Shortcut everything with one key

I would like to be able to use Obsidian exclusively with the keyboard. For me, this is the most efficient and pleasant form of operation when working with texts. I find that switching back and forth between keyboard and mouse disturbs the flow of my work and thoughts.

There are some shortcuts, but they often require the Control key to be pressed. From an ergonomic point of view, I don’t find this ideal or comfortable, as you have to spread your fingers apart.
Actually, the additional Control key is only necessary if a text input field has the focus. That’s why I suggest using the Escape key to remove the focus in order to access the SHORTCUT MODE.
The I or Insert key resets the focus as it was before. Of course, this could also be done with a mouse click.

In the following, I have put together suggestions for the shortcuts, which I have selected according to the principles of efficiency, ergonomics and easy memorability.

I thought it was necessary to write this down so extensively because it all has to fit together…

General

First key Second key Third key Action
Escape remove focus from text input field (or graph view/canvas)
SHORTCUT MODE
I or Insert reset focus to latest text input field (or graph view/canvas)
LEAVE Shortcut mode
Shift open fast chooser
Space open command palette
G open graph view
L open latest edited note
O L hide left sidebar (off left sidebar)
O R hide right sidebar (off right sidebar)
F3 toggle source code view (actually this should work outside of Shortcut mode)
F4 toggle fold properties of current file (actually this should work outside of Shortcut mode)
F12 open Obsidian preferences (actually this should also work outside of Shortcut mode)
V (Hold) Tab open another vault
Pos 1 create new tab in current frame
End close current note/graph/canvas
X save and close Obsidian without asking
Z toggle Zen mode (only show current note/graph/canvas without any overhead)

Notes

First key Second key Third key Action
N N note → new (within current directory)
N D note → new daily note
N O note → open
N Delete note → delete (with confirmation)
N F {string} note → find | search for {string in current note}
N M Arrow Keys (+) note → move current note

shows the explorer sidebar;
use Arrow Keys to jump with selection through the folders;
confirm movement with Enter;
cancel movement with Escape
N Tab (+) cycle through all frames with on open note (show a marker)
H show headings sidebar
H 1 - 9 go to heading 1 - 9 in highest heading hierarchy
H Arrow Keys Up/Down: move selection in list
Right: expand heading in sidebar
Left: collapse heading
Enter: go to selected heading
H Arrow Keys + Alt move selected heading with its content up or down, left or right within the heading list
H Arrow Keys Alt + Left increase the hierarchy level of the selected heading by one (remove one # in Markdown)
H Arrow Keys Alt + Right decrease the hierarchy level of the selected heading by one (add one # in Markdown)
H C toggle (note → headings → collapse)

Graph View

First key Second key Third key Action
G open graph view
G G show and center whole graph
G H highlight / animate briefly the location of the open notes/canvases.
G Tab (+) cycle through all frames with a graph view in it (show a marker)
Star animate graph

When a graph view HAS the focus, these are additions to the already given shortcuts…

Graph View with Focus

First key Second key Third key Action
0 - 9 show 0 - 9 levels of linked notes beginning from the current notes
H highlight / animate briefly the location of the open notes/canvases.
T toggle (show tags)
A toggle (show attachments)
R toggle (show relations / graph link types)
G toggle (show group colors)
O toggle (show orphan files)
P toggle (show pointers / arrows)
F G {string} filter groups with {string} in names
F T {string} filter tags with {string} in names
F N {string} filter notes with {string} in names
F A {string} filter attachments with {string} in names
F G Space disable group filtering
F T Space disable tag filtering
F N Space disable note filtering
F A Space disable attachment filtering
F Space disable all filters
Pos 1 increase spacing between nodes
End decrease spacing between nodes
C center view on all open notes/canvases

Navigation

First key Second key Third key Action
Left or Right cycle through notes in current tab
Up or Down cycle through tabs in current frame
Page Up move hidden focus to the next frame (show a marker)
Page Down move hidden focus to the previous frame (show a marker)
Tab cycle through the frames (without sidebars)
1 - 9 go to tab with number 1 - 9 in the current frame

Bookmarks

First key Second key Third key Action
B show bookmark sidebar
B B bookmark → new
B 1 - 9 open bookmark with number 1 - 9
B Arrow Keys Enter Up/Down: move selection in list
Right: expand folder
Left: collapse folder
Enter: open selected bookmark
B Delete bookmark → delete (with confirmation)
B D bookmark → new directory/group
B M Arrow Keys (+) note → move current bookmark

shows the explorer sidebar;
use Arrow Keys to jump with selection through the folders;
confirm movement with Enter;
cancel movement with Escape
B C toggle (bookmark → collapse)
B F {string} bookmark → filter bookmarks that contain {string}
B F Space bookmark → no filter
B S A bookmark → sort → ascendending
B S D bookmark → sort → descendending

Explorer

First key Second key Third key Action
E show explorer sidebar
E Arrow Keys Enter Up/Down: move selection in list
Right: expand folder
Left: collapse folder
Enter: open selected note
E Arrow Keys Delete Up/Down: move selection in list
Right: expand folder
Left: collapse folder
Delete: Delete selected note
E Arrow Keys M Up/Down: move selection in list
Right: expand folder
Left: collapse folder

M: move - mark selected file/directory as “repositioning”;
use Arrow Keys to jump with selection through the folders;
confirm movement with Enter;
cancel movement with Escape
E Arrow Keys D Up/Down: move selection in list
Right: expand folder

D: create directory at current location of the selection
E S A explorer → sort → ascendending
E S D explorer → sort → descendending
E S 1 explorer → sort → ascending edit time
E S 2 explorer → sort → descending edit time
E S 3 explorer → sort → ascending creation time
E S 4 explorer → sort → descending creation time

Search

First key Second key Third key Action
F show search sidebar
F P search → path search
“path:” is inserted in the search text field
F F search → file search
“file:” is inserted in the search text field
F T search → tag search
“tag:” is inserted in the search text field
F L search → line search
“line:” is inserted in the search text field
F S search → section search
“section:” is inserted in the search text field
F P search → property search
[] is inserted in the search text field;
cursor is located between brackets
F Space search → search everywere
nothing is inserted in the search text field

Canvas

First key Second key Third key Action
C C canvas → new
C F {string} canvas → search for {string} within canvas
C M Arrow Keys canvas → move current canvas file

shows the explorer sidebar;
use Arrow Keys to jump with selection through the folders;
confirm movement with Enter;
cancel movement with Escape
C Tab (+) cycle through all frames with on open canvas (show a marker)

Templates

First key Second key Third key Action
Period Arrow Keys (+) Enter or Escape show list of templates;
Enter to confirm and insert template;
Escape to cancel

Tags

First key Second key Third key Action
T show tag sidebar
T S A tags → sort → ascendending by name
T S D tags → sort → descendending by name
T S 1 tags → sort → ascendending by count
T S 2 tags → sort → descendending by count
T C toggle (collapse tag tree)
T Arrow Keys Enter tags → select tag → show files with this tag in search sidebar
T Page Up or Page Down (+) Enter tags → move tag selection pagewise → show files with this tag in search sidebar

Frames

First key Second key Third key Action
W S H window → split → horizontally
W S V window → split → vertically
W S Arrow Keys change size of current frame

Left or Right: change size horizontally
Up or Down: change size vertically

Enter: confirm/end size change
W End close frame

Workspaces

First key Second key Third key Action
^ show workspace dialog
^ L {string} load workspace…
^ S save workspace and load another…
^ 1 - 9 load workspace 1 - 9 without saving current workspace

As you may notice, the shortcuts are structured a bit like a Huffman tree, using fewer keys for more frequent tasks and more keys for less frequent tasks.

With this in mind, it is also possible to add shortcuts for other (Obsidian) extensions. I think the principle is easy to understand.

If you have better ideas for some keys, feel free to put them in the comments!

You can also buy me a coffee :coffee: if you want to support me in maintaining and coming up with new ideas…

What about using something like GitHub - esm7/obsidian-vimrc-support: A plugin for the Obsidian.md note-taking software.

They have a section on executing obsidian commands with a vimrc file: GitHub - esm7/obsidian-vimrc-support: A plugin for the Obsidian.md note-taking software.

1 Like

Thanks, that looks interesting! But as far as I understand it, it wouldn’t work for a lot of the actions I suggested.

I suppose those capabilities need to be implemented directly.

Yeah that is correct, all the keybinds specified wouldn’t work with that plugin.