Learning shortcuts is an excellent way to improve the efficiency of your workflow. Rather than provide a long list of all the InDesign shortcuts, I have picked out a useful selection that you can learn as a starting point. Try to practice with a couple of these every week and you’ll be producing knockout InDesign documents in no time!

For further reading, I have written companion posts for Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and macOS.

General Tricks

magic wand icon

ActionMacWin
Temp select Hand Tool:SpacebarSpacebar
Zoom In/Out:Command + +/-Ctrl + +/-
Go to previous/next spread:Option + Page Up/DownAlt + Page Up/Down
Select all guides:Option + Command + GAlt + Ctrl + G
Paste in Place:Command + Option + Shift + VShift + Ctrl + Alt + V
Cycle through open documents:Command + TabCtrl + Tab
Duplicate objectHold Option + DragHold Alt + Drag

Tools

cursor icon

ActionMacWin
Add Anchor Point==
Delete Anchor Point
Convert Direction PointShift + CShift + C
TypeTT
Type on a PathShift + TShift + T
PencilNN
Line\\
Rectangle FrameFF
RectangleMM
EllipseLL
RotateRR
ScaleSS
ShearOO
Free TransformEE
EyedropperII
MeasureKK
GradientGG
ScissorsCC
HandHH
Temp. select HandHold SpacebarHold Spacebar
ZoomZZ
Toggle Fill & StrokeXX
Swap Fill & Stroke coloursShift + XShift + X
Apply Colour,,
Apply Gradient..
Apply No Colour//
Toggle Preview ModeWW
Gradient Feather ToolShift + GShift+ G

Selection / Movement

movement icon

ActionMacWin
Move selectionArrow keysArrow keys
DuplicateOption + DragAlt + Drag
Temp. use different selection toolHold CmdHold Ctrl
Move by 1/10 unitCmd + Shift + ArrowCtrl + Shift + Arrow
Move by x10 unitShift + ArrowShift + Arrow

Transforming

scale icon

ActionMacWin
Decrease scale by 1%Command + ,Ctrl + ,
Decrease scale by 5%Command + Option + ,Ctrl + Alt + ,
Increase scale by 1%Command + .Ctrl + .
Increase scale by 5%Command + Option + .Ctrl + Alt + .
Resize Frame & ContentCmd + DragCtrl + Drag
Resize Frame & Content ProportionallyShift + Command + DragShift + Ctrl + Drag
Constrain ProportionShift + DragShift + Drag

Working with Tables

table icon

ActionMacWin
Move to next cellTabTab
Move to previous cellShift + TabShift + Tab
Move to first cell in columnOption + Page UpAlt + Page Up
Move to last cell in columnOption + Page DownAlt + Page Down
Move to first cell in rowOption + HomeAlt + Home
Move to last cell in rowOption + EndAlt + End
Move up/down one cellUp/Down ArrowUp/Down Arrow
Move left/right one cellLeft/Right ArrowLeft/Right Arrow
Select cell above/belowShift + Up/Down ArrowShift + Up/Down Arrow
Select cell left/rightShift + Left/Right ArrowShift + Left/Right Arrow
Toggle between text/cell selectionEscEsc
Insert RowsCommand + 9Ctrl + 9
Insert ColumnsCommand + Option + 9Ctrl + Alt + 9

Working with Type

type icon

ActionMacWin
BoldShift + Cmd + BShift + Ctrl + B
ItalicShift + Cmd + IShift + Ctrl + I
NormalShift + Cmd + YShift + Ctrl + Y
UnderlineShift + Cmd + UShift + Ctrl + U
StrikethroughCtrl + Shift + Cmd + /Shift + Ctrl + /
All CapsShift + Cmd + KShift + Ctrl + K
SuperscriptShift + Cmd + +Shift + Ctrl + +
SubscriptShift + Option + Cmd + +Shift + Alt + Ctrl + +
Align Left, Right or CentreShift + Cmd + L, R, or CShift + Ctrl + L, R, or C
Justify all linesShift + Cmd + FShift + Ctrl + F
Justify all but last lineShift + Cmd + JShift + Ctrl + J
Increase/Decrease point sizeShift + Cmd + >/<Shift + Ctrl + >/<
Increase/Decrease point size x5Shift + Cmd + Option + >/<Shift + Ctrl + Alt + >/<
Increase/Decrease leadingOption + Right/Left ArrowAlt + Up/Down Arrow
Increase/Decrease leading x5Option + Cmd + Up/Down ArrowAlt + Ctrl + Up/Down Arrow
Auto LeadingShift + Option + Cmd + AShift + Alt + Ctrl + A
Increase/Decrease kerning and trackingOption + Left/Right ArrowAlt + Left/Right Arrow
Insert Em DashOption + Shift + –Alt + Shift + –
Insert En DashOption + –Alt + –
Insert Double Left Quotation MarksOption + [Alt + [
Insert Double Right Quotation MarksOption + Shift + [Alt + Shift + [
Insert Single Left Quotation MarkOption + ]Alt + ]
Insert Single Right Quotation MarkOption + Shift + ]Alt + Shift + ]
Create OutlinesShift + Cmd + OShift + Ctrl + O

Text Navigation and Selection

text input icon

ActionMacWin
Move to right/left by one characterRight/Left ArrowRight/Left Arrow
Move up/down one lineUp/Down ArrowUp/Down Arrow
Move to right/left by one wordCommand + Right/Left ArrowCtrl + Right/Left Arrow
Move to start/end of lineHome/EndHome/End
Move to previous/next paragraphCmd + Up/Down ArrowCtrl + Up/Down Arrow
Select one wordDouble clickDouble click
Select one characterShift + Right/Left ArrowShift + Right/Left Arrow
Select one line above/belowShift + Up/Down ArrowShift + Up/Down Arrow
Select start/end of lineShift + Home/EndShift + Home/End
Select paragraphTriple clickTriple click
Select current lineShift + Command + \Shift + Ctrl + \