Distraction Free Writing and its Wonderful Shortcuts

Distraction Free Writing and its Wonderful Shortcuts

angry iconI have a confession. I’m very good at getting annoyed about things and chuntering away at my husband, without first investigating things properly. One of my recent annoyances has been Distraction Free Writing.

I’m generally a user of the visual editor. And I am particularly fond of using headings. So when I started using DFW and realized that there was no way for me to easily apply headings to text I was very annoyed. For a week or so I wrote my posts in the HTML editor – but that wasn’t really satisfactory as I like to see my formatting while I’m working.

Then I just used the standard editor, with its teeny weeny window (which I would pull down and expand).

And I would moan at my husband about how excited I was about DFW and how it had really let me down.

But no.

I’m sorry Distraction Free Writing, it is me that has let you down.

This morning I was getting annoying about being unable to easily add headings while I writing in DFW. In a moment of frustration I thought “I know! Let’s see if anyone on Google is as annoyed as I am.”

I Googled my problem and found this thread. And I thought “Oh no! Have I become a stupid, angry ranting person?”

However, I read through the thread and came across this:

the editors *could* click the help button and find the keyboard shortcuts for adding headings and such.

Help button???

I fired up WordPress, opened up DFW and clicked the help button. Here’s what’s there:

Distraction Free Writing shortcuts

Isn’t that nice? Now I can enjoy DFW – and anyone else who’s a dumbass like me can enjoy it too.

Here’s a breakdown of my favorite shortcuts:


I love how intuitive this is:

  • Ctrl + 1 – heading 1
  • Ctrl + 2 – heading 2
  • Ctrl + 3 – heading 3
  • Ctrl + 4 – heading 4
  • Ctrl + 5 – heading 5
  • Ctrl + 6 – heading 6

Other formatting

  • Ctrl + b – bold
  • Ctrl + i – italic
  • Ctrl + u – underline
  • Alt + Shift + d – strikethrough
  • Alt + Shift + u –  unordered list
  • Alt + Shift + o – ordered list
  • Alt + Shift + q – quote


  • Alt + Shift + a – insert link
  • Alt + Shift + s – remove link
  • Alt + Shift + m – insert image
  • Alt + Shift + e – switch to HTML mode
  • Alt + Shift + n – check spelling

What’s Missing?

There are two things that I can’t seem to find which would make awesome additional shortcuts:

  • An easy way to return to normal paragraph formatting
  • A switch to DFW mode (to get switch back from HTML mode
So, is it just me that was completely unaware of these?