21 Useful Keyboard Shortcuts for Writers

21 Useful Keyboard Shortcuts for Writers

Reader Comments (26)

  1. On a Mac, you can also use Shift + Option/Alt and then use left/right arrow keys. This will select one word at a time and is great for selections that stop mid-line.

    • CMD + left arrow takes you to the beginning of the line and CMD right arrow takes you to the end. OPT + left arrow takes you to the end of the previous word and/or to the beginning of the previous word. OPT + right arrow takes you to the end of the word and/or the beginning of the next word. (Important to note that opt+left or right arrows with stop at the hyphen if it’s hyphenated.)

  2. ๐Ÿ™‚ I wont say this shortcut is my favourite one but I would say this is the only shortcut key that I use often! And that is.. Alt + Tab to switch between windows!

  3. Hey Stefanie, great article. For me, I particularly love Command (โŒ˜) + F as I m using a macbook. What I do is I normally just write an article and then go through searching for keywords/synonyms to optimize my articles accordingly.

    I also have a mouse even though am using a laptop and I find that very useful. Still haven’t got use to the pad itself on my macbook haha.

  4. Cmd/Ctrl + Z (go back a step) This one has saved me heartache so many times.
    I’m a firm believer in shortcuts. I use all the letters on the left of the qwerty board. And to select text ( 2 clicks for a word, 3 clicks for a paragraph, 2 clicks and a drag for a word and to where you end the drag).
    Cmd/Ctrl + S – Save (I use this every 5-10 minutes or so. It’s automatic now.)
    Cmd/Ctrl + C and Cmd/Ctrl + V – Copy and paste (Use X for Cut and paste)
    Cmd/Ctrl + A – Select everything
    Cmd/Ctrl + W – Close the application window
    Cmd/Ctrl + N – Create new document in application
    Cmd/Ctrl + B – Bold selected text
    Cmd/Ctrl + I – Italicize selected text
    Cmd/Ctrl + U – Underline selected text

  5. I like to use Control K and Control V
    This opens up ‘add a link’ and of course Control V is ‘paste’

    Control Z is also useful. It’s an undo command.

    What I would like is a key where I could add a preloaded paste item, like my email address (so I could quickly fill out comment boxes like the one below) or some other often used text. Any ideas out there people?

    • I’m not sure about adding a preloaded paste item, Barry, but whenever I’m working I have a plain text “template” file open that has URLs, html, and other text that I commonly use. So instead of typing those items, I just copy/paste them. I hope that helps give you some ideas!

  6. Cmd/Ctrl + A โ€“ Select everything
    Cmd/Ctrl + W โ€“ Close the application window
    Cmd/Ctrl + N โ€“ Create new document in application
    Cmd/Ctrl + B โ€“ Bold selected text
    Cmd/Ctrl + I โ€“ Italicize selected text
    Cmd/Ctrl + U โ€“ Underline selected text

  7. Ctrl Z (or Command Z) to undo your last action – or keep going and undo several of them.

    Ctrl A (or Command Z) to highlight your entire text – comes in handy if you want to change the font type or size.

  8. And, you can create your own custom keyboard shortcuts by using AutoHotkey. It requires you to go through a small manual and you can easily create quick shortcuts for otherwise complicated tasks.

    X-Mouse Button Control is another useful software to create custom shortcuts but for Mouse buttons. You can assign right-click to paste copied button or middle button double-click to open a new Text document, etc.

  9. Hello, Stefanie!

    Good tips! ๐Ÿ™‚

    I do the few shortcuts but wasn’t familiar with many ones which you mentioned.

    I wasn’t doing the selecting shortcut in the particular. I know it’s the time-saving tip to not touch the mouse while writing and do all the magic right from the keyboard. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thanks for the good one! ๐Ÿ™‚

    ~ Adeel

  10. Hey Stefanie!

    I use all of these!

    I also like to use quick commands (on a Windows PC) like: ctrl + u – for Underline, ctrl + b – for Bold. ctrl + z – to Undo last action.

    There are a few more that you can use but you these are the basic ones for simple writing and editing.

    Thanks for sharing! ๐Ÿ˜€


  11. Hi Stefanie,

    I actually am still quite new to using my Mac. I finally made the switch from PC. I’ve got to say that I love it.

    However, the keyboard shortcuts that I used to be familiar with on PC are totally different than the Mac.

    It’s definitely taking me some time to get used to using the Mac. However, I have no doubt once I do, I’ll love it.

    Thanks for introducing me to the shortcut to find a word or phrase on a Mac. I had no clue about that one.

    I’m going to run through these comments as I have no doubt that I’ll find several other shortcuts that will help me out.

    Thanks for taking the time to share these with us.

    Have a great day ๐Ÿ™‚


  12. In Windows, Shift + F3 toggles through lower case, Initial Caps, and ALL CAPS. I use it more than you’d think.

  13. Yes, Garrison, I love that one. I use it all the time.
    I also use Ctrl + Alt + R (for registered trademark – ยฎ ) and Ctrl + Alt + T (for trademark – โ„ข) frequently.

  14. Hi, Stefanie!
    I daily use these shortcuts many times a day,

    There are a few more that I use to save time, you can use it too.
    Alt + Tab โ€“ Switch b/w Multiple Windows.
    Ctrl + Tab โ€“ Switch b/w Chrome tabs.
    Ctrl + Shift +O โ€“ To open bookmark manager in Chrome

    These might help you too, Cheers!
    โ€“ Abdul Muneeb

    • Haha!! Right? I love Control + H even more! So great for global replaces of everything or “nothing,” if you want to eliminate a particular character.

  15. The one I use the most probably is Control + Y to repeat the last action. I also use Alt + O + S to get to styles quickly and Alt + O + N to restart numbering in a new list. And Control + Shift + Space to keep text together. So many good ones!

This article's comments are closed.