Shortcuts for InDesign

A yellow paper airplane sits on a blue desk with draw air current behind it.

These are some of the keyboard shortcuts I use most when working with InDesign CS4. I just recently moved from using a PC and CS3 to using a Mac and CS4. I found that my work flow and efficiency was dramatically effected until I was able to learn the keyboard shortcuts again.

It was this process of relearning that inspired this post. Using shortcuts does speed up what you are able to accomplish and it reduces the chances of shoulder and neck injury due to over using the mouse.

To check from within InDesign your current keyboard shortcuts go to File > Keyboard Shortcuts. You will get a dialogue box and the “Show Set” button will open a text document of the shortcuts, which I find very helpful. You can do this in any of the Abode Creative Suite programs.

Tool Keyboard Shortcuts

Hover your mouse over the Tool Panel icons to see the one letter key shortcut. By clicking and dragging any icon with a small triangle in the corner, you will expose the fly-out menu. Which contains additional associated tools.

You can access the keyboard shortcuts from any tool as long as your cursor is not in a text box! If it is, use Esc to get the Selection Tool.

Selection ToolVV
Temporarily activate the Selection Toolhold: Cmdhold: Ctrl
Direct Selection ToolAA
Pen ToolPP
Delete Anchor Point
Add Anchor Point++
Convert Anchor PointShift+CShift+C
Type ToolTT
Type-On-A-Path ToolShift+TShift+T
Line Tool//
Rectangle Frame ToolFF
Rotate ToolRR
Scale ToolSS
Free Transform ToolEE
Eyedropper ToolII
Hand ToolHH
Temporarily select the Hand ToolOpt+SpacebarAlt+Spacebar
Zoom ToolZZ
Temporarily select the Zoom-In Toolhold: Opt+Spacebarhold: Alt+Spacebar
Toggle between Preview and Normal ModeWW

Selection Tool (solid black arrow) = V

The Section Tool deals with the frame and content as a whole.

To cycle through stacked or overlapping layers of objects or text boxesCmd + clickCtrl+ click
Duplicate a selected framehold: Opt + draghold: Alt+ drag

Direct Selection Tool (white arrow) = A

Deals with the individual parts of things, like the points on a frame.

If you hover over an image with the Direct Selection Tool it turns into the Hand Tool = H

Toggle between the Selection Tool and the Type Tool = Double click over the frame with text inside it.

Toggle between the Type Tool and the Selection Tool = Esc

Type Tool = T

I deal with a lot of text in most of my designs and so I use this tool a lot, double clicking on any existing text box gives you the Type Tool.

Some other shortcuts I use are:

The Place command


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