Key Bindings


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Key bindings map key presses to commands.

File Format

Key bindings are stored in .sublime-keymap files and defined in JSON. All key map filenames need to follow this pattern: Default (<platform>).sublime-keymap. Otherwise, Sublime Text will ignore them.

Platform-Specific Key Maps

Each platform gets its own key map:

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

Separate key maps exist to abide by different vendor-specific HCI guidelines.

Structure of a Key Binding

Key maps are arrays of key bindings. Below you’ll find valid elements in key bindings.

An array of case-sensitive keys to be pressed. Modifiers can be specified with the + sign. Chords are built by adding elements to the array, e.g. ["ctrl+k","ctrl+j"]. Ambiguous chords are resolved with a timeout.
Name of the command to be executed.
Dictionary of arguments to be passed to command. Keys must be the names of parameters to command.
Array of contexts to selectively enable the key binding. All contexts must be true for the key binding to trigger. See Structure of a Context below.

Here’s an example illustrating most of the features outlined above:

{ "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

Name of a context operand to query.
Type of test to perform against key.
Value against which the result of key is tested.
Requires the test to succeed for all selections. Defaults to false.

Context Operands

Returns true if the autocomplete list is visible.
Returns true if a next snippet field is available.
Returns true if a previous snippet field is available.
Returns the number of selections.
Returns true if any overlay is visible.
Returns true if any panel is visible.
Restricts the test just to the text following the caret.
Restricts the test just to the text preceding the caret.
Returns true if the selection is an empty region.
Returns the value of the x setting. x can be any string.
Restricts the test just to the selected text.
Returns the current scope.
Returns true if the current focus is on a 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.
regex_contains, not_regex_contains
Match against a regular expression (containment).

Command Mode

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

Bindable Keys

Keys may be specified literally or by name. Here’s the list of 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


  • 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 not be used for any Windows key bindings.
  • Option+<alphanum> should not be used for any OS X key bindings.

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

If you are the end-user, you are free to remap those key combinations.

Keeping Key Maps Organized

Sublime Text ships with default key maps under Packages/Default. Other packages may include their own key map files. The recommended storage location for your personal key map is Packages/User.

See Merging and Order of Precedence for information about how Sublime Text sorts files for merging.

International Keyboards

Due to the way Sublime Text maps key names to physical keys, there might be a mismatch between the two.


To enable command logging, see sublime.log_commands(flag). This may help in debugging key maps.