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Table Text Keyboard Shortcuts Stopped Working (and how to fix it)

The keyboard shortcuts for navigating through text stopped working… but only inside tables! To be honest, this broke over a year ago (I’m not sure exactly which InDesign upgrade broke them) but the annoyance just finally became so bad that I had to find a fix and share it with you.

The shortcuts I’m talking about are the simple ones like Command-Right Arrow to move one word to the right, and Command-Left Arrow to move one word to the left. The shortcuts continue to work fine when editing text in a frame, but not inside a table cell. (If you’re a Windows user, then think “Ctrl” whenever I say “Command.”)

And, I should point out that Adobe didn’t technically “break” them… they just reassigned those shortcuts to other features! For example, Command-Right arrow is now the shortcut for “Increase Cell Width” — if you have the cell or column selected, this shortcut makes the column wider by a pica or an inch or centimeter (depending on your current horizontal measurement system). Personally, I don’t need that shortcut; but I need to navigate text inside my table cells a lot!

Fortunately, the solution is actually pretty simple: You just need to add the shortcuts back.

  1. Choose Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts
  2. Make sure you’re working in a custom set (if you’re in the Default set, then click New Set to make a new one).
  3. Choose Text and Tables from the Product Area popup menu:

  1. Scroll down the list of Comments until you find “Move to the right one word”
  2. Choose Tables from the Context popup menu
  3. Click inside the New Shortcut field and press the shortcut you want (in this case Command-Right Arrow)
  4. Click the Assign button

Now you can repeat this for the other shortcuts: move to the left one word, move to the previous paragraph, and so on.

It’s such a relief to have these shortcuts working again!

David Blatner

David Blatner

David Blatner is the co-founder of the Creative Publishing Network, InDesign Magazine, and the author or co-author of 15 books, including Real World InDesign. His InDesign videos at Lynda.com are among the most watched InDesign training in the world. You can find more about David at 63p.com.
David Blatner

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7 Comments on “Table Text Keyboard Shortcuts Stopped Working (and how to fix it)

  1. I have found that many of the shortcut keys I have used for years no longer work. Is it a glitch on my computer?? For example, holding down the option key to constrain proportions while I click and drag, just to name the first one that comes to mind. (Any shortcut that involves the option key does not work.) I’m on the ;latest CC version. (And fyi, I have the same problem with Photoshop shortcut keys!) Any workarounds for the other shortcut keys?.

    • To constrain height/width, hold down the Shift key, not Option. (Photoshop actually recently changed this behavior, and now it will constrain normally, and it stops constraining when you hold down Shift. Very confusing for some of us!)

      • That was the first thing i reversed after updating Photoshop – it’s so confusing when it’s different between aplications :D

        How? (mac) create a PSUserConfig.txt in your “Adobe Photoshop CC 2019 Settings” Folder.
        Write this line into the .txt file and reload Photoshop: TransformProportionalScale 0

        Done :)

  2. Hi! do you what has happened with the Duplicate shortcut? It has not being working anymore… Please help, thanks!

  3. It would have been nice if Adobe created a keyboard shortcut set for those of us who used those shortcuts for 20 years! They still have the keyboard shortcut set for QuarkXPress users–deliver one with InDesign Legacy shortcuts, please.

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