Podcast Episode

Use Keyboard Shortcuts to Speed Up WordPress


Is there a plugin for that?

With more than 50,000 plugins in the WordPress repository, it’s hard to find the perfect one. Each week, I will highlight an interesting plugin from the repository.

For more great plugins, download my 50 Most Useful Plugins eBook.

User Profile Picture is a plugin that allows you to set or remove a custom profile image for a user using the standard WordPress media upload tool

Use Keyboard Shortcuts to Speed Up WordPress

In this episode, we’re diving deep into the world of keyboard shortcuts and the powerful command palette within WordPress. Keyboard shortcuts are the unsung heroes of efficiency in the digital world, and they can greatly enhance your productivity.

Topics Covered in the Episode:

  • Benefits of Keyboard Shortcuts
  • Introduction to Alfred and Raycast
  • Command Palette in WordPress
  • Handy Keyboard Shortcuts in WordPress
  • Utilizing Selection Shortcuts
  • Standard Formatting Tools with Keyboard Shortcuts

Links Shared During the Conversation:

  1. Alfred
  2. Raycast
  3. WordPress Keyboard Shortcuts
  4. Local by Flywheel
  5. WordPress 2024
  6. WordPress Command Palette Documentation

Explore the world of WordPress keyboard shortcuts and the command palette to become a more efficient and productive WordPress user. Learn how to navigate, edit, and customize your WordPress site with ease. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced user, these tools are sure to revolutionize your workflow.

Don’t miss this episode full of practical tips and insights into mastering WordPress keyboard shortcuts and harnessing the power of the command palette for a more efficient and enjoyable WordPress experience.

Thank You!

Thank you to those who use my affiliate links. As you know I make a small commission when someone uses my link and I want to say thank you to the following people. For all my recommended resources, go to my Resources Page

Full Transcript

Business Transcription is provided by GMR Transcription.

 On today's episode, we are going to talk about one of my favorite computer things are keyboard shortcuts and how to use the keyboard more effectively. And we're going to talk about how we can use our keyboard more in WordPress right here on Your Website Engineer podcast, episode number 540.

Hello and welcome to another episode of your website engineer podcast. My name is Dustin Hartzler and again, I'm so happy to be here and to be sharing some great WordPress information and just how to speed up and work through using WordPress more effectively, more efficiently, and just getting more done when we're inside of our WordPress sites.

So that's what we're going to talk about using keyboard shortcuts. And again, it's one of my favorite things about how the computer can help us do things more quickly. It's how we can be more effective and efficient on our machines. And I want to share those types of tips with you today. I do have a couple of announcements about new versions of WordPress that's coming and a plugin that's going to be really, really helpful if you have a membership site or you have a lot of different users on your website.

WordPress 6. 4 release candidate one has been released. Remember release candidates is a version of WordPress where they are going to add no new features, but they are going to be just working on bug fixes and security things and just trying to get the last pieces ironed out before they launch WordPress 6. 4. It's scheduled to release on November 7th. So there's just a couple of weeks away. And the big news here is the flagship font library feature that was supposed to come with this release had to be punted to WordPress 6. 5 due to some gaps in the font APIs that just couldn't be resolved in time.

And so that is still working through, they're still working through that, they will get that in the next release hopefully, but there are a lot of new features improvements. Some of the highlights are a light box functionality, a redesigned command palette, some block hooks, expanded design tools and a new default theme that 2024 theme is coming out.

So again, the release candidate means that there is a hard freeze where no new things can come in, even no new strings. So there's a team that are the polyglots. That's a team that works through and tries to translate all aspects of WordPress. And so no new strings can even be added to this version of the release candidate.

So that is the first news item that I want to share this week.

The other thing that I want to share with you is about Gutenberg and Gutenberg 16.8 makes the cover block smarter, adds experimental pages, a list in the site editor. So there's some things that are coming with Gutenberg. Again, Gutenberg is one of those plugins that you can run on your WordPress site to get the latest and greatest features of the block editor.

But basically everything that goes in Gutenberg will eventually roll into WordPress core. And so if you want to see some of those things, how you can set an overlay color on a cover block and some of those improvements. I have a link in the show notes for episode number 540 that you can go and you can see some of these things.

There's a couple short videos that you can click on and you can watch and you can see some of these new features that are coming into WordPress. All right, let's go on into the Is there a plugin for that section? And this one is a plugin. And I think honestly, this should be built into WordPress itself.

It's not, but it is called user profile picture. And so this will allow you to set or remove a custom profile image for users using the standard WordPress media upload tool. And so if you're familiar with WordPress, you've been using WordPress. WordPress works with Gravatar. And so when a new user signs up for your website, whether they be a customer or they're a subscriber, or just even an admin user on your site, they have to have an image connected to their email address with Gravatar.

And Gravatar is a service that allows you basically to register an email address and then you can upload an image and so anytime you use that email address across the web, you will have that image pull up for you and there's a lot of people that don't know about this even that are WordPress space or whatnot, and I run a handful of different websites that have subscriptions and it has other users on the account and it's kind of infuriating that they're all like the, the, the mystery man default logo within WordPress, but this plugin would allow you to upload an image to the media library and then select that as their user profile picture.

And if you're interested in having customers, being able to upload their own image, you can use this plugin, user profile picture, and you can have them be able to do that.

And so I think this is a cool plugin. It does exactly what it says. It allows you to not use Gravatar for the image, but uses the images uploaded to the media library saved there, and that image then can be assigned to their profile and it can show up in a signature.

It can show up with a little icon when maybe next to the author, bio, things along those lines. It can all be done. But that is the plugin that I'm going to share with you today. User profile picture. You can search for that in the WordPress repository or you can find a link directly to it in the show notes for episode number 540.

So today I want to talk about keyboard shortcuts. Keyboard shortcuts are awesome. They're the greatest thing that's ever happened to a computer in my opinion. But I use these all the time and I have something called Alfred. I use Raycast. I use a couple different command palette like tools is what they're called on my computer.

And so if I do command space on my Mac, I can open up Raycast and it allows me to open up applications. I can open up files. I can run workflows. And so maybe if I want to open up a shortcut, I can do all of that. And now the command palette is built into WordPress. And so I want to talk a little bit about the command palette and those types of things that we can do with the command palette, but then also kind of sprinkle in some other of the keyboard shortcuts are out there because there's a whole lot of them if you start looking for them inside of WordPress.

Or let's first talk about some of the ones that we may or may not know that are handy shortcuts to know. The first one is if you type the slash key, which is the slash next to the shift key on your keyboard, and start typing after that, that will allow you to add a block directly to a post or page.

So, for example, if you type slash and start typing quotes, you can automatically add a quote to your page. You can also add any of those things we've talked about in the previous weeks, about those synced or non synced patterns, you can do all of that straight from the slash key.

Another one that maybe you don't know is shift command, or I believe on a Windows computer it's shift control slash. And that brings you right into the distraction free mode. And it's one of the favorite features for folks that don't want anything else on their screen. They just want to be able to see the content and then write the content.

Another one that's super handy that I didn't know about, and I don't know how many times I used my mouse to get up into the View Outline pane, but if you use Ctrl Option O, and that is on the Mac, Ctrl Option O, and maybe the Windows one is exactly the same, but it allows you to quickly see your blocks in a list view, or the outline view, which is really handy if you want to open up that sidebar, and you can see and rearrange things a little bit easier there.

So those are some ones that are out there. If you're interested in finding out what more keyboard shortcuts there are, if you open up a post or open up a page, you can always go to the three dots in the upper right hand corner and then go down to keyboard shortcuts or the keyboard shortcut on the Mac is actually control option h and you can click on that and it will show you all of the shortcuts that are available on a post or a page or even a custom post type.

It's going to be pretty clunky to say all of these keyboard shortcuts, but some of the ones that are out there are global shortcuts and you can open the command palette. We'll talk about the command palette here just shortly. You can switch between visual editor and the code editor. You can toggle distraction free mode, which we just talked about.

You can show or hide the settings sidebar. You can navigate to the next part of the editor, you can navigate to the previous part of the editor. So basically like move up or down blocks. You can do all of that with the keyboard. You can navigate to the nearest toolbar.

You can save your changes. You can undo your last changes and you can redo your last changes. So those are all keyboard shortcuts that you can find right there in that help dialogue. And there are a whole bunch more that are selection shortcuts. So you can do command a or control a to highlight everything inside the block that you're working on.

Escape will clear the selection. If you're inside of a block, you can duplicate selected blocks or you can remove selected blocks or you can insert a new block before or insert a new block after. You can delete an entire selection, you can move the selected block up or down, which is really handy.

You can change the block type after adding a new paragraph. And so if you start typing a paragraph, you can add the slash key and then you can change it to a new block type after that. And then we've got all the standard formatting tools that are kind of utilized worldwide or inside of a lot of different apps.

You can bold the text or italicize them. You can convert the text into a link. You can remove a link. You can insert a link to a post or a page this one's pretty handy. If you want to insert a link to a post or page, you use the double square brackets and then I'll pop up a window where you can start typing and you can add to a link to an internal page on your WordPress site.

You can underline that's, that's pretty standard. You can do strikethrough, you can make selected text inline code. And so basically making it so that it is wrapped in that preformat of text for code. You can convert the current heading to a paragraph or you can convert the current paragraph to a heading on levels one through six.

So you can do all of those things with the keyboard shortcuts on a post or a page. I think those are incredible. There's a lot that you can do there. And I should have said this earlier, but when you learn new keyboard shortcuts like we're not going to try to memorize them all and then start using them every time we're inside of WordPress like, okay, now we have an idea of what we can do like, oh, we can move blocks up and down.

Okay, I'm going to memorize that one and then I'm going to work with that one. I'm going to just create a new post and I'm going to go up and down. I'm just going to move them up and down and get some of that the finger to brain memory so we can utilize those. We can move up and down. We can learn or I'm gonna I'm gonna every time I create a new post, I'm gonna make sure that I toggle the list view so I can see it and I can see how that interacts and how I if when I move things, I can move them in list view or I can move them in the editor view and I can see those things moving up and down.

So again, we're not learning them all and we're not going to try to implement them all, but maybe one or two a week, like as we continue to use WordPress, I think learning some keyboard shortcuts are going to be a great tool for you as you're building websites or customizing pages or whatever, the more shortcuts, the more time that you don't have to move a mouse from one side of your screen to another is going to save you a lot of time.

Okay, let's go ahead and talk about the command palette now. And that's kind of where I wanted to take the show, but we spent a lot of time on keyboard shortcuts, but that's good. Learning keyboard shortcuts is never a bad thing.

Now talking about the command palette, it's available across the editing experience. Whether you're switching between templates in the site editor or toggling between some settings in a post or page, but I find it's most useful inside of the site editor part of your website.

And there's even a part across the top where you can see that I'm looking at my shop page now. And then right to the right of that in the kind of a, a search bar says Command K. And so if we click on command K or we use command K on our keyboards, it's gonna say, type A command or search. And you can just start typing things like, if you wanna work on your about page, you can type about.

If you want to work on a contact page, start typing contact and it's going to go there. If you want to toggle into the code editor, you can start typing toggle code editor. And again, some of these are going to take some learning of what is the keyword to, to trigger these, but I think it's super helpful.

So for example, if I, if I toggle code editor, click just like that, it is going to open up the code editor and it's a toggle. So I can just type command K again and say toggle and it will toggle the code editor back to the visual editor that we're used to using. You can also say maybe you're on a page and you're like, I really need added some custom CSS so you can command K and then CSS and then Click on the button that says open CSS and then it'll pull up the sidebar immediately.

Like it just slides right over. It's super nice and super handy. If you are looking at the page and maybe now, right now I see on the right hand sidebar, I'm seeing the CSS area where I've just now typed my CSS. If I want to get back to the block styles or the block settings and now I can command K and block and I can in the thing is toggle block inspector and I click that and it's going to take me back to the block inspector for the block that I want.

It is super cool and I'm gonna read through some of the things that you can do by typing into the command palette and it will allow you to pull up either those settings or kind of switch between areas of your WordPress site.

So some of the things that are on my list here is, like I said, to customize CSS, which is, we've talked about, you can delete a template, you can delete a template part, you can disable pre published checklist. So that's one of those checklists, like when you hit publish, like it's going to say, are you sure?

And it will ask you if you want to post these social things like that, you can disable that from the command palette. You can edit a template, you can enable the pre published checklist that we just deactivated, you can exit code editor, we can enter code editor, we can hide breadcrumbs if they're on a page, we can learn about styles.

And so if we wanted to learn about the styles section of the block editor, we can do that, we can manage all of our custom patterns, we can open the code editor, we can open it or editor preferences. We can open keyboard shortcuts. We can open navigation menus. We can open list view, which is in the sidebar.

So that was the control option o, that we talked about when we were on a page view, we can toggle that with the command palette. We can preview in a new tab so we don't have to go up and click the button to preview. We can show breadcrumbs because if we turned them off, we can turn them back on.

We can toggle the block inspector, the full screen mode, the list view, the setting sidebar, the spotlight mode, and we can toggle the top toolbar so we can do all of those things. We can turn them on, we can turn them off all within the command palette. You can also view site, view template parts and view templates.

There's a whole bunch of things there. Plus if you wanted to, if you're working on the shop page, like I said, if you click on there and you can go to different, different pages on your site, you can go to templates, you can open all templates. So then you can see all of the templates that are on your WordPress site.

It's really incredible. There's a lot that's already there with the command palette, but I know with 6. 4 that's coming next month, I know that there are more things in there that are talking about the command palette and adding new features and new things to search for and new ways to interact with our site without having to navigate to a menu item or click on a thing.

And I think that the command palette is here to stay.

I'm really torn as a WordPress enthusiast because earlier this year I kind of declared that the block themes were the greatest thing of WordPress. The greatest thing that's happened to WordPress. And I've been trying to promote them and just show and highlight how, how awesome the block themes are and how it makes it so much easier to do things within WordPress.

But now we've got the command palette and the command palette is super cool too. And that allows us to do a lot of things within WordPress as well. So I don't know which one's my favorite. I think both of them are very equal. I mean, the block editor allows us to really be able to create exactly the site that we want, but the command palette allows us to navigate in quickly and efficiently and move about the dashboard in ways that we haven't been able to do ever within WordPress.

So then I. I don't know. I guess what I want to say is I want you to start experiencing the command pallete. To really experience the command pallete, you really have to have a test site and use a block theme.

If you're not using a block theme yet, it's perfectly fine. We've got lots of time to convert our themes over to block themes, but if you're not using one quite yet, I recommend using Local by Flywheel, which we've talked about a few episodes ago, or some of the other tools or spin up another site and install 2023 or wait till 6. 4 comes out in a couple of weeks, use 2024 and then really experience the command palette is switching through different screens.

Because once you get into the editor mode, there's a lot of moving parts and pieces and like making sure that you can edit the post content and you can edit the template and you can navigate back and forth and use navigation and there's a lot that you can do inside this experience.

And now with the command palette, it is not only efficient, but it is super fast. Like if you do command K and you start typing and hit enter, like it's almost instant that your browser refreshes and so whenever you add a command to the command palette, it just, it just loads almost instantly.

It is really, really cool. So that's what I want to share with you today. There are posts out there. There's different places where you can find a whole list of all the keyboard shortcuts that are out there, but I recommend just going in instead of like just trying to figure out , which blog posts out there that are talking about the mac commands or the keyboard commands for windows.

Just go to your WordPress site in the upper right hand corner, click the three dots, and then click on the keyboard shortcuts and it'll show for your browser with your operating system, what the keyboard shortcuts are. And that's what I wanna share with you this week.

Take care, and we'll talk again soon. Bye-bye. For more great WordPress information, head on over to your website engineer.com.