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Intellij IDEA: German keyboard Shortcuts Reference


Ultimate S Keyboard

Still trying to get used to Intellij IDEA.
One of the major gripes I still have: keyboard shortcuts. Not only that they differ from what I am used to (how dare they). Quite often they are not working!

I am using a MacBook Air with OS X Lion and many of the shortcuts used by IDEA (especially for debugging) are already claimed by OS X. So I switched off most of Lion’s Shortcuts.

But still: I am using a German keyboard. A German laptop keyboard.
And IDEA insists on telling me that “Comment line with Line Comment” is


It is not. It is


On a German keyboard the underscore character is placed on the key that is used by the slash on American keyboards. No big deal, but all keyboard shortcuts using “[“, ”]”, “{”, and “}” are useless. To use them on a German keyboard you have to press the “⌥” modifier. And that seems to severely confuse IDEA. Pressing the keys where these characters are on an American keyboard doesn’t help either.
Jetbrains seems to use some low level keyboard access method that checks for the key pressed and not for the character delivered. I wouldn’t mind, if they could get their menus and keymap right, so that “⌘_” is displayed.

The company is located in the Czech Republic and in Russia. I would have expected that they have the same problem, but perhaps they are only using American keyboards.

Instead of whining some more, I decided to create my own keyboard mapping. Simple enough. But among the many tools I am using on many different computers, I need a keyboard cheat sheet. And perhaps someone else as well? Therefore I created a Word template that you may use to create your own cheat sheet:


Word template: IDEA-Keyboard-Shortcuts–1.0.docx
(The template is based on Jetbrain’s own Reference Card)

I am quite sure that there are still some errors. So please put any corrections into the comments of this blog post.

12 Comments Join the Conversation

  1. The shortcut template is really helpful! Especially after deleting my own-made shortcut reference card (D’oh!)


  2. Pingback: First steps with IntelliJ IDEA • my2cents

  3. Hey! Thank you very much, I’ve been annoyed by idea insisting on the “wrong” shortcuts for quite a while but didn’t find the time to create a sheet like this. Already very happy with my Monday morning now!


  4. Okay, these broken shortcuts convinced me to stick with the adt for some longer time ;)


  5. The ^ is on the german mac keyboards in most cases ctrl…
    Just to add my 2 cents t


  6. Found this after searching for a solution for my own keyboard layout, i’m italian, though i’m quite pissed off for this abuse of the US layout, i was lucky enough to recognize the behavior because in the past i’ve worked with an old Solaris workstation (US layout), i think i’m going to do the same as you and share it for my italian colleagues.

    p.s. what about a complain with JetBrains?


  7. Thanks for the post, but I think the following statement is wrong:

    “On a German keyboard the underscore character is placed on the key that is used by the slash on American keyboards.”

    It’s the minus, not the underscore. The underscore you get by pressing the Shift-Key aditionally.

    You don’t have to remap the shortcuts on a german keyboard. You just have to know where the symbols are on a US keyboard. Of course it would be nice if editors would display the shortcuts correctly. But if you know the symbol positions on a US-based keyboard (on OSX you can look them up in the System Settings) it’s not a big issue.


  8. Intellij is a great IDE! But the guys responsible for the shortcuts should be fired.


  9. a few years passed; I don’t know how it was back then, but users (Windows) can at least use “ctrl+num/” (“strg+÷”)
    or if you want a single handed shortcut I suggest to override “shift+ctrl+c” (“shift+str+c”) (this is also the default shortcut for commenting in Eclipse) the default shift+ctrl+c binding is used to copy the current files path which probably close to nobody ever uses.


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