The focus of our list is on the most useful and efficient WordPress keyboard shortcuts as well as user interface tips for options that aren’t obvious at first glance. With that being said, we will also cover the basics, such as platform-specific text manipulation shortcuts. If you’re not familiar with them, stick around until the end of the article.

Check out our short write-up about Gutenberg features first if you’re not familiar with the new WordPress editor.

WordPress keyboard shortcuts for Gutenberg blocks

Forward slash to pick the block type

The editor instantly gives us one of the most valuable tips. After creating a new block, the placeholder text says “Start writing or type / to choose a block”. The emphasis here is on the forward slash.

Typing it at the beginning of the block will display a default list of block types. Following it with additional input works as a search feature. You can see it pictured below on the right, where we’re looking for “Image” block by typing /i.

Choosing a Gutenberg block by typing a forward slash at the beginning of a new block.
Forward slash in a new block allows you to quickly pick its type and any additional input acts as a search feature.

Insert new blocks

You can start a new block in a few ways: click the circled plus icon, simply pressing enter or using one of two keyboard shortcuts.

These shortcuts are also available from the block’s dropdown menu with three vertical dots.

The dropdown menu of a block display Gutenberg keyboard shortcuts next to them
The dropdown menu of a Gutenberg block.

Duplicate the block(s)

In the aforementioned dropdown menu, you’ll also find an option to duplicate blocks. You can do it quicker by pressing CTRL + SHIFT + D (CMD + SHIFT + D on Mac) – this is especially useful if you need multiple multimedia blocks.

Remove a block

As pictured above, you can quickly remove your current block by pressing SHIFT + ALT + Z (SHIFT + OPT + Z on Mac).

The sidebar

The sidebar contains additional formatting options depending on the block type. For headings, you can choose the text alignment or the heading level (which is already visible in the block). If your block is a paragraph, you can change the font size, turn the drop cap on or change the background and text colours.

What if you’re not interested in any of the options and would rather have more room in your browser? Or perhaps you have closed the sidebar by pressing the x in its top-right corner and don’t know how to bring it back? CTRL + SHIT + , (CMD + SHIFT + , on Mac) shortcut will hide and show the sidebar.

Format shortcuts

Text selection shortcuts

Basic text manipulation

What are some other WordPress keyboard shortcuts you frequently use?

Let us know in the comments below. We would also like to know whether you have found adapting to these shortcuts easy or not – do you think they’re intuitive?

While we’re aware it can take some time and you might struggle at first, these shortcuts are incredibly helpful in our editing process and increased our productivity significantly, removing needless “off the keyboard” time. They provide a smooth transition between writing and formatting the article.

Last but not least, we have our final combination, perhaps the most useful at the beginning of learning the shortcuts. Pressing ALT + SHIFT + H (CTRL + OPT + H on Mac) brings up a help popup where you can find most of the WordPress keyboard shortcuts.

Originally published Jan 10, 2019 9:01:54 AM, updated January 12 2022.

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