Getting Started Guide

Appendix A  
Keyboard Shortcuts



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Jean Hollis Weber

John A Smith

Ron Faile Jr.

Olivier Hallot




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This appendix is based on Appendix A of Getting Started with 3.3. The contributors to that appendix are:

Peter Hillier-Brook

Jean Hollis Weber

Alexander Noël Dunne

Publication date and software version

Published 22 June 2016. Based on LibreOffice 5.1.






Publication date and software version


Assistive tools in LibreOffice

Tip for Macintosh users

Getting help

General keyboard shortcuts

Opening menus and menu items

Accessing a menu command

Running a toolbar command

Navigating and selecting with the keyboard

Controlling dialogs

Controlling macros

Managing documents


Selecting rows and columns in a database table opened by F4

Shortcut keys for drawing objects

Defining keyboard shortcuts

Further reading



You can use LibreOffice without requiring a pointing device, such as a mouse or touchpad, by using its built-in keyboard shortcuts.

This appendix lists some of the most common built-in keyboard shortcuts that apply to all components of LibreOffice. For shortcuts specific to Writer, Calc, Impress, Draw, or Base, read the relevant component guide or search the application Help.

Some of the shortcuts listed here may not work if your operating system uses the same shortcuts for other tasks.

To resolve any conflicts, assign different keys to these shortcuts by reconfiguring either LibreOffice (see Chapter 14) or your operating system (see system documentation).

Assistive tools in LibreOffice

In addition to keyboard shortcuts, LibreOffice supports some assistive technology tools like screen magnification software, screen readers, and on-screen keyboards. Please note that except for the Windows platform, accessibility support relies on Java technology for communications with assistive technology tools. This means that the first program startup may take a few seconds longer, because the Java runtime environment has to be started as well.

A current list of supported assistive tools can be found on the Wiki at

Tip for Macintosh users

Some keystrokes are different on a Mac from those used in Windows and Linux. The following table gives some common substitutions for the instructions in this chapter. For a more detailed list, see the application Help.

Windows or Linux

Mac equivalent



Control+click and/or right-click depending on computer setup

Open a context menu

Ctrl (Control)

⌘ (Command)

Used with other keys



Open the Navigator



Open the Styles and Formatting window

Getting help

Shortcut Keys



Opens the LibreOffice Help dialog. In LibreOffice Help: jumps to the first help page of the selected tab.


Turns the cursor into the What’s This? question mark. Shows the tip for an item underneath the cursor.


Shows tip for a selected item.


In LibreOffice Help: goes up one level.

General keyboard shortcuts

Opening menus and menu items

Shortcut Keys



Opens a menu where <?> is the underlined character of the menu you want to open. For example, Alt+F opens the menu File.

With the menu open, you will again find underlined characters. You can access these menu items directly by pressing the underlined character key. Where two menu items have the same underlined character, press the character key again to move to the next item.

Example: to access the Printer Settings item of the File menu after opening it, press R twice to move from the initial Digital Signatures selection to Printer Settings.

There may be instances where an item in a menu has no underlined character. This will have to be clicked directly.


Closes an open menu.


Repeatedly pressing F6 switches the focus and circles through the following objects:

  • Menu bar 

  • Every toolbar from top to bottom and from left to right 

  • Every free window from left to right 

  • Document 


Switches through objects in the opposite direction.


Switches the focus to the document.

F10 or Alt

Switches to the Menu bar and back.


Closes an open menu.

Accessing a menu command

Press Alt or F6 or F10 to select the first item on the menu bar (the File menu). With the right‑arrow, the next menu to the right is selected; with the left-arrow, the previous menu. The Home and End keys select the first and the last item on the Menu bar.

The down-arrow opens a selected menu. An additional down-arrow or up-arrow moves the selection through the menu commands. The right-arrow opens any existing submenus.

Press Enter to run the selected menu command.

Running a toolbar command

Press F6 repeatedly until the first icon on the toolbar is selected. Use the right and left arrows to select any icon on a horizontal toolbar. Similarly, use the up and down arrows to select any icon on a vertical toolbar. The Home key selects the first icon on a toolbar, and the End key the last.

Press Enter to run the selected icon. If the selected icon normally demands a consecutive mouse action, such as inserting a rectangle, then pressing the Enter key is not sufficient: in these cases press Ctrl+Enter.

Press Ctrl+Enter on an icon for creating a draw object. A draw object will be placed into the middle of the view, with a predefined size.

Press Ctrl+Enter on the Selection tool to select the first draw object in the document. If you want to edit, size, or move the selected draw object, first use Ctrl+F6 to move the focus into the document.

Navigating and selecting with the keyboard

You can navigate through a document and make selections with the keyboard.



Plus Ctrl key

Right, left arrow keys

Moves the cursor one character to the left or to the right.

Moves the cursor one word to the left or to the right.

Up, down arrow keys

Moves the cursor up or down one line.

(Ctrl+Alt) Moves the cursor up or down one paragraph.


Moves the cursor to the beginning of the current line.

Moves the cursor to the beginning of the document.


Moves the cursor to the end of the current line.

Moves the cursor to the end of the document.


Scrolls up one page.

Moves the cursor to the header.


Scroll down one page.

Moves the cursor to the footer.

Controlling dialogs

When you open any dialog, one element (such as a button, an option field, an entry in a list box, or a checkbox) is highlighted or indicated by a dotted box around the field or button name. This element is said to have the focus on it.

Shortcut Keys



Activates selected button. In most cases where no button is selected, Enter is equivalent to clicking OK.


Closes dialog without saving any changes made while it was open. In most cases, Esc is equivalent to clicking Cancel. When an open drop-down list is selected, Esc closes the list.


Checks an empty checkbox. Clears a checked checkbox.

Up, down arrow keys

Moves focus up and down a list. Increases or decreases value of a variable. Moves focus vertically within a section of dialog.

Left, right arrow keys

Moves focus horizontally within a section of a dialog.


Advances focus to the next section or element of a dialog.


Returns focus to the previous section or element in a dialog.

Alt+Down Arrow

Shows items in a drop-down list.

Controlling macros

Shortcut Keys


Ctrl+* (multiplication sign: on number pad only)

Runs a macro field. (See Chapter 9 for more about macros.)


Stops a running macro.

Managing documents

Shortcut Keys


Ctrl+F4 or Alt+F4

Closes the current document. Closes LibreOffice when the last open document is closed.


Launches the Open dialog to open a document.


Saves the current document. If you are working on a previously unsaved file, the shortcut launches the Save As dialog.


Creates a new document.


Opens the Templates and Documents dialog.


Opens the Print dialog to print the document.


Closes the application.


In the Save and Open dialogs, deletes the selected files or folders. Items can be retrieved from the Recycle Bin (Trash), if your desktop has one.


In the Save and Open dialogs, deletes the selected files or folders. Items are permanently deleted: they can not be retrieved from the Recycle Bin.


In the Save and Open dialogs, shows contents of the current directory’s parent folder.


Shortcut Keys


Ctrl+X, Shift+Del

Cuts selected items.

Ctrl+C, Ctrl+Ins

Copies selected items to the clipboard.

Ctrl+V, Shift+Ins

Pastes copied or cut items from the clipboard.


Opens the Paste Special dialog.


Selects all.


Undoes last action.


Redoes last action.


Repeats last command.


Opens the Find dialog


Opens the Find & Replace dialog.


Searches for the last entered search term.


Refreshes (redraws) the document view.


Shows or hides the cursor in read-only text.

Selecting rows and columns in a database table opened by F4

Shortcut keys



Toggles row selection, except when the row is in edit mode.


Toggles row selection.


Selects the current column.

Ctrl+Page Up

Moves pointer to the first row.

Ctrl+Page Down

Moves pointer to the last row.

Shortcut keys for drawing objects

Shortcut keys


Select the toolbar with F6. Use the Down Arrow and Right Arrow to select the desired toolbar icon and press Ctrl+Enter.

Inserts a Drawing Object.

Select the document with Ctrl+F6 and press Tab.

Selects a Drawing Object.


Selects the next Drawing Object.


Selects the previous Drawing Object.


Selects the first Drawing Object.


Selects the last Drawing Object.


Ends Drawing Object selection.

Esc (in Handle Selection Mode)

Exit Handle Selection Mode and return to Object Selection Mode.

Up/Down/Left/Right Arrow

Move the selected point (the snap-to-grid functions are temporarily disabled, but end points still snap to each other).

Alt+Up/Down/Left/Right Arrow

Moves the selected Drawing Object one pixel (in Selection Mode).

Re-sizes a Drawing Object (in Handle Selection Mode).

Rotates a Drawing Object (in Rotation Mode).

Opens the properties dialog for a Drawing Object.

Activates the Point Selection mode for the selected drawing object.


Select a point of a drawing object (in Point Selection mode) / Cancel selection.

The selected point blinks once per second.


Select an additional point in Point Selection mode.


Select the next point of the drawing object (Point Selection mode).

In Rotation mode, the center of rotation can also be selected.


Select the previous point of the drawing object (Point Selection mode).


A new drawing object with default size is placed in the center of the current view.

Ctrl+Enter at the Selection icon

Activates the first drawing object in the document.


Leave the Point Selection mode. The drawing object is selected afterwards.

Edit a point of a drawing object (Point Edit mode).

Any text or numerical key

If a drawing object is selected, switches to edit mode and places the cursor at the end of the text in the drawing object. A printable character is inserted.

Alt key while creating or scaling a graphic object

The position of the object’s center is fixed.

Shift key while creating or scaling a graphic object

The ratio of the object’s width to height is fixed.

Defining keyboard shortcuts

In addition to using the built-in keyboard shortcuts listed in this Appendix, you can define your own. See Chapter 14, Customizing LibreOffice, for instructions.

Further reading

For help with LibreOffice’s keyboard shortcuts, or using LibreOffice with a keyboard only, search the application Help using the “shortcut keys” or “accessibility” keywords.