Table shortcuts change proposal

Symbol Guide for keys

  • Command: ⌘
  • Control: ⌃
  • Option: ⌥
  • Return: ⏎
  • Arrows (up, down, left, right): ↑ ↓ ← →


Currently, the shortcuts for creating new columns and rows for tables in Bear is confusing and difficult to remember what does what. It’s unnecessarily complicated and can be made a lot simpler.

Right now…

  • to create a new column and focus that column: ⌘ + ⇧ + ⏎
  • to create a new column and leave the previous column focused: ⌘ + ⇧ + ⌥ + ⏎
  • to create a new row and focus that row: ⌘ + ⌃ + ⏎
  • to create a new row and leave the previous row selected: ⌘ + ⌥ + ⌃ + ⏎

It’s hard to remember which combo does what.


I’m proposing Apple Notes’ brilliant shortcuts for these actions which is this:

All shortcuts use the same modifier keys (⌘ + ⌥) which keeps things very simple. Then here are the rules:

  • horizontal arrow keys create columns

    • left arrow adds a new column while hanging back leaving the previous column focused (⌘ + ⌥ + ←)
    • right arrow creates a new column while moving the focus forward (⌘ + ⌥ + →)
  • vertical arrow keys create rows

    • up arrow adds a new row while hanging back leaving the previous row focused (⌘ + ⌥ + ↑)
    • down arrow adds a new row while also moving the focus to that new row (⌘ + ⌥ + ↓)

I know there’s a clash here

This creates a clash with the keyboard shortcut of moving lines up and down which is currently done with the keys ⌘ + ⌥ + ↓ or ↑.

However, this is why I’m proposing a new and unused shortcut for moving lines: ⌘ + ⌃ + ↓ or ↑. It’s not being used and would be perfect for this action as there isn’t a lot of different combinations to remember. It’s a solo action that doesn’t have any variations—use the more complicated shortcut for that.

For good measure, here’s a quick video showing how easy this is in Apple Notes:



I agree this seems to be a better approach in terms of shortcuts. Bear started in a way, but we then added multi-line cells and shortcut changed without a proper re-thinking of the whole experience.

I’ll have a chat with the team and we’ll see if we can do something like this :slight_smile:



Thank you @matteo! Much appreciated.

Very much agree with this! I cannot drill the current shortcuts in my head – thanks for the post.

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Yep, same issue for me.

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Hello folks,

I was thinking about this and here are some considerations:

we’re already using (⌘ + ⌥ + arrows) to move lines and shift text left/right, these shortcuts are mirrored in the tables as they move rows/columns in the “same” way.

So I’m kinda against changing those shortcuts, BUT we can still have (⌘ + ^ + arrows) to create new rows/columns in the same way.

This will allow us to stay consistent with the rest of the editor and have better shortcuts for creating rows/columns.

Let me know what you think :slight_smile:

Seems like a good compromise !


Are the shortcuts (⌘ + ⌥ + left/right arrows) even needed since Tab and ⇧ + Tab do the exact same thing? There might be a scenario where that’s needed and I’m not aware.

Is this being worked on at all? Or did web take over?

It’s on my todo list, I’ll try to include the change in the next update :slight_smile:


Good stuff. Thank you!