I'm new to Keynote and am disappointed by the lack of shortcuts for basic actions like "insert text". Any idea of how to attribute a single key such as the letter "T" to insert text action?

If for any reason a single letter without cmd/opt/whatever modifier key is not recommended, I'm happy with other possibilities..

2 Answers 2


Have you tried adding keyboard shortcuts through System Preferences? See this article on the Apple Knowledge Base.

  • I thought I did but I did not quite get correctly how to invoke the command I guess ! No I got this alright, although it seems impossible to bind a shortcut to a single key like "T", am I right ?
    – picop
    Oct 13, 2015 at 11:52
  • Correct. Otherwise how would you type a "t" character?
    – bjbk
    Oct 13, 2015 at 12:30
  • @bjbk Sure, if the shortcut were to work also when prompting text, that would be problematic. But when not in a prompting text environement, I don't see what would go wrong ?
    – picop
    Oct 13, 2015 at 13:20
  • Do you use single keys in other software? I know that in Presenter Mode, single keys are mapped for actions. i.e.: "B" for blackout or "[" for next slide without animation. But I have not seen this done while editing documents. Modifier keys are used throughout the OS (even Windows uses them). In fact, to type a capital letter, the Shift modifier key is always used. So adding modifiers can be intuitive and useful.
    – bjbk
    Oct 13, 2015 at 13:35
  • @bjbk VI for instance ? Also, inkscape for instance has single key shortcuts, emacs allows for modifier + letter + letter, which enhances considerably the number of possibilities, while not requiring to hit more than two keys at the same time (because, really, cmd+shift+opt+fn+W, how many fingers does ont need for this ?). Thanks for your answer below, I wish I could upvote.
    – picop
    Oct 13, 2015 at 14:43

OS X does not allow mapping of single characters as Menu Shortcuts. Apple has specific Human Interface Guidelines on the use of Keyboard shortcuts. Although this document is for designing software meant to be used in the OS X environment, the principles they use may assist in understanding their reasoning.

At least one Modifier key must be used when generating shortcuts.

  • Control
  • Option
  • Shift (used only in conjunction with one of the other 3)
  • Command ← Preferred modifier

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