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Create a Keyboard Shortcut for Preview Mode


Tim wrote:

How do I create a custom keyboard shortcut to toggle between Preview and Normal view?

You may already be aware that InDesign offers a built-in shortcut that switches between these two screen views: the W key. (No command, option, control, or other modifier key is necessary!) But there’s a problem with this shortcut: It doesn’t work when you’re editing text in a text frame. Instead, pressing “W” types the letter? well, you get what I mean.

So if you want a shortcut that will work all the time — even when editing text — you need to create your own shortcut.

First, select Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts. Choose a shortcut set other than Default from the Set pop-up menu, or create one by clicking New Set (it’s not a good idea to edit the default set).

Choose Tools from the Product Area pop-menu, and scroll down the list of features to choose “Toggle view setting between default and preview”:

Edit Preview Shortcut

Now click in the New Shortcut field and type the shortcut you want; in the image above, I’ve typed Ctrl-Option-W, which (according to the note below the field) is not currently being used elsewhere. Finally, click Assign and OK and try it out!

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 LinkedIn Learning ( are among the most watched InDesign training in the world. You can find more about David at
  • sas says:

    I like the ability to asign key commands for frequently used items like this. I wish though the entire suite would allow me to do this. I would like to be able to, for example, use F9 for the selection tool in InDesign and in Illustrator but the function keys are not an option in Illustrator.

  • Blake says:

    sas: You’re mostly right. You can use the function keys in Illustrator shortcuts, just not for any of the Tools (Selection, Direct Selection, etc.)

  • sas says:

    What’s nice about using the function key in ID is that I don’t need to worry if I am in text or not. When I use my F9 key as I’ve set it up, it automatically choses the selection tool. I never accidently type text by using a letter to select the tool. I still accidently put a ‘v’ in my text in Illustrator when in fact I want to activate the selection tool. Esc key doesn’t necessarily work in ID either, like if you are in a table.

  • fedegianni70 says:

    try to get used to the default shortcuts, it saves time if you’re in other machines

  • Paul D. says:

    It’s best to set up your keyboard shortcuts that work for you and take them with you or have them easily accessible (via a thumbdrive, dropbox, web site download, whatever.) That way if you’re on an unfamiliar machine, you can instantly be as productive as you normally are, instead of slowing down because someone changed the default shortcuts to their liking. Use presets!

    Same goes for your workspace setup.

  • creating user’s own set of shortcuts is really helpfull. I need to know whether it is user preferrence or document prefference?

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