I know that everyone here's gonna have an opinion on this one.

Are you a CMD+S kinda guy? Maybe you're a gal who likes to party with Option+Shift+3. Keep it sneaky with CMD+Shift+U?

For my two cents I'm going with plain old B in edit window keyboard focus, split region. Best ever... In my humble opinion.

One each!

  • P.s. This may, just may, turn into the only really awesome flame war in the history of the Internet.
    – g.a.harry
    Apr 9, 2011 at 21:44
  • Option+Shift+3 is also the business :)
    – JTC
    Apr 9, 2011 at 22:16
  • Like ⌘+i to put your waveforms in italic? Apr 9, 2011 at 22:37
  • 1
    I'm surprised the first and only answer wasn't UNDO!!!
    – Utopia
    Apr 9, 2011 at 22:55
  • 1
    @Utopia, that's mine for EVERY program EVER. Apr 10, 2011 at 0:15

32 Answers 32


My favourites/constantly used Quickeys/shortcuts fall into three categories:

mouseless editing:

  • move cursor to next/prev region boundary: tab, OPT tab
  • select between cursor and next/prev region boundary: SHIFT tab, OPT SHIFT tab
  • move region earlier/later by nudge value: +/-
  • change nudge value: CMD OPT +/-
  • trim region start boundary by nudge value: OPT +/-
  • trim region end boundary by nudge value:CMD +/-
  • move file contents within region boundaries: CNTOL +/-
  • fade from cursor to front/end: Quickeys script

accessing/tweaking automation:

  • display volume automation: CMD minus
  • display pan automation: Quickeys script: CMD minus, CMD CNTRL right arrow x 5 (with 5.1 output)
  • delete all pan automation: Quickeys menu action

varispeed manipulation

  • play stereo track forwards: CNTRL numeric keypad 5
  • play backwards/forwards: CNTRL numeric keypad minus/plus
  • play half speed: CNTRL numeric keypad 2
  • play quarter speed: CNTRL numeric keypad 1
  • display Pitch AS plug: Quickeys menu action
  • display Pitch n Time AS plug: Quickeys menu action
  • display Reverse AS plug: Quickeys menu action

plus CNTRL Q = displays Quickeys Editor

  • @Tim Have you been using that keypad you got where you can customize the keys and move them around where you want?
    – Utopia
    Apr 10, 2011 at 22:42
  • @Tim I unplugged my mouse for a month after I read your Mouseless Editing blog post last year just to force the learning curve. Great tips! Apr 11, 2011 at 1:45
  • @Utopia I do use it a bit, but not lots - it means one hand has to leave the mouse/keyboard.. i've got zoom levels set up on it at the moment, for each stem of source tracks
    – user49
    Apr 11, 2011 at 2:33
  • @Tim Cool. Do you use a mouse with programmable buttons? I have some awesome ideas for you to use if you want.
    – Utopia
    Apr 11, 2011 at 3:42
  • @Utopia nope, normal old mac mouse with side buttons disabled... i can cut fast between it & keyboard with quickeys
    – user49
    Apr 11, 2011 at 6:13

One of my favorites is one that's in PT by mistake (ie: a programming error). It only works on Mac as well.

Shift + Opt + 3 creates a consolidated selection. However, if you add Ctrl to it before you hot 3 then it will fill your selection with a 1K -20dB sine wave. Which is perfect for making 2pops and 3beeps.

I have other favorites, but this one stands out as a bit unique.

-----Everything below was edited in-----

Here's some added one's that I use the most. Keep in mind I typically work in Command Focus A/Z mode.

R and T in command focus mode = Zoom Out+In

CMD + to toggle Edit/Mix window Shift + CMD + N = New Track (CMD + Arrow keys add additional shortcuts in track creation window like changing channel and track types, Shift + CMD + Up/Down Arrows = Add or Subtract a new entry line)

B = Separate Region

CMD + T = Top & Tail (Trim region start and end to selection)

CMD + F = Fade Utility + D & G Fade to start/end/ Tools.

Option + C = Clear Clip Indicators

Shift + Option + 3 = Consolidate

Shift + Spacebar = Halfspeed Playback or Halfspeed Record.

Shift + CMD + U = Select Unused.

F = Focus Cursor

Option + F = Focus Selection to screen width.

~ = Toggle Editing mode

Tab, Shift Tab, Option Tab and Shift Option Tab all for navigating between regions and making selections.

P and ; for moving the cursor/selection up and down tracks

CTRL + Click and Drag to retain time position while moving regions up and down tracks.

Option = Option Does to All

Shift + Option = Does to Selected

CMD + D = Duplicate at end of Region

Option + Click and Drag = Copies and Drags Copy to New Location

Option + Ctrl + Click Drag Up or Down will Duplicate Region Vertically with Time Constraints.

Shift + , = Drop Sync Point on Region.

Control + Click = Snap Region Start to cursor Control + CMD + Click = Snap Region End to cursor Shift + Ctrl + Click = Snap Sync Point to Cursor

Opt + Ctrl + CMD + Down Arrow to fit tracks to window height.

E = Explode

I could go on and on. I'll stop here though.

  • @Syndicate, I am totally in love with you right now. I use sine tones all over the place. Any other hidden gems?
    – g.a.harry
    Apr 12, 2011 at 1:02
  • I used this as an April Fools joke once on someone - consolidated their whole mix with this. p.s. I personally like 500 Hz and below for ADR beeps - easier on the ears.
    – Utopia
    Apr 12, 2011 at 1:31
  • @g.a.harry - I added a bunch more to my list Apr 12, 2011 at 3:10
  • @Syndicate, Wa wa wee wa! I use a lot of them already, but yeah, wicked. Shift+Spacebar is my absolute favourite of them all, just 'cause I often get an unexpected moment of hilarity when I hit it by accident. @Utopia, Agreed.
    – g.a.harry
    Apr 12, 2011 at 4:00
  • 2
    @g.a.harry - You can put it in record mode before you hit Shift + Spacebar to do some neat recording tricks. I often use a lot for doing Foley. Like when I need high heels and only have dress shoes. The foley actor still gets to hit their marks, but when it plays back it sounds like high-heels. This works well when recording other things you might want to alter to a higher pitch as well. I just with they had a double or quadruple + or - option. to make this accidental feature more awesome. Apr 12, 2011 at 5:30

A couple more handy ones for automation.. (I'm using a Mac by the way)

Control + Option + Command + Click on a plug-in parameter to shortcut enable its automation.

Control + Command + Click on a parameter to view its automation lane (ie fader volume, pan or plug-in parameter)

Would be great if there was a way to "Sticky" this thread too ;)


Cmd + + / for automation "Write to current..."

Great for snapshot automation.


  • 2
    Good old "three finger salute"! Apr 9, 2011 at 23:03

My left hand fingers are super-savers ... they have got a mind of their own.


Perhaps not my "favorite", but ⇧S to solo a track is invaluable to me.

  • You can also shift+R to record arm or shift+M to mute, all 3 are excellent.
    – JTC
    Apr 10, 2011 at 8:58

cntrl-opt-grab to put a copy of a region at my current cursor location or its variant: cntrl-shift-opt-grab to put a copy of a region with its sync point lined up at my current cursor position. Invaluable to quickly move stuff around. http://vimeo.com/13974712 - the rest of them.

  • @Brent_in_Sydney, I only just discovered this one. It's now up near the top of my list.
    – g.a.harry
    Apr 10, 2011 at 14:36

I'm loving this thread. For what it's worth I'm on 8.1, have my numeric keyboard set to Transport and have the "a/z" box checked in the Edit window to enable Keyboard Focus. Here's a few I haven't seen yet:

  • CMD + OPT + Tab = Toggles Tab to transients on/off
  • CNTRL + Numeric Keys 1-9 = Shuttle selected track (1= min, 5=normal, 9=max) while the numeric - & + toggle forward/reverse playback. 0 stops, ESC or spacebar exits Shuttle mode.
  • R / T = Zoom Out / In (One less key to hit than CMD + [/])
  • E = Zoom Toggle selected track
  • CMD + CNTRL + Right Arrow/Left Arrow = Displays next automation lane on main track. Tim mentioned this, but it works without a Quickkeys script also. Just keep pressing the arrow.
  • CMD + OPT + W = Closes all plugin windows

I've also gone into System Preferences > Keyboard > Keyboard Shortcuts and added some Application specific shortcuts to PT. All you have to do is click + to add a new shortcut, type in the Menu Title exactly as it is shown in any Menu or Sub-Menu and then assign a Keyboard Shortcut to it. Here's some of mine:

  • CNTRL + I = Open I/O window
  • CMND + SHIFT + P = Open Peripherals window
  • CMD + SHIFT + A = Make Track Inactive
  • CMD + CNTRL + S = Save As...
  • CMND + SHIFT + S = Save Copy In...
  • CMND + SHIFT + 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 0 = Opens frequently used AS plugin windows

Notice how I skipped CMND + SHIFT + 3 on that last one? Yeah, don't overwrite that one. Only problem with this is determining if you are overwriting an existing keyboard shortcut. But, if you do they're not lost forever. Just go back in to the Keyboard Shortcut and reassign your new shortcut to something else.

  • @Steve, Perfect! Any idea if it'll work with windows too? I suppose I'll find out in about ten minutes.
    – g.a.harry
    Apr 11, 2011 at 14:41
  • @Steve, I just tried to set this up on my PT at work. I've set it up so that CMD+SHIFT+1 should bring up Reverse. It seems to be triggering the menu (it goes blue) but the plug itself doesn't want to open. What do you suggest?
    – g.a.harry
    Apr 11, 2011 at 21:19
  • @g.a.harry Well I don't have a Windows machine, so I can be certain. With OS X you don't have to type the full path name, just the menu item. So, for example, you don't have to assign it to "AudioSuite > Other > Reverse", simply "Reverse" and the OS finds it. Also, this may be obvious, but be in an open session. If the menu item is grayed out, it won't work. It'll just flash the menu heading blue. Apr 15, 2011 at 12:27

My fav is CMD+Q


I love switching tools with Cmd + the numbers, and also love zoom in and out with Cmd + Square brackets :)

This thread will probably end up showing me stuff I didn't even know existed!


  • @Joe, You can switch tools with F6-8 as well. Any two together give you the multi.
    – g.a.harry
    Apr 10, 2011 at 1:24
  • @Joe click on the 'A..Z' button on your edit window and 'r' and 't' become your zooms.... it's a life changer, believe! Apr 12, 2011 at 22:00

Shift + Command + W

Because I know I'm done with that project.


Oh and:

Control + Option + Command + Shift + A

Opens my Disk Allocation. I made that shortcut 6 years ago and always kept it. On other computers that don't have it programmed I think the computer is frozen.

  • I also like putting a previous mix on a runoff track in record mode and pressing Option-K to A-B between to two.
    – Utopia
    Apr 10, 2011 at 4:49

⌥⇧3 of course.... it often signals the end of things.. a milestone. great feeling.


command q

< > nudge

i wish i knew more though

command option i


⌥F to focus on the selection, then adjust with ⌘[ and ⌘].

Also < and > to nudge a region.

  • Yes. This is a lifesaver when editing and touching up music recordings to put them in time!
    – Utopia
    Apr 9, 2011 at 22:54

cmd-? for toggling waveform and volume. On a 100hr project it could potentially be lunch break in saved time compared to the mouse method. I like PT, but I like it more with high blood sugar levels.

  • @penguinhearder, The minus key ( - ) does that too. Saves a keystroke.
    – g.a.harry
    Apr 10, 2011 at 14:35
  • @g.a.harry It's the same command - he just doesn't have his "A..Z" switch on.
    – Utopia
    Apr 11, 2011 at 19:07

my left hand is always parked on the Q W E R T an the A S keys . The zoom presets 1 2 3 4 5 are also just above and very useful too.


Gotta say with edit window (command) focus Q and W are my favs. When you have a selection, Q or W respectively moves the zoom focus to the beginning or end of the selection respectively.

  • same as left or right arrow?
    – user49
    Apr 11, 2011 at 6:19
  • @Tim - Yes, it's the exact same. Apr 12, 2011 at 3:11

Most of my standard ones have already been mentioned. To zoom the waveform height up and down, I use CMD+OPT+[ and CMD+OPT+] (you can also hold down OPT+SHIFT and spin the scroll wheel).

Another good one is CMD+H which heals a region that you've cut with B or CMD+E.

A fairly obscure one that's very handy when you need it are grid and nudge value adjust. I find that when I need to do quarter frame or subframe editing, it's quicker than changing the values with the mouse. CMD+OPT+NUMBERPAD + and CMD+OPT+NUMBERPAD - adjust the nudge value. CTRL+OPT+NUMBERPAD + and CTRL+OPT+NUMBERPAD - control the grid value.


Tab to transient in keyboard focus mode, then hit "a". Auto sizes the region to the cursor point. Works at the end of a region too (minus the tab to transient) with "s".

Goes great with "option + f", which auto-zooms to the width of the selected region.

  • @g.a.harry, nice one - didn't know about option+f! Aug 14, 2011 at 0:04

Two simple quick keys for PT that are frequently used:

COMMAND + Z = undo last move COMMAND + S = quick save (you never know when PT will freeze or shutdown)



Without a doubt...compulsively hit Splat S when I inhale, compulsively hit Splat S when I exhale...and a few compulsive times in between...religiously!!!


While technically not standard key commands, using the OSX preferences I've set up my own custom commands for various AudioSuite plug ins.


Shift + Control + G = Gain, Shift + Control + N = Normalize, Shift + Control + I = Invert, Shift + Control + P = Pitch Shift, Shift + Control + R = Reverb (Revolver), Shift + Control + D = Delay (Echoboy), Shift + Control + A = Autotune, Shift + Control + V = Vocalign, Shift + Control + E = EQ (DMG Equality),

and more...

Saves a TON of time not having to dive through the various menus to get to a commonly used plug in.

Thinking of even setting up a command for "Process" as having to click it bums me out sometimes haha!


Optn+Shft+3 (Consolidate selection) & Cmnd+F (Create Fades)


CMD + Click = Snap to cursor for getting everything exactly where you want it

  • love this one and its variants
    – AGZFX
    Oct 1, 2011 at 3:56

Learned a few more tonight in Pro Tools 10.

  • Control + Shift + minus = Toggles Clip Gain Line (similar to toggle volume graph)
  • Control + Shift + X = Cut Clip Gain Line
  • Control + Shift + C = Cut Clip Gain Line
  • Control + Shift + B = Clear Clip Gain Line

However, contrary to the trend you see forming here, "V" or Cmd + V will paste your clip gain line after cut or copy.

If you're mousing around, they're tucked up in the Edit > Cut / Copy / Clear Special menus.

Oh and don't forget:

  • Control + Shift + Up / Down Arrow = Increases or decreases the Clip Gain by a value you set up in Preferences > Editing > Clips > Clip Gain Nudge Value.

I think I kissed my Mac when I first realised this shortcut was available:

Restore previous selection: Command + Option + Z

Also, I like these two for getting a quick overview:

Fit all shown tracks to edit window: Control + Option + Command + Up/Down Arrow

Vertical Zoom to show all tracks: Option + A

  • Option A is probably my favorite, I was managing a ton of tracks on my music tech final and without that I doubt I'd have finished in time.
    – gahoolecat
    Feb 28, 2012 at 19:05

Most of my favorites have been mentioned, but I'd have to add Cntrl+Opt+Cmd+Up/Down to vertically fit all tracks to the edit window, and the recently discovered series of clip list commands:

Shift+Cmd+F = Search by name, and Shift+Cmd+D = clear search

Those two are of especially useful.

Also, A and S for quick clip trimming, and Cmd+T to trim to selection, Cntrl+-/+, tool commands (Cmd+7, what?), .....Don't get me started!

We could start another thread titled "You know you're a Pro Tools geek when...."

  • I have to add Cntrl+Drag from the clip list. That has save me SO much time layering fx and sync'ing! Feb 11, 2012 at 18:38

ctrl click on group to show only tracks in that group - I found that by mistake today - but it is damn useful :)


Hi all, I know quite a few of you check out my blog from time to time, but for those of you who dont, I just wanted to spruik the last 4 videos Ive done this week. All based around getting PT editors less reliant on their mouse and more into "two hand" editing. Hope they are useful!

Zooming and navigation: Editing Bootcamp 1 - Zooms and Navigation on Vimeo

Tabbing and selecting Editing Bootcamp 2 - tabbing and selecting on Vimeo

Keyboard based trims and auditioning Editing Bootcamp 3 - editing and auditioning on Vimeo

Last video on nudging and its various modifiers and the importance of fluidly toggling "insertion follows playback" and your preroll/postroll Editing Bootcamp 4 - Advanced nudging on Vimeo

The information is provided free of charge (unlike some other "blogs"...), all I ask if that you pass it on to fellow engineers so we can all work at our best.

  • Just finished watching these ones Brent! Great stuff, so thanks a bunch :) Looking forward to some more! Any vids on advanced automation or how to reconform sessions would be great too :)
    – Andy Lewis
    Oct 1, 2011 at 8:17
  • I did the automation ones years ago - watch the bottom bits of the ICON bootcamp series on preview, write to functions etc that should help Oct 1, 2011 at 9:27

Option + C clears all clip indicators!

Control + Option + Command and click on your meters to get phat meters.

Control + Option + Command + W hides all floating windows.

oh and Option + Command + G makes a clip group.

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