Keyboard navigation in settings menu, plugin menu

It is very useful having keyboard shortcuts for navigation within the workspace. However, it is very unfortunate that when I go to settings, I cannot fully navigate through different options using the keyboard. IE: changing settings in ‘Editor’ using only the keyboard or changing hotkeys using only the keyboard.


Welcome to the club, of keyboard navigation feature requester.

I tried campaigning for it. In fact I was seeking full Spatial-navigation, but that is out-of-world feature anywhere on the web.
But at the least I am batting for basic keyboard navigation and if possible Underlined-letter-key-navigation.


has anyone tried the Vim mode?


Yeah, I have. I works very well for file editing. With the right plugins you are able to switch panes easily. But still there is a definite deficit of keyboard control over the menu’s or file explorer.
So you’ll have to put your hand on the mouse sometime.
If you work with “Maps of content” though you will be able to leave your hands on the keyboard most of the time.


I wholeheartedly support this feature as well. Seems like it shouldn’t be that difficult to implement. At least being able to go down from the search window to the results would be vital.


+100 Seem like a standard thing that if your in the Setting window you should be able to navigate up and down the items on the left (or right) using ‘UpArrow’ and ‘DownArrow’, and then ‘Ctrl + Tab’ to to toggle the focus on the right or left of the Settings window. Then page up and down could work on the scroll bar.

At least ‘Esc’ closes the Settings window. And ‘Tab’ cycles through all input fields on the right.

I find it odd that the focus of the Arrow keys remains on the underlying open note. If your smashing keys to try and work out what works in the Settings window this edits the underlying note and mucks it all up. Can’t see why this would be deliberate, or am I missing something?


I’d like to throw my hat in on this one as well. For a note taking app that makes such strides to be productivity, power user, and “expandability” focused, it’s odd that greater keyboard navigation isn’t supported, especially since the app clearly takes so many queues from tools like vim and emacs.


Hi, I’m new with obsidian but bewildered about this lack of keyboard navigation in the menus too. Because as something text based, I hate leaving my keyboard just to click on something.

There is another request about this since Mar’21 but I’m not sure about any progress…

I didn’t even expect as much as searchable settings (though will love it too), I just really want at least arrow up and down + Enter for most things. I agree with what @evoalg said, ubiquitous UI things that work on of windows file explorer should work on on obsidian too

Besides the settings, I really hope this is applicable on file explorer, the outline pane, etc. This is essential when you are creating a comprehensive note with lots of headings you want to jump in-between. Specially since escaping search within page often leaving the view and cursor somewhere else.

I already map the in-app hotkeys for opening/closing panes or jumping between panes, but it is a useless shortcut if in the end I need to use my mouse to click on them in the end.


Just bumping to keep the gripe alive! This could be better.


I wholeheartedly agree. Being able to navigate settings with keyboard seems like it would be a sure thing. Hope this gets implemented soon!


Bumping because this is an accessibility feature.


Keyboard navigation is a necessary core feature for this application. We have customisable command hotkeys, so why not this? Hopefully basic key navigation will arrive in a release soon, but I would expect it to be polished over time by implementing some of the user-friendly suggestions seen above.
Another navigation system that might be worth mentioning, is a responsive key overlay system, similar to Key Jump for Firefox. I could see that working as a mod if the core developers don’t like it.


The benefit of a responsive overlay would be that it could also be used to follow internal and external links in the editor/reader panes.

Day to day operation of obsidian, I have managed to get totally mouseless; same goes for the rest of my computer (MacOS, very modified). But in both the case of Obsidian and MacOS, it appears that the settings are one of those things you simply must use the mouse for.

I vent here to bump a feature I need but do not have the ability to implement. If anyone in the future finds a plugin, let us desperate mouse-averse users know.

Bumping it too. It’s rather disappointing that this facility is missing from the Obsidian UI and I look forward to it being implemented soon.

Yes. I need that!

+1 pls

I found out that the difference for me being able to use VSCode 90% or 100% with the keyboard (including settings and folder navigation) makes about a 20% to 30% productivity increase. It’s just my mind being able to focus on what I want to do and not on finding the mouse with my hand, figuring out where the pointer is and then getting used to this mode of interaction, only to find the right finger position on the keyboard moments later.

Both programs are build on Electron, I don’t see why they can’t just copy a lot of what VS Code does. It’s even open source… This is such a big thing for a lot of people and the effort is more in the realm of a plugin (one person job), that I think it’s a bad business decision to not prioritize this feature. Even tough it might look like it has a small user base, this user base is loud. How many people choose their note taking software based on a creators recommendation? And how many productivity creators would be hyped about 100% keyboard accessibility, especially if it’s communicated well?

Obsidian, NOW 100% keyboard assailable.
NEVER reach for your mouse.


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Bumping. This is a crucial feature for developers and writers. Mouse is flow-disruptive.

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+1 We need to be able to use our keyboard to be able to access and navigate the settings model. This is essential to finally ditching that lame mouse.

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