Accessibility: Keyboard navigation and shortcuts for dialogs and pop-up modals

I would like to be able to interact with dialog/confirmation modals with hotkeys. For example, when I want to delete a note, and I get the confirmation, I want to use the keyboard to continue. Perhaps enter to continue and esc to cancel.


Yep. Thumbs up for this feature.

I consider this a critical component. After doing a global search I should be able to use the arrow keys to move to the appropriate note, press enter, and load that note. If I don’t see search results I want I should be able to press ESC to back out and return to the current note.


@MichaelMcDonald This! I stumbled upon that use case today and wanted to write a feature request for it. Seems like a separate feature request from the OP though


In addition, you would want to be able to use the arrow keys to navigate between the options in the modal dialog box

1 Like

@MichaelMcDonald this is definitely a separate feature request to that being raised in this thread BUT it is something that I consider critical too. Please make sure it is somewhere in its own thread so that it can get the correct attention.


Bumping this. Search results should be navigated with the keyboard. Arrow up and down throw the matches. Hit enter to open. Smile with satisfaction.


Sending another bump on this since keyboard navigation of these dialogs should be a basic functionality. I get it’s not a “shiny” or “cool” feature to work on / add, but it’s a quality-of-life improvement that helps those that don’t want to constantly move from keyboard -> mouse -> keyboard.

1 Like

Bumping again. After a month. Total of five months since the idea was suggested. It’s keyboard based navigation in it’s simplest form; not exactly something that should take long to implement.

@MichaelMcDonald if you’re the only one bumping I’m afraid that’s not really gone add to your case :wink:

Bumping this one - primarily for the ability to confirm / cancel the “Delete Note” dialog. But +1 for more keyboard nav in general.

I run into this regularly (with the Delete Note confirmation in particular).

I would like to suggest that pressing ESC while a popup menu is active should close it. This is pretty standard UX across most apps/OS platforms.

Here are some examples of the popup menus I am referring to:

  1. File explorer → right click on a note

  2. Note editor → right click on a [[link]]

  3. “Three dots” menu at top right corner of note

There are many others, but you get the idea.


Steps to reproduce

  1. context menu key (or shift + f10) while text cursor hovering appropriate link item such as a local attachment
  2. up or down with context menu open
  3. various attempts at resolving the context popup without a mouse, ideally by selecting an option rather than aborting
    3a. enter (nothing highlighted)
    3b. esc (known issue)
    3c. navigating focus away from note
    3d. closing all notes

Expected result

  • keyboard control ought to apply to context menu rather than note context until pop-up is resolved via an option being selected or aborting.
  • up and down ought to shift the highlighted item
  • enter ought to activate the highlighted selection
  • esc ought to close the popup (known issue)
  • context menu ought to abort if the note loses focus (minor)

Actual result

  • context menu key succeeds in opening pop-up
  • pop-up completely transparent to keyboard-driven operation
  • pop-up survives loss of context focus or context being closed completely (minor)


OS Name: Microsoft Windows 10 Home
OS Version: 10.0.19041 N/A Build 19041
Obsidian Version: v0.11.0

Additional information

known related issue