WordPress visual editor shortcuts for Mac OS X

By Grant Jacobs 03/07/2011

WordPress uses the TinyMCE editor. Rather than move your hand off the keyboard, move the mouse and click one of the WordPress visual editor’s icon, you can use keyboard shortcuts.

The stylistic settings act as toggles: applied once they apply the desired style, applied again they revert the style. In the case of paragraph styles, they revert to the default style (left-aligned text).

You can get this list via the editor’s help function; I’m presenting this list as a result of testing and realising some don’t seem to function under Mac OS X under Safari (see footnote). I’ve listed those I can find and test; users are welcome to suggest more if I have missed any.

I wouldn’t mind seeing the spelling check option (shift-alt-N) be used for something else, as most browsers now offer spelling checking on-the-fly within text boxes. (At least the browsers I use!)

All those listed below are prefixed by shift-alt, unless otherwise indicated.

Text style (default = plain text)

Bold: B

Italic: I

Strike-through: D

Underline: U

Paragraph alignment / style (default = left-aligned)

Justified: J

Left:  L

Centre: C

Right: R

Block quote: Q


Unordered list (bullets) : U

Ordered list (numbered): O

Links & images

Insert image: M

Insert link: A

Remove link: S

Line & page breaks

Insert ‘More…’ break: T

Insert ‘Next page…’ break: P

Editor settings

Move to HTML editor: E (not working, however…)

Full-screen mode: G

Show ‘advanced’ options: Z

Help: H

Spelling check: N (users are better to use the built-in spelling check, IMHO)

File actions

Save draft: cmd-S (note this does not use shift-alt; shift-alt-S removes links)


This has been lying ‘dead’ in my drafts and I thought I might as well toss it out there in the (unlikely) case it’s of use to anyone seeing as it’s there until my next post is ready. (Some time in the evening…)

It might seem silly to offer this given that the original list is in the editor’s help (under ‘Hotkeys’). One reason is that a number of the listed keyboard shortcuts appear not to work on Mac OS X under Safari, best as I can tell. I’ve tried every shift-alt-letter combination but haven’t explored all the possible contexts.

There appears to be no way to set heading levels, pre-formatted text or indenting via the keyboard under Mac OS X.

I would be inclined to manually press the ‘Save draft’ button. While cmd-S greys out the ‘Save draft’ button, WordPress doesn’t appear to keep track of that the current version has been saved using this, and will warn you before trying to move to another page.

It’s been my experience that the editor fails at some cut’n’paste operations if the text contains words that are italicised.

Other computer-related articles on Code for life:

Mac OS X dreams

Mac OS X Time Machine backups — a need for versions

WWW database servers on Mac OS X 10.6.x, part I: Installing MySQL (Three parts.)

Is your computing desk well set up?

Sinclair ZX envy

0 Responses to “WordPress visual editor shortcuts for Mac OS X”

  • For headings, use Cmd-1 to Cmd-6 (on mac), works on Chrome, doesn’t work on Firefox. Would love to have a shortcut for pre-formatted text…

    • Firefox seems to differ to the other browsers in a number of ways. Cmd-left arrow (Mac), which usually takes you to the left-hand side of the row you’re in, wants to leave that web page entirely! At least you’re asked before it acts on it.

      On that I use in every post that has no icon or short-cut is horizontal rules. (I manually enter them.)

      Similarly there’s no icon or short-cut for super and subscripts; furthermore when you cut’n’paste super- or sub-scripted text the formatting is lost. (I use superscripted text for footnote citations – done manually.)