Joomla User Manual

Manual Index

Keyboard Shortcuts


Since Joomla! 4.2.0 (and a GSoC project in 2021) users can use their keyboard on the Administrator site to cause certain actions. For example, saving the current page, going to the home dashboard or opening the options. There is also an overview with all the possible shortcuts, which opens up by pressing J and X sequentially (not at the same time!). Unless you change the plugin settings you must press the keys within 2 seconds.

The feature is enabled by default. It can be disabled or configured under Administrator  System  Plugins  System - Keyboard Shortcuts. Currently the only configuration is the timeout how long the system will wait for your next key input. By default it waits for 2000 milliseconds (2 seconds).

Default Shortcuts in Joomla

  • J + A - Save current content
  • J + S - For Save & Close
  • J + Q - Cancels the current page
  • J + N - Presses the New button
  • J + F - Sets focus on the Search field
  • J + O - Goes to Options
  • J + H - Help window opens (could trigger a browser pop-up warning)
  • J + M - Toggles the menu bar
  • J + X - Displays a list of available Shortcuts
  • J + D - Goes directly to the Home Dashboard

Third Party Shortcuts

Other developers can add their shortcuts too. The Joomla plugin calls the onLoadShortcuts Event, which can be used by other plugins as well. The event needs to be added to the list of getSubscribedEvents inside the plugin. The assigned function could look like this:

public function onLoadShortcuts(EventInterface $event): void {
   $shortcuts = $event->getArgument('shortcuts');
   $exampleShortcuts = array('example' => (object)['shortcut' => 'E', 'title' => 'Great Example', 'selector' => '#menu-collapse']);
   $event->setArgument('shortcuts',  array_merge($shortcuts, $exampleShortcuts));

Pay close attention to the array_merge part: When the already existing shortcuts are not merged with the new ones, the old ones are overwritten.

Developers can provide an array with shortcut objects:

{ shortcut: string, selector: string, title: string }
  • The Shortcut needs to be a keyboard input, separated by a plus e.g. "Y" or "ALT + Z + 7" (currently there is really no filtering). Keep in mind that every shortcut sequence will start with J.
  • Selectors are CSS-selectors or URLs to specify the target. When it is an input element, the shortcut gives focus as it is the case for the search field. Otherwise the element will be clicked or the URL will be called.
  • The Title will be displayed in the overview. It could be the name of the target for example.


Some may wonder about the decision to use sequential shortcuts or the J as the start instead of Ctrl or something else. The main reasons are accessibility and the avoidance of interruption by other software. For example Ctrl + S would be nice for saving an article, but is already used by browsers. The same can happen for screen readers or password managers etc. So the safer option was to use something Joomla specific like the J at the start.

Now the other problem is that it is not always possible to press more than one key at once. Windows has the Sticky Key mode for this, but it is only working for modifier keys like Shift, Ctrl and Alt. So the plugin uses sequentially input right from the start which makes it usable by more people even without the help of OS-modes.