How to Save Time By Mastering WordPress’ Keyboard Shortcuts

WordPress’ keyboard shortcuts can save a lot of time when working with both contents inside of the WordPress dashboard, and the platform as a whole. Time is money, so finding a shortcut is always a good idea! This article will introduce you to the benefits of keyboard shortcuts, talk about the most useful shortcuts (highlighted with use cases), while also providing a list of the more advanced or edge-case shortcuts for power users.


WordPress has a very straightforward interface that enables anybody to learn quite easily. Although, as an advanced WP user, you are wasting your time if you are clicking with your mouse instead of utilizing the many keyboard shortcuts that are available. Saving a few seconds here and there when working on a large project will eventually add up to minutes or even hours.

Many of the basic shortcut commands are easy to memorize and are included within your WordPress installation, without the need to install plugins. You can do just about anything using shortcuts, such as changing fonts or inserting links, without the need to search and click the correct button above the text box.

There are so many shortcuts that will save you heaps of time when writing your articles or managing your blog, so keep a cheat sheet handy the next time you are writing. Let’s get started learning about WP shortcuts!

Why You Should Use WordPress’ Keyboard Shortcuts

“Become the master of your WordPress site”

Keyboard shortcuts are simply pressing a combination of keys in order to execute an action. The developers of WordPress have included a number of dedicated shortcuts within the official code so those that are mindful of saving time will have shortcuts available. Shortcuts within WordPress are completely optional and there are combinations to complete just about any task.

Why would you benefit from using these shortcuts?

  • You may complete tasks within a split second that would otherwise take a few extra moments.
  • You may utilize WordPress without having to take your hand off of the keyboard, which is especially useful for those with small notebooks or cramped desk conditions.
  • You may simplify your workload by cutting it down into small batches of shortcut commands.

Now that you are hopefully convinced to give keyboard shortcuts a try, let’s activate the ability to use them on your blog!

How to Turn on WordPress’ Keyboard Shortcuts

If you try using shortcuts in a fresh installation of WordPress, you will notice that nothing will happen. This is because keyboard shortcuts are disabled in WordPress by default. Although it is inconvenient at first, you must take a few steps before getting set up:

Navigate over to the Users section in the WordPress Dashboard.

As you hover your mouse over “Users”, you will see a few options pop out. Click on “Your Profile.”

Once you reach the profile page, simply check the box next to “Keyboard Shortcuts” and click Update Profile. It’s that simple!

40 WordPress’ Keyboard Shortcuts You Need to Master

Since there are a plethora of shortcuts to go over, let’s break down the shortcuts by category so that it is easier to use. Keep in mind that Mac users will have to use the Command key (⌘) in place of Ctrl.

1. Editor Shortcuts

You may utilize the typical shortcuts used in other programs, like copy or paste, within the WordPress Editor. Below are the ‘meat and potatoes’ of WordPress shortcuts.

Ctrl + z = Undo

Ctrl + y = Redo

Ctrl + b = Bold

Ctrl + i  = Italic

Ctrl + u = Underline

Ctrl + k = Insert Link

Ctrl + 9 = Address

Now, let’s see more advanced editor shortcuts:

Alt + Shift + l  = Align Left

Alt + Shift + j  = Justify Text

Alt + Shift + c = Align Center

Alt + Shift + d = Strikethrough

Alt + Shift + r = Align Right

Alt + Shift + u = Bulleted List

Alt + Shift + o = Numbered List

Alt + Shift + s = Remove Link

Alt + Shift + q = Quote

Alt + Shift + m = Insert Image

Alt + Shift + p = Insert Page Break

Alt + Shift + 1-5 = Headings 1-5

2. Formatting Shortcuts

There are also formatting shortcuts that may be used within the visual editor. The difference between some of these shortcuts and most others is that it requires entering into a combination of characters prior to the text and then hitting the Enter key.

For example, the H2 heading may be activated after entering in “#” twice before the desired text that you want to change:

After pressing Enter key, you should have the desired result:

If that is clear enough for you, here are some more formatting shortcuts to try:

* or     Unordered Lists

1. (or 1)  Ordered Lists

##     H2 Header

###        H3 Header

####      H4 Header

#####    H5 Header

######  H6 Header

>           Block Quote

—         Horizontal Line

..        Code Block

3. Shortcuts for Comment Moderation

If you have a busy blog, sorting through hundreds of comments daily can become a real chore. Luckily, if you memorize some of these commands, you should cut down your moderation time to a matter of minutes. In order to execute a shortcut, you must select the comment first and then press the corresponding key.

Here is the full list of commands:

A   Approves the selected comment to be published.

D   Sends the comment to the trash can.

S  Marks the comment as spam.

Z  Undo previous command.

U  Sends a previously approved comment back into the moderation queue.

R  Start a reply to the selected comment.

Q  Quick edit of selected comment.

E  Advanced editing of selected comment.

4. Distraction Free Writing Mode Shortcuts

Distraction Free Writing Mode was specifically designed to eliminate distractions to make you a more efficient writer and it has been implemented since WordPress 4.1. There are even some built-in keyboard shortcuts that will make your DFWM experience even more efficient.

First of all, let’s active DFWM with a quick shortcut, “Alt + Shift + W”:

Here are the rest of the  shortcuts to utilize whilst in DFWM:

Alt + Shift + W = Activate Distraction Free Writing Mode

Alt + Shift + F = Activate Fullscreen Mode

Ctrl (or ⌘) + (or +)  = Widen or Narrow the Screen


Now that you have been introduced to the amazing world of WordPress shortcuts, you should be able to exponentially increase your writing efficiency as you practice them. Condensing your actions down into split-second key presses will add up to a great amount of time when working on a long project.

Start by activating your WordPress account to begin practicing. As the list of shortcuts available is quite long, it is recommended to split it up into categories, as we did within the article, to make the process smoother. The investment of time spent learning these shortcuts is rather small in comparison to the amount of time you will save in the long term.

Do you have a favorite set of shortcuts we haven’t touched on? Which shortcut do you find to be the handiest? Share your input down in the comments section down below!

Image Credits: Michelle Grewe

John Hughes

John is a blogging addict, WordPress fanatic, and a staff writer for WordCandy.

The post How to Save Time By Mastering WordPress’ Keyboard Shortcuts appeared first on Torque.