IntelliJ IDEA 14.1.0 Help

Keymap Basics

You may have heard that IntelliJ IDEA is a keyboard-centric IDE. What it means, is that you can work with it without touching the mouse ever, which helps you stay focused and in the end, to be more productive. This is why it’s very important to know IntelliJ IDEA keymap, that is, what keys and key combinations are mapped to what actions.

Find the detailed information at Configuring Keyboard Shortcuts.This section helps you get a grip of the major keyboard-related features:


IntelliJ IDEA comes with a set of keymaps, which have been specially adapted for use with different operating systems, and to ease the transition from other IDE and editors. For example, if you are a long time user of Eclipse or NetBeans, or an avid Emacs fan, you can find the keymap that is right for you. To select a keymap that you want to use, open Keymap page of the Settings dialog. Any keymap you choose can further be tailored to your specific habits, that is you can add your own key combinations and modify existing ones.


Find action by shortcut

If you are wondering what this or that key shortcut does, open Keymap page of the Settings dialog, click find2, and look it up as shown below:


You can find the complete keymap reference in numerous ways:

In the webhelp, you can always view the desired shortcuts, if you choose your favorite scheme from the Shortcuts drop-down list.

Call action by name

Whenever you need to perform some action, but don’t know which shortcut to use, press Ctrl+Shift+A directly from the IDE, and start typing what you are looking for:


Refer to the section Navigating to Action for details.

Alternatively, click search_everywhere in the upper-right corner of the IntelliJ IDEA window. Find the detailed description here.

System shortcuts conflicts

Sometimes if you’d chosen a keymap that is specific for your operating system, there may still be conflicts between shortcuts used in IntelliJ IDEA and your OS. To avoid these conflicts, simply make the following tweaks in your system settings.

Different operating systems and editors

Mac os x

Switch the F1 - F12 keys to the standard function keys behaviour, because they are all actively used in IntelliJ IDEA.

Disable Show Spotlight search field, because its shortcut is Ctrl+Space, a default code completion shortcut in IntelliJ IDEA.

By default, the Mac OS X keymap is selected when you run IntelliJ IDEA for the first time on any Mac OS machine, but you can opt to the use of the Mac OS X 10.5+ keymap, which was specially designed for Mac OS X version 10.5 and later. This keymap is more friendly to the users, who are used to the Mac OS X system shortcuts.


Here’s a list of tweaks you need to make with default system key bindings so that they won’t interfere with IntelliJ IDEA actions (listed in brackets).

  • Disable the Shade window action, assigned to Ctrl + Alt + S (Settings dialog)
  • Change or disable the Lock Screen action, assigned to Ctrl + Alt + L (Reformat code)
  • Change or disable the Launch terminal action, assigned to Ctrl + Alt + T (Surround with)
  • Change or disable the Switch to workspace action, assigned to Сtrl + Alt + Arrows (Navigation)
  • Disable the Move window action, assigned to Alt + F7 (Find usages)
  • Change or disable the Resize window action, assigned to Alt + F8 (Evaluate expression)


And finally if you are a dedicated Vim fan and cannot go on coding in a different editor, then you will happy to know that IntelliJ IDEA has Vim emulation plugin. To enable Vim keymap in IntelliJ IDEA you have to download and enable IdeaVim plugin in the Plugins page of the Settings dialog.

Learn how to use plugin here.

See Also

External Links:

Web Resources:

Last modified: 12 August 2015