl+M to merge table cells.

I also hate the fact that cmd-H now hides InDesign. It is elevating my blood pressure each time InDesign disappears on me at least three or four times a day.

Celebrity Keyboard Shortcuts: Michael Stoddart

Michael Stoddart has worked for Adobe Systems since 1996, based in the Sydney office. He contributes the following:

  • Select Content: ctrl+C (that’s Ctrl on the Mac. Windows users don’t have both a cmd and ctrl key.)
  • Select Container: Shift+ctrl+C (also on the Mac)

This is a way to quickly toggle between visibility of the XY coordinates of both a frame and its imported image or graphical content.

Celebrity Keyboard Shortcuts: Colin Fleming

Adobe’s Colin Fleming shares this favorite keyboard shortcut modification:

I use cmd/ctrl+shift+W as a secondary Fit Spread in Window shortcut.

It’s a classic Freehand shortcut, can be done with one hand as opposed to cmd/ctrl+opt/alt+0. The default behavior for this shortcut is to close your document window. You’ve already got cmd/ctrl+W to do that, so re-purposing cmd/ctrl+shift+W is a no brainer.

Shortcut Custody Battles

A Mac InDesign user named Tom asks a good question on InDesign Secrets:

In CS2 I used the shortcut for Hide Frame Edges (cmd+H). With CS3 this is now ctrl+cmd+H. I went to edit this in keyboard shortcuts but I can’t enter cmd+H as it is the default for Hide InDesign and hides the application.

Any ideas? or am I stuck with the new CS3 shortcut?

The short answer is “yes.” You’re stuck. We’re all stuck. I feel your stuckness.

The reason is this: we made a conscious decision to respect the integrity of Apple’s system-wide shortcut. It was felt the Hide shortcut should work in all applications, so we abandoned our efforts to co-opt the shorcut from the OS (which required some code that the Mac OS might consider somewhat rude and intrusive). So, as of CS3 InDesign doesn’t even receive the cmd+H event (i.e., it’s ignored).

Celebrity Keyboard Shortcuts: Diane Burns

Diane Burns is one of the founders of TechArt one of the very first Macintosh-based graphic design and "desktop publishing" firms in the country. She’s a consultant, author, and conference speaker (among many other things), and is a specialist in double-byte language publishing. She is the only person I know who can credibly claim the title of the "Mother of Desktop Publishing" in Japan.

Diane shared this keyboard shortcut tip:

  • Set
    Toggle between Preview and Normal View to Option/Alt+W. [Product Area: Tools; Command: Toggle between Preview and Normal View]

  • The default keyboard shortcut is the W key, which forces you to use the mouse to enter Preview Mode, or switch out of the Text tool in order to use the keyboard shortcut. Diane’s change enables you toggle in and out of InDesign’s very useful Preview Mode easily with the text tool selected.

Celebrity Keyboard Shortcuts: Sandee Cohen

Sandee Cohen (aka. Vector Babe) is the author of many fine books, including the definitive InDesign Visual QuickStart Guides. If you’re new to InDesign, carpe Cohen! (sieze the Babe)–you need this book.

Here are Sandee’s insights and tips for modifying your InDesign keyboard shortcuts:

  • I always use the Mac ctrl key because it is never used by an Adobe shortcut. I wish there was a similar key I could use for Windows. This reminds me that I wish Adobe made a keyboard for Windows that would give those users an extra key for shortcuts, etc.
  • I add a Contextual Text shortcut to the Selection Tool so that I can easily switch to the tool when within a text frame. This shortcut is ctrl+V to make it easy to remember. [Product Area: Tools; Command: Selection Tool; Context: Text]
  • Contextual shortcut to Direct Selection tool ctrl+A. [Product Area: Tools; Command: Direct Selection Tool; Context: Text]
  • I add shortcut for Select Container, ctrl+C. [Product Area: Object Menu; Command: Select Container]
  • I also add shortcut for Select Content, ctrl+option+C. [Product Area: Object Menu; Command: Select Content]
  • I add ctrl+E for End Nested Style Here as I use it in the captions for my Visual QuickStart books. [Product Area: Type Menu; Command: Insert Special Character: Other: End Nested Style Here]
  • I have added another shortcut to Select to End of Story (ctrl+Down Arrow), because I often work on a laptop keyboard that is difficult to use with the the factory shortcut. [Product Area: Text and Tables; Command: Select to End of Story]
  • I also have added ctrl+` (under the tilde) to swap the character and paragraph attributes in the Control Panel. I use that key because it’s all the way over under that area of the screen. I find the factory shortcut impossible to remember.[Product Area: Views and Navigation; Command: Toggle Character and Paragraph Modes in Control Panel]
  • On a related note, I have changed Illustrator’s cmd+D for Transform Again to cmd+option+3 to match InDesign’s. And then I added a keystroke for Illustrator’s Place command to match InDesign’s. I use the Place command in both programs so often I felt it easier to have consistency across the suite.

Celebrity Keyboard Shortcuts: Gary Cosimini

This is the first of a series of posts in which I share the favorite InDesign keyboard shortcut edits of powerful and influential InDesign and InCopy pundits.

If you know much about InDesign and InCopy, you know that both applications have a keyboard shortcut editor that enables you to customize the shortcuts for tools, menu commands and otherwise hidden features. If you haven’t explored the keyboard shortcut interface, then you’re missing out on quality-of-layout-life enhancing swellness that’s been there for you since version 1.0.

There are many reasons for the implementation of this feature, but here are a couple of the main ones:

  1. There are more commands than there are available keyboard shortcuts, so it only made sense to give the user the ability to pick and choose how those precious keyboard shortcut resources are allocated.
  2. Different users and different types of jobs mean that one size really doesn’t fit all, and InDesign enables you to store different keyboard shortcut sets that can be optimized for different users and different types of work.

So, in the interest of fostering the exercise of individual keyboard shortcut liberty across the global InDesign user community, I have solicited keyboard shortcut tips and insights from some of the world’s best InDesign users.

The first featured power user is Adobe’s own Gary Cosimini.

Gary’s recommended shortcuts are defined for the Mac, but can be easily adapted for Windows users.

  1. A KBSC to access Edit Keyboard Shortcuts! (Cntrol+Opt+Cmd+K) [Product Area: Edit Menu; Command: Keyboard Shortcuts…]
  2. A KBSC to Fill with Placeholder Text (Cntrol+Opt+Cmd+P) [Product Area: Type Menu; Command: Fill With Placeholder Text]
  3. A KBSC for the No Break setting to prevent a range of text from hyphenating (Cntrol+Opt+Cmd+B) [Product Area: Panel Menus; Command: Character: No Break]
  4. A KBSC to bring next document window to the foreground–extremely useful if you have multiple documents open at the same time. [Product Area: Views & Navigation; Command: Next Window]

If you have favorite InDesign or InCopy keyboard shortcut hacks that you’d like to share with the world, send them to me in a comment.