Keyboard Shortcuts For Switching Tools in QuarkXPress 8 & 9

When you’re not working with text in QuarkXPress 8 and above, you can press the following keys on your keyboard to switch between tools:

V = Item tool

T = Text Content tool, Text Linking tool, Text Unlinking tool

R = Picture Content tool

B = Rectangle Box tool, Oval Box tool, Star Box tool, Composition Zones tool

L = Line tool

P = Bézier Pen tool, Add Point tool, Remove Point tool, Convert Point tool, Scissors tool, Select Point tool, Freehand Drawing tool

G = Table tool Z = Zoom tool

Also note: you can cycle through tools that share the same shortcut key by pressing that key repeatedly. (For example, the Text Linking tools that are nestled with the Text Content tool.)

Jay Nelson is the editorial director of, and the editor and publisher of Design Tools Monthly. He’s also the author of the QuarkXPress 8 and QuarkXPress 7 training titles at, as well as the training videos Quark includes in the box with QuarkXPress 7 . In addition, Jay writes regularly for Macworld and Photoshop User magazines and speaks at industry events.

13 thoughts on “Keyboard Shortcuts For Switching Tools in QuarkXPress 8 & 9

  1. Bink

    Need the OTHER ways of switching tools, and if possible a way to temporily access the zoom tool WITHOUT using two fingers!

  2. Bink

    … also, please include things like the Option Command shortcut that enlarges to 200% and back again to 100%. Especially important to know these things now that Command by itself no longer zooms all the way up (and Option Command no longer zooms back down).

  3. Tom B

    I’m using Quark 9.2 on Mac OS X 10.7.3 but SHORTCUTS for Text and Pics not working – Command Option Shift . (period) and , (comma) for enlarging/decreasing text and pics. Also Command Shift F for pics. These all worked on my rather ancient but workable Quark. Very big loss since I moved to Quark 9 in the last couple of weeks. Any help would be very much appreciated.

  4. Tom: I’m running Mac OS X 10.6.8, and QuarkXPress 9.2, and the shortcuts you mentioned work for me. I’m not sure why they’re not working for you!

  5. Does anyone know a shortcut to maneuver between the Text Tool and the Link Text box tool?? We work on Mac OS X 10.7.3, and our Quark is 9.2.1

  6. Sharron: pressing the T key will cycle through the text/link/unlink tools. So, press T (when you’re not editing text, obviously!) to access each tool in order. If you’re using a different tool, the first T will give you the Text editing tool. Your next T will give you the linking tool. Then, the unlinking tool. Then, back to the Text editing tool.

  7. Hello Jay
    I am on a MacPro with Lion and Quark 9: the shortcut F7 for show/hide guides does not work anymore, I searched for days now, in vain. Only thing on forums: restore shortcuts to default in prefs/keyboard, but that doesn’t work.
    Am I the only person with this issue?

  8. Milan: try holding down the “fn” key when you press F7. If that works, then you’ll want to make a change in your Mac’s preferences. Go to the Keyboard preference pane and enable the checkbox: “Use all F1, F12, etc. keys as standard function keys.”

  9. Conrad

    Hi Jay,
    Is there any way to revert to using the control key for zooming? It’s a real nuisance having to come out of a text box to use the ‘z’ key for zooming.

  10. Conrad

    Ha ha, I figured it out, “control+shift” for zooming in and “control+shift+alt” for zooming out.

  11. Areebo

    Hi Jay – big thanks – the non-functional F7 guides shortcut has dogged me for some time. Top Man!

  12. Areebo: glad to help! We QuarkXPress users are all about efficiency and keyboard shortcuts. I still can’t believe that 12+ years into it, InDesign doesn’t have a keyboard shortcut equivalent to Quark’s Option-Shift-click (Windows: Alt-Shift-click) to copy one paragraph’s formatting to another paragraph! And don’t get me started on changing font size and leading by 1 pt — or defining leading by adding an absolute amount to the font size — all still missing from InDesign.

  13. Bob Kawakami

    What happened to the “objects alignment” command in Quark9? Earlier Quark you could select multiple objects and hit command+comma to align objects left, right, center and top, center bottom while typing in exact measurement? Just upgraded to Quark 9 and found it missing!

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