I’ve been using WordPress for a good few years now and have been publishing posts on WordPress-powered blogs pretty much constantly for the last year. However, while I am pretty well-versed with the keyboard shortcuts for getting around Windows and the other desktop applications I use, such as Photoshop and Word, I must admit I’ve neglected to find out more about the keyboard shortcuts for WordPress. While most people should be familiar with the popular universal shortcuts such as ‘control + z’ (undo) and ‘control + v’, (paste) they are just the tip of the iceberg.
Maybe it’s because it’s a web application more than a traditional desktop app, that I’ve not taken the time to study to shortcuts, but for whatever reason I haven’t done so. So in the quest for efficiency and being more productive, I decided to put this right and get a better grasp of the keyboard shortcuts for this popular blogging and online publishing platform.
Hopefully if you haven’t fully embraced these keystroke combinations, this article will give you some tips on how you can speed up your navigation and operation of the post editor and become a more efficient blogger.
Essential Keyboard Shortcuts for WordPress
Before we get started, I thought I better share some general keyboard shortcuts that will make it easy for you to move around the text in the post editor and make selections without using your mouse, making life much easier for laptop using bloggers.
While you can get around a block of text by simply using the arrow keys, it can be a slow process. By using these keyboard combinations you can rapidly increase the speed with which you can navigate a document:
- Ctrl + Left/Right Arrow (Mac: Alt + Left/Right Arrow): move left or right one word at a time instead of one character at a time.
- Ctrl + Shift + Left/Right Arrow (Mac: Alt + Shift + Left/Right Arrow): select/highlight one word at a time.
- Ctrl + Up/Down Arrow (Mac: Alt + Up/Down Arrow): move to the previous or next paragraph.
- Ctrl + Shift + Up/Down Arrow (Mac: Alt + Shift + Up/Down Arrow): select/highlight entire paragraphs.
- Home (Mac: Ctrl + Left Arrow): move to the start of the line.
- End (Mac: Ctrl + Right Arrow): move to the end of the line.
- Ctrl + Home (Mac: Cmd + Up Arrow): move to the start of the text.
- Ctrl + End (Mac: Cmd + Up Arrow): move to the end of the text.
- Ctrl + Shift + Home (Mac: Cmd + Shift + Up Arrow): select/highlight from current position to the beginning of the text.
- Ctrl + Shift + End (Mac: Cmd + Shift + Up Arrow): select/highlight from current position to the end of the text.
- Shift + Up/Down Arrow: select/highlight whole line.
- Ctrl + Shift + V (Mac: Cmd + Shift + V): paste plain text.
Hopefully some of the above shortcuts are new to you, and will now allow you to move around text and select words, sentences and paragraphs in less time that it would take for you to reach for the mouse.
WordPress Specific Keyboard Shortcuts
While the above combinations work in most applications that allow you to edit and select text, including the WordPress post editor, the following list contains some general and WordPress specific shortcuts for editing your posts:
Windows and Linux users can use Ctrl + Letter/Number while Mac users can use Command + Letter/Number:
- Ctrl + B: bold the selected text
- Ctrl + U: underline the selected text
- Ctrl + I: italicise the selected text
- Alt + Shift + d (Mac: Option + Shift + d): strikethrough the selected text
- Ctrl + 1: apply heading 1 style to selected text
- Ctrl + 6: apply heading 6 style to selected text
- Alt + Shift + a (Mac: Option + Shift + a): turn selected text into a link
- Alt + Shift + s (Mac: Option + Shift + s): remove selected link
- Alt + Shift + t (Mac: Option + Shift + t): insert read more link
- Alt + Shift + p (Mac: Option + Shift + p): insert page break
- Alt + Shift + u (Mac: Option + Shift + u: insert unordered list (bullet list)
- Alt + Shift + o (Mac: Option + Shift + o): insert ordered list (numbered list)
- Alt + Shift + l (Mac: Option + Shift + l): insert new list item (li)
- Alt + Shift + m (Mac: Option + Shift + m): insert media
- Alt + Shift + l (Mac: Option + Shift + l): text align left
- Alt + Shift + c (Mac: Option + Shift + c): text align centre
- Alt + Shift + r (Mac: Option + Shift + r): text align right
- Alt + Shift + j (Mac: Option + Shift + j): text align justify
If you need a reminder of any of these while editing a post, click on the help icon and then the hotkeys tab.
Keyboard Shortcuts for Comments
If your blog is starting to receive lots of comments, whether they be from genuine readers or spammy chancers, managing the comments can be a time intensive task. Thankfully there are a set of keyboard shortcuts for working with comments which can save you some time.
The comment shortcodes allow you to navigate, select and change the status of comments, making it very easy to interact with them without the need for using your mouse. The shortcuts have to be enabled first.
Full information on how to setup and use these comment shortcuts can be found on the relevant WordPress.org codex page.
There is no doubt keyboard shortcuts can save you a lot of time. When you are typing a new blog post, there is now no need to break your flow and grab the mouse to quickly select and format text. This makes them definitely worth learning, especially the ones for functions you use the most.
Unfortunately there are no keyboard shortcuts for the WordPress admin area itself. It would be great to be able to hit a few keys to start a new post or page as you can do in Word (Ctrl + N) or save a draft (Ctrl + S). Perhaps this will be added to a future version one day. In the meantime there a number of plugins which give you access to a few more shortcodes and ways of enabling keyboard navigation in WordPress.