I made the switch to PhpStorm back in January and every week I learn new tips and tricks to help me use the IDE. One issue I have is that I constantly forget keyboard shortcuts even though I only use a few. So I want to show a quick tip to make these easier to remember.

One workaround for not having to learn them is to use the โ€œsearch anywhereโ€ feature. You can bring it up with “shift shift” and search any part of your code, interface actions, and tool windows. Itโ€™s powerful!

This feature is really great but it also has a downside. I typically think of actions and windows in a different context than their actual name. PhpStorm planned for users like me and it includes a nice way of assigning abbreviations to the keymap.

Let me show how great this is.

Go to settings -> apperance & behavior -> keymap.

Then you can search for a command and right click to assign an abbreviation.

Here is an example where I set โ€œaโ€ to the abbreviation for annotate:


Now with that set you can bring up the search anywhere and just enter the letter a, which causes it to be the first result:


If you have trouble remembering keyboard shortcuts or want to speed up common tasks give this a try.

Here are the ones I’m currently using:

  • a – git annotate
  • v – split vertically
  • t – terminal

3 thoughts on “ PhpStorm Tip – Keymap Abbreviations ”

  1. Nice to know, thanks. But if you are assigning single letters to an action, why not create custom shortcuts? For example, I assigned cmd+T to open the terminal. It’s faster than shift-shift-T..


    1. I think it depends on the person. If you take my example of annotate you can’t really assign that to cmd + a, so then I would switch to either opt or ctrl, and always end up hitting the opposite. ๐Ÿ™‚ I actually use shift + shift more than anything because of my struggles memorizing all the combos.


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