Universal Keyboard Shortcuts for Text Editing


When editing text, the following list of keyboard shortcuts should work universally across applications and operating systems. For example, in Microsoft Word, in Internet browsers, in Unix-like system’s terminal, or in those text editors. They will work if they are not conflicting with existing application specific shortcuts. They should become your muscle memory to enable the fastest text editing experience.

= command key on Mac keyboard. Using ctrl here for PC keyboard.
delete = delete key on Mac keyboard. Using backspace here for PC keyboard.
fn = fn (function) key on Mac keyboard. Having no idea what key to use here for PC keyboard (if you found out, please let me know).

Command Description Exception
ctrl+f forward character
ctrl+alt+f forward word Use alt+f in terminal
ctrl+n forward line
ctrl+e forward to end of line
+left forward to end of visible line (ignore line-wrap)
+down forward to end of document
ctrl+b backward character
ctrl+alt+b backward word Use alt+b in terminal
ctrl+p backward line
ctrl+a backward to beginning of line
+right backward to beginning of visible line (ignore line-wrap)
+up backward to beginning of document
above commands + shift moving cursor as well as selecting text along the moving path
ctrl+t transpose previous and next character transpose last two characters in terminal
ctrl+dfn+delete forward delete character
fn+alt+delete forward delete to the end of word
ctrl+k forward cut to the end of line
backward delete character
alt+delete backward delete to the beginning of word
+delete backward cut to the beginning of line doesn’t work in terminal
ctrl+y paste the last cut text

Here, I only summarised those shortcuts working universally. For terminal/command-line text editing, there are more shortcuts available. Please refer to teohm.dev’s post.