I wish there were standard function keys, like in every app. I figure this isn’t the current situation because nobody’s hit upon the clear best.

I’m not going to do that here, of course. Maybe just good ones I’ve seen or remember, mixed in with what I’d personally favor:

F_ commonly/best known as
F1 Go to symbol
F2 Replace
F3 Find
F4 Next Result
F5 Build
F6 Run
F7 Side bar
F8 Distraction-free mode
F9 Reindent
F10 Jump back
F11 Jump forward
F12 Go to definition

.. something like that.

Of course, these are kinda editor-specific and it’s a stretch to map these to PhotoShop or GarageBand or what have you.

I do like the idea of leader keys, keys that don’t do anything but wait for another key. So \ is a common leader key in Vim, so you can type \a or something to do something equivalent to what typing x would do. I think Visicalc works this way.

So if F1 were a leader key, F1-F1 might be the “real” hotkey, and F1-F2 does something else.

It seems convenient to hit another F_ in the same group (F1-F4, F5-F8, F9-F12), but slightly less convenient to use the whole 12 x 12 = 144. Anyhow. Single keys for now:


  • New would have to go here, surely
  • Help, also good, but rarely seen..


  • Rename
  • Any kind of edit/change operation


  • Find
  • Find in Files, Find/Replace, Replace in Files, Fuzzy Find…


No strong feelings on that one.


  • Build

I mean this one has to be the most important. It’s the go button. It refreshes, it builds, it ya know does the thing.


  • Debug build

Like build, but slightly different. Like a full reload, no cache. If F5 were quicksave, this would ask for a save name.


  • Show sidebar
  • Show build output, Show errors, Show status bar…


No strong feelings on this one. If F5 & F6 start processes, this would be an intuitive stop button.

F9 - F11

Not real picky on those, either. F10 as quit seems a bit intuitive. Maybe F9 could be open, or quickload.


  • Go to definition

That one’s pretty useful.

Important keys, not-so-important keys

Important are F1: New, F2: Edit, F3: Find, F5: Build, F6: Debug, F7: Show…, F8: Stop, F12: Goto

Less important are F4, F9, F10, F11.

F7: Show… seems best as a leader key.

F10: Close… seems good as a leader key, it could close without saving, save & close, close & reopen (revert), &c.

It would be nice to put leader keys together, like only in the F9-F12 group. Oh well. I clearly haven’t got it all figured out.