Essential Pro Tools 8 Keyboard Shortcuts + some new in Pro Tools 9

See also the new video version of this post, on the Videos Page of this site!

I created a text file for clients to keep on screen, or print out and post near the monitor in their studios, listing what I consider essential Keyboard Shortcuts for Pro Tools.

Since there are so many Keyboard Shortcuts, my thinking was to try and pair it down to only those one needs for basic workflow, in recording and editing Audio and MIDI. Of course this is a subjective thing, and depends on a person’s thought process, and individual way of working.

On this document I use the plus (+) sign to indicate key combinations, for example ‘Control + Option” means hold the Control key and the Option key, (you already knew that, but I mention it to avoid potential confusion..)  This version assumes you are running Pro Tools 8 or Pro Tools 9 on a Mac.

Remember that the Keyboard Focus Button must be highlighted yellow, indicating that Keyboard Focus is on, in order for Keyboard Shortcuts to work:

Pro Tools Keyboard Focus Button

This is an evolving document that will probably be revised later, but here goes..

Essential Pro Tools Keyboard Shortcuts:

Zoom Horizontally                                  Zoom out = R          Zoom in = T

Zoom Vertically                                       Control + Option + up and down arrows

Zoom in to Selection                               Option  +  F

Zoom to view entire session                  Control +  Option +  A

Zoom Toggle                                              E

Open/Close Transport                           Command  +  1 on Numeric Keypad

Toggle Tool Selection                             Esc

Toggle Mix and Edit Windows             Command    +    =

Open MIDI Editor                                   Control      +       =

Open MIDI Event List                            Option      +        =

Open Score Editor                                   Control + Option    +    =

Close Window                                          Command    +     W

Open/Close Event Operations              Option   +   0   (Zero)

Change Grid Value              Control + Option + Plus/Minus keys on Numeric Keypad

Change Nudge Value     Command + Option + Plus/Minus keys on Numeric Keypad

Nudge Events/Regions                          +   and –  keys on the Numeric Keypad

Separate at Selection                              B         or        Command + E

Copy and Paste Events/Regions         Option + Click and Drag

Mute Regions                                            Command + M

Create Fades                                              Command + F

Create New Tracks                                  Command + Shift + N

Import Audio                                            Command + Shift + I

New in Pro Tools 9

Create New Playlist                               Control  +  \

Create Duplicate Playlist                     Command  +  Control  +  \

Transport mode Shortcuts (on Numeric Keypad)

Play/Stop                                                                                             0
Rewind                                                                                                  1
Fast Forward                                                                                       2
Record Enable                                                                                     3
Loop Play back mode on/off                                                            4
Loop Record mode on/off                                                                 5
Quick Punch mode on/off                                                                 6
Click on/off                                                                                          7
Count-off  on/off                                                                                 8
MIDI Merge/Replace mode  on/off                                                9

Note about Keyboard Shortcuts in General:

Holding Option while performing an operation applies that operation to all tracks.

Holding Shift-Option while performing an operation applies that operation to the selected tracks.

    OgDjCASS1984 February 10, 2011 at 8:57 am

    WOW this site is great! very informative and in plain English… Thanx

    ken jackson February 21, 2011 at 1:32 am

    Hi & thanks for this great page. I have been using the shortcuts you describe but today they have become in-opereable, just disappeared?
    Is there a way to restore them please?

    Thanks you,

    admin February 21, 2011 at 9:47 am

    Hi Ken,

    In the upper right corner of the Tracks Pane in the Edit Window click on the Keyboard Focus button so it is on (it’s the little square with the letters on it, that turns yellow when you click it on.)

    The Keyboard Focus button can also be found in the upper right of the Regions List and the Groups List.

    The Keyboard Shortcuts only work when the ‘Keyboard Focus’ button is on.

    Thanks for your question, that one comes up often for people,


    ken jackson March 15, 2011 at 1:54 am

    sorry I’m not really yelling!
    Much appreciated, all the best, Ken

    admin August 21, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    You’re welcome Ken, thanks for your comment

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