Table shortcuts change proposal

Symbol Guide for keys

  • Command: ⌘
  • Control: ⌃
  • Option: ⌥
  • Return: ⏎
  • Arrows (up, down, left, right): ↑ ↓ ← →


Currently, the shortcuts for creating new columns and rows for tables in Bear is confusing and difficult to remember what does what. It’s unnecessarily complicated and can be made a lot simpler.

Right now…

  • to create a new column and focus that column: ⌘ + ⇧ + ⏎
  • to create a new column and leave the previous column focused: ⌘ + ⇧ + ⌥ + ⏎
  • to create a new row and focus that row: ⌘ + ⌃ + ⏎
  • to create a new row and leave the previous row selected: ⌘ + ⌥ + ⌃ + ⏎

It’s hard to remember which combo does what.


I’m proposing Apple Notes’ brilliant shortcuts for these actions which is this:

All shortcuts use the same modifier keys (⌘ + ⌥) which keeps things very simple. Then here are the rules:

  • horizontal arrow keys create columns

    • left arrow adds a new column while hanging back leaving the previous column focused (⌘ + ⌥ + ←)
    • right arrow creates a new column while moving the focus forward (⌘ + ⌥ + →)
  • vertical arrow keys create rows

    • up arrow adds a new row while hanging back leaving the previous row focused (⌘ + ⌥ + ↑)
    • down arrow adds a new row while also moving the focus to that new row (⌘ + ⌥ + ↓)

I know there’s a clash here

This creates a clash with the keyboard shortcut of moving lines up and down which is currently done with the keys ⌘ + ⌥ + ↓ or ↑.

However, this is why I’m proposing a new and unused shortcut for moving lines: ⌘ + ⌃ + ↓ or ↑. It’s not being used and would be perfect for this action as there isn’t a lot of different combinations to remember. It’s a solo action that doesn’t have any variations—use the more complicated shortcut for that.

For good measure, here’s a quick video showing how easy this is in Apple Notes:



I agree this seems to be a better approach in terms of shortcuts. Bear started in a way, but we then added multi-line cells and shortcut changed without a proper re-thinking of the whole experience.

I’ll have a chat with the team and we’ll see if we can do something like this :slight_smile:



Thank you @matteo! Much appreciated.

Very much agree with this! I cannot drill the current shortcuts in my head – thanks for the post.

1 Like

Yep, same issue for me.

1 Like

Hello folks,

I was thinking about this and here are some considerations:

we’re already using (⌘ + ⌥ + arrows) to move lines and shift text left/right, these shortcuts are mirrored in the tables as they move rows/columns in the “same” way.

So I’m kinda against changing those shortcuts, BUT we can still have (⌘ + ^ + arrows) to create new rows/columns in the same way.

This will allow us to stay consistent with the rest of the editor and have better shortcuts for creating rows/columns.

Let me know what you think :slight_smile:

Seems like a good compromise !


Are the shortcuts (⌘ + ⌥ + left/right arrows) even needed since Tab and ⇧ + Tab does the exact same thing?