Key Bindings

Key bindings map key presses to commands.

File Format

Key bindings are stored in .sublime-keymap files and defined in JSON. Keymap files may be located anywhere in a package.

Naming Keymap Files

Any keymap named Default.sublime-keymap will always be applied in all platforms.

Additionally, each platform can optionally have its own keymap:

  • Default (Windows).sublime-keymap
  • Default (OSX).sublime-keymap
  • Default (Linux).sublime-keymap

Sublime Text will ignore any .sublime-keymap file whose name doesn’t follow the patterns just described.

Structure of a Key Binding

Keymaps are arrays of key bindings. These are all valid elements in a key binding:

keys
An array of case-sensitive keys. Modifiers can be specified with the + sign. You can build chords by adding elements to the array (for example, ["ctrl+k","ctrl+j"]). Ambiguous chords are resolved with a timeout.
command
Name of the command to be executed.
args
Dictionary of arguments to be passed to command. Keys must be names of parameters to command.
context
Array of conditions that determine a particular context. All conditions must evaluate to true for the context to be active. See Structure of a Context below for more information.

Here’s an example:

{ "keys": ["shift+enter"], "command": "insert_snippet", "args": {"contents": "\n\t$0\n"}, "context":
   [
      { "key": "setting.auto_indent", "operator": "equal", "operand": true },
      { "key": "selection_empty", "operator": "equal", "operand": true, "match_all": true },
      { "key": "preceding_text", "operator": "regex_contains", "operand": "\\{$", "match_all": true },
      { "key": "following_text", "operator": "regex_contains", "operand": "^\\}", "match_all": true }
   ]
}

Structure of a Context

key
Name of the context whose value you want to query.
operator
Type of test to perform against key‘s value. Defaults to equal.
operand
The result returned by key is tested against this value.
match_all
Requires the test to succeed for all selections. Defaults to false.

Context Operands

auto_complete_visible
Returns true if the autocomplete list is visible.
has_next_field
Returns true if a next snippet field is available.
has_prev_field
Returns true if a previous snippet field is available.
num_selections
Returns the number of selections.
overlay_visible
Returns true if any overlay is visible.
panel_visible
Returns true if any panel is visible.
following_text
Restricts the test to the text following the caret.
preceding_text
Restricts the test to the text preceding the caret.
selection_empty
Returns true if the selection is an empty region.
setting.x
Returns the value of the x setting. x` can be any string.
text
Restricts the test to the selected text.
selector
Returns the name of the current scope.
panel_has_focus
Returns true if a panel has input focus.
panel
Returns true if the panel given as operand is visible.

Context Operators

equal, not_equal
Test for equality.
regex_match, not_regex_match
Match against a regular expression (full match).
regex_contains, not_regex_contains
Match against a regular expression (partial match).

Command Mode

Sublime Text provides a command_mode setting to prevent key presses from being sent to the buffer. This is useful, for example, to emulate Vim’s modal behavior.

Key bindings not intended for command mode (generally, all of them) should include a context like this:

{"key": "setting.command_mode", "operand": false}

This way, plugins legitimately using command mode will be able to define appropriate key bindings without interference.

Bindable Keys

Keys in key bindings may be specified literally or by name. If using a name doesn’t work in your case, try a literal value.

Here’s the list of all valid names:

  • up
  • down
  • right
  • left
  • insert
  • home
  • end
  • pageup
  • pagedown
  • backspace
  • delete
  • tab
  • enter
  • pause
  • escape
  • space
  • keypad0
  • keypad1
  • keypad2
  • keypad3
  • keypad4
  • keypad5
  • keypad6
  • keypad7
  • keypad8
  • keypad9
  • keypad_period
  • keypad_divide
  • keypad_multiply
  • keypad_minus
  • keypad_plus
  • keypad_enter
  • clear
  • f1
  • f2
  • f3
  • f4
  • f5
  • f6
  • f7
  • f8
  • f9
  • f10
  • f11
  • f12
  • f13
  • f14
  • f15
  • f16
  • f17
  • f18
  • f19
  • f20
  • sysreq
  • break
  • context_menu
  • browser_back
  • browser_forward
  • browser_refresh
  • browser_stop
  • browser_search
  • browser_favorites
  • browser_home

Modifiers

  • shift
  • ctrl
  • alt
  • super (Windows key, Command key...)

Warning about Bindable Keys

If you’re developing a package, keep this in mind:

  • Ctrl+Alt+<alphanum> should never be used in any Windows key bindings.
  • Option+<alphanum> should never be used in any OS X key bindings.

In both cases, the user’s ability to insert non-ASCII characters would be compromised otherwise.

End-users are free to remap any key combination.

Order of Preference for Key Bindings

Key bindings in a keymap file are evaluated from the bottom to the top. The first matching context wins.

Keeping Keymaps Organized

Sublime Text ships with default keymaps under Packages/Default. Other packages may include keymap files of their own.

The recommended storage location for your personal keymap files is Packages/User.

See Merging and Order of Precedence for more information.

International Keyboards

Due to the way Sublime Text maps key names to physical keys, key names may not correspond to physical keys in keyboard layouts other than US English.

Troubleshooting

To enable logging related to keymaps, see:

This may help in debugging keymaps.