PhpStorm Tip – Keymap Abbreviations

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 “search anywhere” feature. You can bring it up with “shift shift” and search any part of your code, interface actions, and tool windows. It’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 “a” 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

0 Replies to “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. 🙂 I actually use shift + shift more than anything because of my struggles memorizing all the combos.

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