Ardour Shortcut Cheatsheets available

I’m happy to release an initial version of the Ardour shortcut cheatsheet - a handy 2-sided tri-fold guide to almost every shortcut in Ardour. There is one version for X Window (Linux, FreeBSD, etc) and another for OS X (reflecting different conventions about modifier keys in both systems.) These cheatsheets will hopefully convey a lot of Ardour’s power that is generally hidden to most users. The current cheatsheet reflects the binding set that we call “mnemonic”, configured for a US keyboard with a keypad. There are other binding sets available, but no cheatsheets for them at this time.

(Paul notes on September 21st: I've added A4-formatted versions of these for non-US users. Fetch either the the X Window version or the OS X version)

Please note that these bindings do not correspond precisely to the "mnemonic" bindings released with Ardour 2.8.2, but the differences are rather small and involve rarely used commands. If you want to get this exact set of bindings, you can download the "new" X Window or OS X bindings file and install it as ~/.ardour2/ardour.bindings. These are not necessarily final versions - watch the website for any updates, and please feel free to leave comments, corrections etc. in a comment. Finally, please feel free to throw an extra US$1 donation toward if you find this cheatsheet useful. Thanks.

In a future release of Ardour, there will probably be a tool that will generate cheatsheets based on your own customized bindings. You can modify all keybindings in Ardour via the key bindings editor dialog. On X Window, you can also do this directly on a menu - just point the mouse at the menu item and press the new keybinding.


In landscape mode, an A4 is 5.9mm shorter and 17.6mm wider than a US letter. When you print the cheatsheet on an A4 the contents do fit the page vertically (which is probably what this other person referred to), but there is a blank gap on the right side of the text. When you print the back side, the gap is on the opposite side (i.e., the right if you look from the back, but the left if you look from the front), so the back and the front fold lines don’t match.

If you do a print preview of the PDF on your reader of choice (I’m using evince) after selecting A4 as the paper size, you should be able to see what it looks like.

One can easily work around this by printing the back side upside down and trimming the extra piece of paper, or by rescaling the pages horizontally if the printing program allows it, but it would be nice to have a resized version anyway.


@pablomme: i was assured by an east-side (of the atlantic) user that it looked fine on A4. can you describe the issue?

regarding Control/Ctrl/Ctl - the change is primarily because of space limitations. I wanted to use Control everywhere, but in the mouse bindings section there isn’t room. I’ll fix the other details that you mentioned, thanks. I am also suprised that obody has yet commented on the presence of the binding for Control-m :slight_smile:

I’ve spotted a typo in the linux/X version: ‘midde’ -> ‘middle’ in the ‘Mouse Object Mode’ section. And just for the sake of pedantry, you may want to change ‘left+drag’ -> ‘left-drag’ in ‘Mouse Zoom Mode’ for consistency, and perhaps stick to one of ‘Control’ or ‘Ctl’ (or how about ‘Ctrl’, as is usually printed on keyboards?) throughout. Anyway, this is my new favourite Ardour user’s guide.

It’d be nice if you made an A4 version so that it tri-folds properly on this side of the Atlantic :slight_smile:

Thanks Paul.

I promised a keyboard overlay set some time ago - And with this new cheat sheet I’ll have one available soon. I have already built the sheet, and just needed to add all the shortcuts when life happened :wink:


just what I need

Wow, really nice! Thanks Paul.

Cool ! Not just a list of shortcuts for me, a functions discovering too. Thanks Paul.

This is awesome. Thanks, Paul!

Great, thank you! Workflow is such a nice thing :slight_smile:
It’s already pinned to the wall next to my linux machine.

I love the cheatsheet, although i’ve been working on some updates/ideas including:
auto play = 6
auto return = 7
click = 8
toggle edit point = 4
toggle edit point with markers = 5
to reflect the layout of the editor buttons and to create a logical group on the keyboard

these were changed to keep the alt bindings more consistent (alt used for window switching/opening)
import to region list=Shift+control+i
set punch from region = ctrl+{
set loop from region = ctrl+]

forward to mark = tab
jump backward to mark = shift+tab
these were changed because it makes no sense to require the user to switch number lock on and off just for these operations

this is just for kicks:
theme manager = alt+h

these keep the zoom options grouped together as well as away from accidents like confusion with ctrl+z
zoom to session = ctrl±
zoom to region = ctrl+=
zoom to region (W&H) = alt+=
toggle zoom state = alt±

also the cheatsheet lists ctrl+m as having two behaviors and alt+b having the same issue, unfortunately I was unable to get rec-enable to work no matter what I bound to it.

I’m working on some keyboard stickers as well (actually that’s what promted me to edit all these bindings) and will post the graphics, a cheatsheet and my bindings file as soon as I’m done, but for now, I’m headed to bed…

p.s. I noticed the midi editing binding…

not sure to whom Im posting but here goes_ are there any other significant or insignificant differences between the “free” and contributory vs. of ardour. I’m proud to say I’m a recent contributor and excited about the work and the possibilities. I can’t seem to find the “download” on the site and did not receive a link to the AU Preset Sav vs. Thanks !

@southpaw: this is a wierd place place to put this message. Downloads are at the download page referenced in the navigation tabs (in blue) near the top right of every page on the website.

@Vincent Mons

I am guessing you are on OS X, in that case in Finder press SHIFT+COMMAND+G which should pop up a GO TO FOLDER dialog. In there type in ~/.ardour2 and that should open a window to that folder (Which is actually just under your home directory. You can then edit, or replace the bindings files there.

If you did what you were discussing, it may work depending on which bindings file you used, until you updated Ardour and then you would have to do it again.



It works (after being disturbed a moment by .txt encoding) ! Thanks a lot.

@VincentMons: there is no reason to be doing this for a current version of Ardour. The instructions above were written several years ago and were targetting people with older versions of the default keybindings who wanted to “update”. If you are using 2.8.14 (as you should be on this particular date), you’ve already got these bindings.

Sorry but I don’t understand how to “install it as ~/.ardour2/ardour.bindings”.

I work with ardour 2.8.14 and I can see a lot of files “.bindings” in Contents > Resources

Should I rename the downloaded bindings file and place it in the Resources folder ?


The links to cheat sheet for Mac OS on and the one here are dead. I assume the documents they link to are out of date, but removing the link from the page or replacing it by a current one would be nice.

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