Docs is a free online word processor from Google that allows you to create and edit documents online. It’s part of the Google Docs Editors suite, which features tools like Google Sheets, Google Keep, Google Slides, and Google Forms.

google docs keyboard shortcuts

Google Docs’ most notable advantage over its competitors is its simplicity and streamlined approach toward offering features that allow it to offer a more user-friendly experience.

Not just that, Docs also provides keyboard shortcuts for its various operations to make working on documents a lot easier. We’ve curated a list of all such keyboard shortcuts for Google Docs that you can use to speed up your Docs operations on Windows or macOS.

Best Keyboard Shortcuts for Google Docs

Google Docs has a pretty extensive list of keyboard shortcuts for all its different features and operations. But for the purpose of this article, we’ll stick to only the best keyboard shortcuts for Google Docs that will come in handy in your everyday usage.

1. Basic Shortcuts

The following table will help you get familiar with basic Google Docs keyboard shortcuts for some of the most common actions if you’re new to Google Docs.

Action Shortcut
Copy selection Ctrl + C Command + C
Cut selection Ctrl + X Command + X
Paste selection Ctrl + V Command + V
Undo action Ctrl + Z Command + Z
Redo action Ctrl + Shift + Z Command + Shift + Z
Insert or edit link Ctrl + K Command + K
Open link Alt + Enter Option + Return
Open file Ctrl + O Command + O
Find text Ctrl + F Command + F
Find text and replace Ctrl + Shift + H Command + Shift + H
Enter compact mode Ctrl + Shift + F Command + Shift + F
Insert page break Ctrl + Enter Command + Return
Switch to suggesting mode Ctrl + Alt+ Shift + X Command + Option + Shift + Z
Switch to viewing mode Ctrl + Alt+ Shift + C Command + Option + Shift + C
Open revision history Ctrl + Alt+ Shift + H Command + Option + Shift + H
Open Explore tool Ctrl + Alt+ Shift + I Command + Option + Shift + I
Open spelling/grammar Ctrl + Alt + X Command + Option + X
View word count Ctrl + Shift + C Command + Shift + C

2. Navigation Shortcuts

Navigation actions are the second most important actions you must know to work efficiently in Google Docs. Refer to the following table for all the navigation shortcuts you’ll need to know to navigate documents.

Action Shortcut
Show document outline Ctrl + Alt, press A then H Control + Command, press A then H
Move to next heading Ctrl + Alt, press N then H Control + Command, press N then H
Move to previous heading Ctrl + Alt, press P then H Control + Command, press P then H
Move to next list Ctrl + Alt, press N then N Control + Command, press O then O
Move to previous list Ctrl + Alt, press P then O Control + Command, press P then O
Move to next edit Shift + Home Control + Command, press P then R
Move to previous edit Shift + End Control + Command, press P then R

Related: How to Compare Documents on Google Docs

3. Formatting Shortcuts

Formatting the text and paragraphs helps you keep your documents tidy and improves readability. The following Google Docs shortcut keys will help you perform formatting operations effortlessly.

Action Shortcut
Make text bold Ctrl + B Command + B
Make text italic Ctrl + I Command + I
Underline text Ctrl + U Command + U
Strikethrough text Alt + Shift + 5 Command + Shift + X
Put text into superscript Ctrl + . Command + .
Put text into subscript Ctrl + , Command + ,
Clear text formatting Ctrl + \ Command + \
Increase font size Ctrl + Shift + . Command + Shift + .
Decrease font size Ctrl + Shift + , Command + Shift + , 
Increase paragraph indentation Ctrl + ] Command + ]
Decrease paragraph indentation Ctrl + [ Command + [
Left align paragraph Ctrl + Shift + L Command + Shift + I
Center align paragraph Ctrl + Shift + E Command + Shift + E
Right align paragraph Ctrl + Shift + R Command + Shift + R
Justify paragraph Ctrl + Shift + J Command + Shift + J
Move paragraph up/down Ctrl + Shift + Up/down arrow Ctrl + Shift + Up/down arrow
Add items in numbered list Ctrl + Shift + 7 Command + Shift + 7
Add items in bulleted list Ctrl + Shift + 8 Command + Shift + 8
Apply normal text style Ctrl + Alt + 0 Command + Option + 0

4. Image Operation Shortcuts

Since Google Docs supports images, it’s essential to know image manipulation shortcuts in Docs to work efficiently with images. Below are some of the Google Docs shortcuts to help you with image manipulation. It also includes Google Docs drawing keyboard shortcuts.

Action Shortcut
Add alt text Ctrl + Alt + Y Command + Option + Y
Resize larger Ctrl + Alt + K Command + Ctrl + K
Resize smaller Ctrl + Alt + J Command + Ctrl + J
Rotate image clockwise Alt + Right arrow Option + Right arrow
Rotate image counterclockwise Alt + Left arrow Option + Left arrow

5. Text Selection Shortcuts

Although a mouse allows you to select things on the screen with greater accuracy, you can do the same job more quickly and efficiently using a keyboard. Use the following keyboard shortcuts to carry out text selection actions in Google Docs.

Action Shortcut
Select all text Ctrl + A Command + A
Extend selection one character Shift + Left/right arrow Shift + Left/right arrow
Extend selection one line Shift + Up/down arrow Shift + Up/down arrow
Extend selection one paragraph NA Option + Shift + Up/down arrow
Extend selection one word Ctrl + Shift + Left/right arrow NA
Extend selection to beginning of line Shift + Home Shift + Fn + Left arrow
Extend selection to end of line Shift + End Shift + Fn + Right arrow
Extend selection to beginning of document Ctrl + Shift + Home Command + Shift + Up arrow
Extend selection to end of document Ctrl + Shift + End Command + Shift + Down arrow

6. Other Important Docs Keyboard Shortcuts

Action Shortcut
Open Revision History Ctrl + Alt + Shift + H Command + Option + Shift + H
Open Explore tool Ctrl + Alt + Shift + I Command + Option + Shift + I
Open spelling/grammar Ctrl + Alt + X Command + Alt + X
Open dictionary Ctrl + Shift + Y Command + Shift + Y
Check Word count Ctrl + Shift + C Command + Shift + C
Move to the next misspelling Ctrl + ‘ Command + ‘
Move to the previous misspelling Ctrl + ; Command + ;
Insert or move to header Hold Ctrl + Alt, press O then H Hold Ctrl + Command, press O then H
Insert or move to footer Hold Ctrl + Alt + O, then press F Hold Ctrl + Command + O, then press F

Boost Your Efficiency With Google Docs Keyboard Shortcuts

Using the Docs keyboard shortcuts above, you should be able to perform most of your Google Docs operations quickly and efficiently.

Of course, these are just a handful of Google Docs shortcuts, and there are plenty of other shortcuts that you can also use. Press the Ctrl + / or Command + / keys in Docs to view all the keyboard shortcuts for Google Docs.

FAQs about Keyboard Shortcuts for Google Docs

Let’s answer some of the common questions you might have about Keyboard shortcuts and hotkeys for Google Docs.

With Google Docs, you can create your own expandable text shortcuts so that you can write a long email address or product name with just a few characters. Spaces are not allowed in a shortcut, so it must be one word.

  1. Click Tools.
  2. Select Preferences.
  3. To type the keyboard shortcut, click the Replace field. Pick a string of characters you wouldn't normally use.
  4. You can type a phrase in the With field to expand the shortcut. As necessary, repeat steps 3 and 4.
  5. Click OK.

Yes, absolutely! You can change keyboard shortcuts in Google Docs. Follow the steps mentioned above for creating new shortcuts, which are going to Tools, selecting Preferences, and locating the shortcuts you want to replace. Once you make the changes, just click OK, and you are done!

Did you find our post useful? Are there any other keyboard shortcuts that you know or use on Google Docs? Let us know through the comments section below.

The most common reason why your Google Docs keyboard shortcuts are not working is the outdated browser version. No matter which web browser you use, ensure you have updated it to its latest browser version. Another reason can be conflicting browser extensions or corrupted cache/cookies. You can try opening an incognito window (without any extensions installed) to cross-check the cause of the issue.

Ctrl Shift Z (on Windows) or Cmd Shift Z (on Mac) is a shortkey for "REDO" activity. Ctrl Z is the shortkey for "UNDO". Recently, Microsoft Office changed the shortkey for REDO to Ctrl+Y. But most other services including Google docs still use Ctrl+Shift+Z for Redo.

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