Tutorials WordPress

WordPress Keyboard Shortcuts for Writing


Written by

Dave Warfel

Reading Time

4 minutes

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WordPress was created first and foremost as a publishing platform. While it can now be utilized for just about any type of web content or application, at it’s core, all great publishing platforms must have a great writing experience. WordPress’ content editor is powerful, yet not bloated with erroneous buttons. Out-of-the-box, it falls in-between the simple & complex.

WordPress keyboard shortcuts make it easy to customize styles, alignment, headings & navigate the content editor—and they can save you loads of time if you write a lot of content. We’ve compiled a list of keyboard shortcuts for both Mac & PC. Please take a few minutes to learn them, and then practice. The more you use them, the quicker they’ll become second-nature.

You can access a similar list of keyboard shortcuts by using the WordPress Help - Keyboard Shortcuts icon on your content editor toolbar (when in “Visual” mode).

WordPress keyboard shortcuts help icon
How to access the help icon & open a list of keyboard shortcuts.
WordPress Keyboard Shortcut Hotkeys
List of WordPress keyboard shortcuts & hotkeys

If we’ve left anything out, please let us know so we can keep this list current.

List of WordPress Keyboard Shortcuts

Your cursor must be active inside of the WYSIWYG editor. If it’s blinking, that means it’s active. Otherwise, your browser’s default shortcuts will be activated instead.

cmd = command
ctrl = control

Action Mac Shortcut Windows Shortcut
Basic Styling
Select text first, then apply styling
Bold cmd + b ctrl + b
Italic cmd + i ctrl + i
Underline cmd + u ctrl + u
Strikethrough alt + shift + d alt + shift + d
More Styling
Select text first, then apply styling
Unordered List (bullet points) alt + shift + u alt + shift + u
Ordered List (1, 2, 3…) alt + shift + o alt + shift + o
Quote / Blockquote alt + shift + q alt + shift + q
Address cmd + 9 ctrl + 9
Convert Back to Paragraph <p> cmd + 7 ctrl + 7
Select one or more entire paragraphs, or an image, then change alignment
Align Left alt + shift + l alt + shift + l
Align Center alt + shift + c alt + shift + c
Align Right alt + shift + r alt + shift + r
Justify Text alt + shift + j alt + shift + j
Insert / Remove
Insert New Paragraph enter enter
Insert Line Break (single-spaced) shift + enter shift + enter
Insert Link
Select text (or image) first, then insert link
alt + shift + a alt + shift + a
Remove Link
Cursor must be placed within the text (or image) that is currently linked
alt + shift + s alt + shift + s
Insert Image
Will be added wherever your cursor is located on the editing screen
alt + shift + m alt + shift + m
Insert <!–more–> tag alt + shift + t alt + shift + t
Insert page break tag
To split content into multiple pages
alt + shift + p alt + shift + p
Select text first, then apply heading tag
H1 cmd + 1 ctrl + 1
H2 cmd + 2 ctrl + 2
H3 cmd + 3 ctrl + 3
H4 cmd + 4 ctrl + 4
H5 cmd + 5 ctrl + 5
H6 cmd + 6 ctrl + 6
Select / Editing
Select All cmd + a ctrl + a
Cut cmd + x ctrl + x
Copy cmd + c ctrl + c
Paste cmd + v ctrl + v
Undo cmd + z ctrl + z
Redo cmd + y ctrl + y
Save (Draft only. Will not publish.) cmd + s
Top of Page cmd + ↑
Bottom of Page cmd + ↓
Check Spelling alt + shift + n alt + shift + n
Help alt + shift + h alt + shift + h
Show/Hide Kitchen Sink alt + shift + z alt + shift + z
Fullscreen Writing Mode alt + shift + w alt + shift + w
Fullscreen Writing Mode
These shortcuts only work when in fullscreen writing mode.
Wider Screen cmd + ctrl +
Narrower Screen cmd – ctrl –
Default Width cmd 0 ctrl 0

Issues with Headings (cmd + 1,2,3,etc)

If your cursor is not active inside of the WYSIWYG editor, then your browser’s shortcuts will be activated. For Firefox & Chrome (on Mac), cmd + 1, cmd + 2, etc. switches between tabs. This is easily fixed by just clicking inside of your WYSIWYG again to activate the cursor.

Problem with Safari

Unfortunately, Safari has a different behavior for cmd + 1, cmd + 2, etc. They open a website from your Favorites Bar. There is no default way to turn off this functionality, and even deleting all your favorites doesn’t work. Open source to the rescue. There’s a plugin you can add to Safari to change the default behavior to switching tabs. I haven’t tested to see if this will allow the Headings shortcuts to work or not, so if you use Safari & are willing to give this a shot, please let us know.

If you know of any WordPress keyboard shortcuts that we left out, please let us know in the comments.

Dave Warfel

LinkedIn  •  X (Twitter)Dave has been working with WordPress since 2011. He's built 100s of client sites and almost a dozen of his own. He's tested almost every plugin you can think of, hosted with at least 10 different companies, and gone down every SEO rabbit hole you can imagine. When's he's not tinkering with new software, you'll find him in the mountains of Colorado, trail running, summiting peaks, and rippin' downhills on his mountain bike. 🏔️🏃🚴🤸

7 responses to “WordPress Keyboard Shortcuts for Writing”

  1. David Wang Avatar

    The Headings shortcuts always switch tabs instead of applying the heading styles for me. Any workarounds? :)

    1. Dave Warfel Avatar


      Is your cursor active inside of the WYSIWYG editor? If it’s blinking, that means it’s active.

      If the cursor is not active, then your browser’s shortcuts will kick in. In Chrome & Firefox (on Mac), cmd + 1,2,3,etc switches between tabs. In Safari on Mac, cmd + 1,2,3,etc actually opens websites from your Favorites Bar. There is a plugin you can install to make Safari switch between tabs instead, but I have not tried it. Unfortunately, even when your cursor is active in the WYSIWYG, Safari will still open a site from your Favorites. Even if you delete all your Favorites, the keyboard shortcuts for headings still don’t work. But I tested most of the other shortcuts, and they all seem to work fine.

      See this thread on Apple Support.

    2. David Wang Avatar

      Thank you sir, for being so detailed in your investigation. You are right, I am using Safari and it was the favorites that kept getting loaded. I tried it in Chrome and it works fine. Cheers!

  2. AudioBuy Australia Avatar
    AudioBuy Australia

    ok ,

    in windows : alt+shift+Q
    this does not do short cut for creating bullets

    Audiobuy needs this!

    1. Dave Warfel Avatar

      alt+shift+Q is for blockquote, not bullets.

      But the easier way to do bullets is to be in “Visual” mode and just use an asterisk (*) at the beginning of the line. WordPress will automatically create a bulleted list for you.

  3. John @ androidtips.co Avatar
    John @ androidtips.co

    Hey thanks for these shortcuts. I am currently facing one problem can u please help.

    ctrl+s is supposed to save the draft in wordpress and ctrl+p is supposed to publish the post or update the post.

    But in my system it ctrl+p opens the print menu.

    1. Dave Warfel Avatar

      Hey John — Neither one of those shortcuts (ctrl+s or ctrl+p) are listed in WordPress’ official list, however, I have used Ctrl+S before, and can confirm that it does save what you are working on.

      However, I have never heard of Ctrl+P being used for publishing or updating the post. I don’t think that is a supported shortcut. Do you mind sharing where you got that information?

      Ctrl+P brings up the print dialog for me, as well.

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