Text Align Shortcut Does Not Work

Hi. My apologies if this issue has been addressed elsewhere, but if so, I couldn’t find it.

A few users have posted lists of Scrivener keyboards shortcuts (which is great); however not all the shortcuts work for me. Specifically, hitting CMD + [ is supposed to align text to the left, and CMD + ] is supposed to center align.

However, when I try to use these commands, they don’t do anything to the text. Instead, they cause me to move up or down through the different files in my binder (in either the draft section or the research section - whichever one I was in to start off with).

I have Scrivener v.1.54, if that matters.

Can someone please tell me what the shortcut really is to center align my text (since it is not command + right square bracket)? Also, once I do know the right shortcut, do I have to have all the text to be aligned highlighted, or can I simply have the cursor in front of the text to be aligned, before entering the shortcut?


The shortcuts for alignment are Mac standard for Cocoa apps, actually. Just use Cmd-{ and }. Centre alignment is the pipe symbol, Cmd-|. It is the curly brackets you are after, not the square ones. You can usually find a shortcut by finding its associated menu item, and you can usually find a menu item by searching for it in the Help menu (in more recent versions of the OS).

Alignment commands all work at the paragraph level, so it doesn’t matter where the cursor is, or what you have selected, so long as the cursor is in the right paragraph and the selection spans the paragraphs you want to align.

Great - thanks for your help, AmberV!

I didn’t realize these were standard Mac shortcuts; I had discovered two different lists of Scrivener shortcuts posted elsewhere in this forum, and they both said to use CMD + [ or ] to align text.

Hopefully these don’t confuse anybody else… :wink:

The forum lists might be damaged. There was a database transfer a while back and it resulted in some special characters getting messed up in the old posts. If someone had typed in the shortcuts using Unicode characters instead of “Cmd”, then the character for the Shift key might have been.

At any rate, the recommended place for up-to-date reference information is the wiki. The shortcut list is here: Scrivener Shortcuts

In that list the shift character is visible. If you cannot see an up-arrow next to the Cmd symbol, let me know because that might mean others cannot see it as well.

P.S. If you could post links to the forum posts that are in error I’d appreciate it.

I think the link should rather be:

And for the sake of completeness, also have a look at these not commonly known standard Cocoa Text area shortcuts:
guides.macrumors.com/Keyboard_sh … _Shortcuts

Thanks for that cheat sheet shortcut page! I have an old one saved on my hard drive somewhere for reference, but I know some of the shortcuts have been changed since, so I ought to just bookmark the wiki. The alignment shortcuts appeared incorrect on the wiki (all square brackets with no shift symbol except align right, which used a left bracket and therefore actually was the shortcut for align left) so I fixed them to display the shift symbol, but maybe SOP suggests just showing curly braces?

Edited because someone else already noted the goofed-up link and because I just went ahead and edited the wiki.

Thanks, I fixed the link; not sure why it was broken as it worked when I previewed.

I’m not sure what best practice is when it comes to referring to shortcuts where the shift key is involved. I like to say Shift-Something-BaseKey, but others like Something-ShiftedBaseKey instead. I really have no good reason for spelling out the shift key part of it, as Apple’s menu system doesn’t do that either.