I like keyboard shortcuts. What keyboard shortcuts are available when editing questions and answers or otherwise interacting with the site?

There's also a fantastic userscript for chat commands... an absolute must if you use chat. (It does so much more than just chat keyboard modifiers!) –  Josh Gitlin Nov 16 '12 at 3:52
You might want to consider copying your question into an answer, and rewriting the question as "Are there any keyboard shortcuts when editing questions and answers?". Then we can tag this as faq –  Josh Gitlin Nov 16 '12 at 16:04
@Josh Okay. Good idea. I've restructured the question so that the actual content is in the answers and hopefully it invites you and others to add other keyboard shortcut tricks in the answers. –  Jeromy Anglim Nov 17 '12 at 2:26
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1 Answer

Shortcut keys for editing questions and answers

Originally posted here: For those who like such keys but hadn't noticed them, here's a quick summary of what those available for editing questions and answers and when they are useful.

They are displayed when you put your mouse over the toolbar icons.

example shortcut

The following is slightly OSX centric. In that context all the commands work in theory with either Command or Control as a modifier. Although existing shortcuts assigned to Cmd can prevent the command option from working.

While it makes sense to include shortcuts for each formatting option. Only some of the shortcuts offer an efficiency benefit.


  • Cmd+L for hyperlink dialog box; selected text is used as the link text. It produces refernce style links. I generally prefer inline links.
  • Control+Q for quote; Cmd+Q conflicts with Quit application, so Control+Q is required
  • Cmd+K for code: converts selected words on a line to formatted inline code (i.e., surrounded by backticks); converts selected lines to formatted code block (i.e., four space indented)
  • Cmd+G to insert image; tab, space, escape, etc. work for navigation of the resulting dialog box.

Marginally useful

  • Cmd+B for Bold
  • Cmd+I for Italics
  • Ctrl+R insert horizontal rule

Not needed

  • Cmd+O to start numbered list; this isn't very useful, because it's not that difficult to start a list and it doesn't convert a highlighted set of lines into a list)
  • Cmd+U to start an unordered list; same point for number lists
  • Cmd+H to insert heading. This also isn't that useful given how easy it is to insert
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