How to Enable Quark Shortcuts in InDesign

by Elizabeth Mott

If QuarkXPress has been your favorite page-layout software for years, chances are you've memorized many of its keyboard shortcuts. Those shortcuts save you lots of time by helping you work faster. If you've decided to learn Adobe InDesign (or your boss has made the decision for you), your familiar keyboard shortcuts can come along for the ride. Learn how to make your new software feel more familiar, and discover new techniques without abandoning what you already know.

Choose or Customize Your Keyboard Shortcuts

Navigate to Adobe InDesign's "Edit" menu and select "Keyboard Shortcuts." The Keyboard Shortcuts dialog box comes up on your screen.

Click on the "Set" pop-up at the top of the Keyboard Shortcuts dialog box. Choose "Shortcuts for QuarkXPress 4.0." Now click "OK." That's all you have to do to make Adobe InDesign behave more like QuarkXPress.

Attempt to use a QuarkXPress shortcut and you find your familiar hands-on environment within Adobe InDesign. This saves you time by letting you leverage the value of your experience in a new software package.

Return to the "Edit" menu and choose "Keyboard Shortcuts" again if you prefer the keyboard commands from QuarkXPress but always wanted to change one or more of them. Don't try to edit the shortcuts in the "QuarkXPress 4.0" set itself. Instead, click the "New Set" button. In the window that comes up, type a distinctive name for your new shortcut set. Choose "Shortcuts for QuarkXPress 4.0" from the "Based on Set" pop-up. Now click "OK." The "Product Area" pop-up helps you assign new shortcuts to as many menu items as you wish. (If you try to assign a shortcut that's already in use, you see the conflict listed at the bottom of the dialog box.) When you've finished your changes, click "OK" to use your new settings.

Test your new shortcuts to make sure the key combinations are easy to reach and remember.


  • check To see a list of all the shortcuts in a particular set (your own or one of the defaults), choose the "Edit" menu and select "Keyboard Shortcuts." Select a shortcut set from the "Set" pop-up, then click the "Show Set" button. InDesign creates and opens a text file that lists all the defined and undefined shortcuts for that set.


  • close Customizing InDesign's keyboard shortcuts can make it behave a lot like QuarkXPress, but don't expect every shortcut to match.

About the Author

Elizabeth Mott has been a writer since 1983. Mott has extensive experience writing advertising copy for everything from kitchen appliances and financial services to education and tourism. She holds a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in English from Indiana State University.

More Articles

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera keyboard image by Eisenhans from