Hot Keys

Freeplane allows to assign hot keys (aka keyboard shortcuts) to any action available in the menu, as well as to icons.

It is most apparent in View->Controls->F-Bar.

By default Preferences…->Keystrokes->Commands for the program->Ignore unassigned F-Keys is off, therefore a click on (usage of) an unassigned F-Bar key will display a prompt to "click on the desired command in the menu" to "create a new keyboard shortcut".

Hot Keys for Actions

Let's say that you want to use INSERT to add new child nodes, instead of the default TAB.

Method 1
You can go to Tools->Assign hot key, a pop-up window will appear with the message "To create a new keyboard shortcut, click on the desired command in the menu". Once you click on Insert->New node->New child node, a pop-up will prompt you to use your new hot key and click OK.

Method 2
Go to Insert->New node->New child node, hold Ctrl and click.
Alternatively, hover your mouse cursor over the menu item New child node and press Ctrl+Return.
A pop-up will prompt you to use your new hot key and click OK.

Method 3
You can launch the Command Search via Help->Command Search or its hot key Ctrl+F1.

  1. Make sure Menu items is checked.
  2. Type new child in the search bar.
  3. Select (using the arrow keys) Insert->New node->New child node (Tab) and press Ctlr+Enter.
    Alternatively, hold down Ctrl and double-click Insert->New node->New child node (Tab).
    A pop-up will appear, where the new hot key can be assigned.

In step 3, when you select Insert->New node->New child node (Tab) and press Ctrl+C, the visible text is copied to the clipboard. It can be pasted e.g. in a Discussions post.

Hot Key Reassignment

It's possible to reassign an already used hot key to a different action or icon. The procedure is as described above, with the addition of a confirmation window.

Let's say you want to change the hot key for Command Search from the default Ctrl+F1 to Ctrl+Shift+A. Once you follow one of the three methods, you'll be presented with the confirmation pop-up

Hot Key Unassignment

You can clear a hot key, unassigning it from an action/icon. Just follow any of the methods in Hot Keys for Actions, and in the "Enter new key" pop-up window choose the button Clear and confirm OK.

Hot Keys for Icons

Similarly, a hot key can be assigned to an icon. It can be done using one of the methods described in Hot Keys for Actions, i.e. (for the "Home" icon):

  1. Tools->Assign hot key then Insert->Icons->Icon by category...->Miscellaneous->Home
  2. Insert->Icons->Icon by category...->Miscellaneous->Home then Ctrl+click
  3. Help->Command Search and checkbox Icons and type "home" then Ctrl+double-click

Additionally, in Insert->Icons->Icon from table… (Ctrl+F2) you can Ctrl+click on an icon to assign it a ctrl key, i.e. a hot key which works only in this window and uses Ctrl as its (first) modifier. Shift can be used as the second one.

Keyboard Shortcuts


Beyond the usual functionality of copying selected text or copying a node (branch), Ctrl+C copies the selected item's text in the following places:

  • Command Search - Help->Command Search
  • Filter composer - Filter->Compose filter
  • Attributes table - Edit->Node properties->Edit attribute in-line (Alt+F9)
  • Find and replace - Edit->Find->Find and replace… (Ctrl+Shift+F)
  • FInd and replace in all maps - Edit->Find->Find and replace in all maps
  • Mange reminders - Tools->Manage tasks and reminders…
  • Past reminders - Tools->Show past reminders…

Mouse Actions with Keyboard Modifiers


  • You can change the width of a node under the cursor (or several selected nodes) by Alt+scroll


  • You can create a copy of a node (branch) by Ctrl+drag of a node onto another node
  • You can change Distance between children (in View->Controls->Tool panel > Node layout) by Ctrl+drag of a node handle away or towards the center of node's stack of siblings
  • You can follow a link by Ctrl+click, if Preferences…->Behaviour->Open node link on simple mouse click is off



  • You can create a connector to another node by Ctrl+Shift+drag of a node onto another node