Keyboard and Mouse Shortcuts

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Keyboard Shortcuts

Entries in italics don't appear in any menu.

Menu File
New fileCTRL + N
New from templateCTRL + ALT + N
Open an existing fileCTRL + O
Close current fileCTRL + W
Save asCTRL + Shift + S
Save as template CTRL + ALT + S
Save as imageCTRL + SHIFT + E
PrintCTRL + P
Print PreviewCTRL + ALT + P
QuitCTRL + Q
Menu Edit
UndoCTRL + Z
RedoCTRL + Shift + Z
CopyCTRL + C
PasteCTRL + V
Select AllCTRL + A
Deselect AllCTRL + Shift + A
Search / ReplaceCTRL + F
Edit TextCTRL + Y
Copy ContentsCTRL + SHIFT + C
Paste ContentsCTRL + SHIFT + V
UndoCTRL + Z
Menu Item
DuplicateCTRL + ALT + SHIFT + D
DeleteCTRL + K
GroupCTRL + G
UngroupCTRL + SHIFT + G
Lock/UnlockCTRL + L
Size is lockedCTRL + SHIFT + L
Level / RaiseCTRL + HOME
Level / LowerCTRL + END
Level / Raise to topHOME
Level / Lower to bottomEND
Menu Insert
Text FrameT
Image FrameI
Bezier CurveB
Freehand LineF
Character / Page NumberCTRL + ALT + SHIFT + P
Character / Smart HyphenCTRL + SHIFT + -
Character / Non Breaking HyphenCTRL + ALT + -
Character / Frame BreakCTRL + RETURN
Character / Column BreakCTRL + SHIFT + RETURN
Character / New LineSHIFT + RETURN
Menu Style
Image EffectsCTRL + E
Menu View
Fit in windowCTRL + 0
100% ZoomCTRL + 1
Show RulersCTRL + SHIFT + R
Zoom inCTRL + Plus
Zoom inCTRL + Plus
Zoom outCTRL + Minus
Menu Tools
Edit ContentsE
Edit Text Frame with Story EditorCTRL + Y
Eye DropperY
Link Text FrameN
Unlink Text FrameU
Rotate ObjectR
Zoom toolZ
Menu Windows
Menu Help
Scribus Manual ...F1
Hide/Bring up all PalettesF10
Hide/Bring up all Guides, Grids etc.F11
Insert glyph by typing its Unicode valueF12

Additional Shortcuts

Inside text frames or in the Story Editor, shortcuts are working as common in modern text editors:

Add the next character to the selectionSHIFT + Arrow right/left
Marks the current wordCTRL + SHIFT + Arrow right/left
Marks the complete textCTRL + A
Move to the end / start of the lineEND / HOME
Moves the cursor one wordCTRL + ALT + Arrow right/left

Changing Keyboard Shortcuts

In File > Preferences you can change all menu-related shortcuts and also set new ones:


To change or assign an action to a shortcut, select the action in the list. If a shortcut is assigned, it will be displayed in the gray field on the right. If the action has no shortcut assigned, the dialog will show the radio button "No Key" active. Click "Set Key" and type the new shortcut on the keyboard. If the shortcut isn't already assigned to another action, the radio button "User Defined Key" becomes active. In case the shortcut is already in use by another action, a warning will pop up.

You can also use your custom shortcuts on another computer. Just click on the "Export" button, and save a "Key Set XML File" (kxml) using a file dialog. To use it on another computer, copy it to a USB stick or something similar and load it with the "Import" button there. By clicking the "OK" button, you make the loaded set the shortcut set for your current and future documents. If you want or need to return to the default shortcut set, click on "Reset".

Another option is "Loadable Shortcut Sets". By default, it doesn't seem to be useful, as the only set in the drop down list is "Scribus 1.3.3". You can, however, easily create your own shortcut set, eg. to mimic the behaviour of another layout program you know. Just create a plain text file that looks like this:

 <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
 <shortcutset name="InDesign 2.x">
     <function name="fileOpen" shortcut="Ctrl+O"/>
     <function name="fileSave" shortcut="Ctrl+S"/>

"function name" denotes the action in Scribus, and since you probably won't know what all the functions' names are, it's probably better to open the file scribus13.ksxml in the install directory of Scribus under /lib/scribus/keysets (or \lib\scribus\keysets on Windows and OS/2) and use it as a template. If you edit the file, don't forget to save it under a different name, because otherwise you'll lose your Scribus default shortcuts. Once you've finished adding your desired shortcuts, save or copy the file to the "keysets" directory mentioned above, and the new shortcut will be available from the drop down list. Please note that you'll probably need root/Administrator privileges to save the file in this directory. After selecting the new set from the list, you have to click the "Load" button and then click "OK".

Mouse Usage

Mouse usage in Scribus has some subtle, but once learned, very useful shortcuts:

  • Click third button, or on two button mice ("chord" them by click left and right together), refreshes the view.
  • Control+ Shift + left click for select through levels on the same layer.
  • Control + left click resize/move for lower objects. Release + drag resizes. Hold down Control + drag moves.
  • Left click + drag resizes frames. Add control, you get orthogonal movement
  • Shift + left click + drag resizes frames proportionally.
  • Ctrl + Alt + left click + drag resizes text frames and their content.
  • Rotate tool + Ctrl + left click rotates an item in steps of 15 degrees.
  • Right click: A context menu will pop up offering some choices.
  • Ctrl + wheel zooms the view in and out.
  • Shift + wheel adds a 10x multiplier to scroll wheel action.
  • Ctrl + Right button drag allows you to pan the document up or down and/or left to right depending on the zoom factor.


  • Space Bar toggles panning mode for the mouse
  • With nothing selected, Tab will change between the open documents
  • In normal mode we can:
    • Use backspace or delete to delete the item
    • Use PageUp to raise an item
    • Use PageDown to lower an item
    • Use the arrow keys to move an item or group around:
    With no meta, by 1.0 unit
    Ctrl, by 10.0 units
    Shift by 0.1 units
    Ctrl Shift 0.01 units
    • Use the arrow keys to resize an item:
    Alt right arrow, move right side outwards (expand)
    Alt left arrow, move left side outwards (expand)
    Alt Shift right arrow, move left side inwards (shrink)
    Alt Shift left arrow, move right side inwards (shrink)
    • In edit mode of an image frame, use the arrow keys to resize the image:
    (flows to pageitem_imageframe for control)
    Alt right arrow, move right side of image outwards (expand)
    Alt left arrow, move right side inwards (shrink)
    Alt down arrow, move bottom side downwards (expand)
    Alt up arrow, move top side inwards (shrink)
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