An illustration to represent the power of Jira shortcuts showing two wizards and a magic wand.

I’ve been a Jira Software administrator for some time now and have worked with hundreds of customers’ instances. I’m often asked, ‘How can I get more out of Jira Software?’ I always give the same answer: learn the keyboard shortcutsNothing will improve your speed throughout Jira Software more than keyboard shortcuts. From creating issues, assigning work, and even administering the product, keyboard shortcuts will make you faster and more confident throughout Jira Software.

0. Getting started

? keyKeyboard shortcuts work throughout Jira Software (and Confluence) outside of text fields. The most important keyboard shortcut is the ‘?’ key. The question mark brings up the help for all keyboard shortcuts. Open up your Jira Software instance, press the ‘?’ key, and confirm you get the dialog below.

keyboard shortcuts list for Jira

Tip: if you don’t see the above dialog, ensure the cursor is not in the text field. If you see the ‘?’ character when you press the key, click outside of the text field and try it again.

Now that you can see the power of keyboard shortcuts, let’s take a look at four areas in which we can optimize our time when using Jira Software.

1. Work with individual issues

Issues are the central concept of Jira Software. The faster we can work with issues, the more we optimize our time. Wherever you are in Jira Software and have an issue highlighted, you can take action on that issue.

the letter A key on a keyboard – Assign

the letter C key on a keyboard– Create

the letter M key on a keyboard– Comment

the letter E key on a keyboard– Edit

The letter S key on a keyboard– Share

A period symbol key on a keyboard– All issue operations. Use the ‘.’ key to transition an issue.

Try it!  Select an issue in list view or on a board and press one of the keys above.

2. Handle sets of issues

The next step in mastering keyboard shortcuts is working with sets of issues. When searching in Jira Software using standard search or with JQL, Jira Software will return a list of issues. The two most important keyboard shortcuts are ‘J’ and ‘K’.

the letter J key on keyboard – Previous

the letter K key on a keyboard– Next

You’re probably thinking, how do ‘J’ and ‘K’ represent next and previous? The roots go back to the early days of UNIX where J and K mapped to previous and next before the advent of arrow keys. Many web applications like Gmail, Twitter, and Tumblr also use the same keyboard shortcut.

If we combine the ‘J’ and ‘K’ keys with the shortcuts in the previous section, we can quickly triage a list of issues in Jira Software. Using list view, we can quickly assign issues using the ‘K’ and ‘A’ keys. Rather than using the mouse to click through each issue, we can remain on the keyboard.

Try it!  Search for a list of issues and press the ‘K’ key. You’ll see the selection go to the next issue. Press one of the keyboard shortcuts in section 1 to work on the selected issue.

3. Navigate across Jira Software

The ‘G’ key is your passport to navigate across Jira Software. The ‘G’ key pairs with another key to select the destination screen. Let’s take a look at how the ‘G’ key works:

the letter G key on a keyboard then the letter D key on a keyboard – Go to the dashboard

The letter G key on a keyboardthen The letter A key on a keyboard – Go to Jira boards

The letter G key on a keyboard then The letter I key on a keyboard – Go to issue search

The letter G on a keyboard then The letter G key on a keyboard  – Administrative search

Wherever I am inside of Jira, the ‘G’ key gets me where I need to go!

Try it!  Press ‘G’ and then ‘D’ (not at the same time) to go back to the Jira Software dashboard.

4.  Boost agility

The three most important shortcuts for agility are unsurprisingly ‘1’, ‘2’, and ‘3’.

The number 1 key on a keyboard – Go to backlog

The number 2 key on a keyboard– Go to active sprints or kanban board

The number 3 key on a keyboard – Go to reports

And you can do even more. Just like ‘J’ and ‘K’ move between issues, ‘N’ and ‘P’ move between columns in active sprints or the kanban board.

The letter P key on a keyboard – Move to the previous column

The letter N key on a keyboard – Move to the next column

If you’re working on a smaller screen or a projector during sprint planning, the ‘T’ and ‘Z’ keys help optimize screen space.

The letter T key. on a keyboard – Hide and show detail view to conserve screen space

The letter Z key on a keyboard– Enable presentation mode

While you’re planning sprints, move issues to the top of the sprint or backlog with ease.

The letter S key on a keyboard then The letter T key on a keyboard – Send the selected issue to the top of the list

The letter S key on a keyboard then The letter B key on a keyboard – Send the selected issue to the bottom of the list

Try it!  Press ‘G’ and then ‘A’ and then press ‘1’, ‘2’, ‘3’ to rotate through the different views of Jira Software.
Pro Tip: Pressing ‘Z’ twice will enable a high contrast mode when projecting Jira Software on an external screen during issue triage sessions.

So, ditch the mouse and get more out of Jira Software by staying on the keyboard. I’m curious to know, what’s your favorite keyboard shortcut?

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4 tips to get more out of Jira with keyboard shortcuts