Please, review the MacOS specific part about middle mouse click

Keyboard Shortcuts

This page lists the default keyboard shortcuts of the JOSM core. Some plugins may add own shortcuts or may override other shortcuts.

All active shortcuts of your JOSM installation are listed in the source:trunk/resources/images/preferences/shortcuts.svg Keyboard Shortcuts register of the Preferences dialog. In that register you can set personal keyboard shortcuts of your choosing.

Every button and menu item in JOSM may be assigned with a shortcut. This includes menu items provided by plugins, popular presets and saved search queries.

Some Working modes offer modifier keys (Shift, Ctrl or Alt) to change the behavior of the next mouse click in the Mapview. These modifiers are similar to shortcuts and some are listed below. But they can not be changed in the Keyboard Shortcuts register.

The JOSM Help pages note the keyboard shortcuts with their face on the keyboard. For example J means the simple keystroke which usually gives a lower case letter "j". An additional modifier key is noted in advance. E.g. Shift+J means holding the Shift key and then stroking the J key. This would usually give the upper case letter "J".

Annotated diagram

An annotated diagram of keyboard shortcuts is offered, see Announcement at user blogs png version with svg source

Working modes and dialogs

Main shortcut Activation steps Page Multiple hotkeys?
S Select objects yes, many
S toggled by S LassoMode 1
A "Standard Mode", it will draw "connected" lines yes, 4
A + hold Alt it starts a new way, rather than continuing an existing way
A + hold Shift it will create isolated nodes
A + hold Ctrl it will disable "snapping" to existing ways and nodes
A toggled by A It will enable "angle-snapping" mode
W Improve Way Accuracy yes, 4?
Ctrl+Delete Delete... yes, 3
Ctrl+Delete + hold Alt the way and its' associated unused nodes are deleted.
Ctrl+Delete + hold Shift will remove segments under cursor and additionally split way in two
Ctrl+Delete + hold Ctrl the objects and all its references are deleted
X Stretch a part of a way (create a building or something else) yes, 6
X toggled by X Dual aligment (this mode uses two reference segments (neigbors of the original segment) and moves the nodes each according to its own reference segment)
X + hold Ctrl while dragging a single node will move node along one it's adjacent segments
X and double click at way a double click at a way segment inserts a new node
X + hold Ctrl move segment parallel to base segment
X + hold Shift Always create nodes
X + hold Alt Don't alter original way, create new way instead
Alt+A then press CTRL+SHIFT+1 ... CTRL+SHIFT+5 To insert one of latest ta gs from Add tag dialog yes, many
Shift+F 4 steps at very least Fast Drawing mode yes, 11
Escape Close dialog without action (Cancel)


Main shortcut Page
F3 Search presets
Shift+D Add a node by known coordinate
Ctrl+Shift+C Copy coordinates of selected node to buffer
Ctrl+F Search
Shift+F3 Search objects by preset
Shift+B Distribute nodes
Shift+J Join overlapping Areas
B Draw a building, aligned to the first building
Ctrl+Alt+B Set buildings size
Shift+T Terrace a building
Ctrl+Shift+Alt+V Reverse a terrace
C Combine Ways
F Follow line
G Unglue ways
J Join Node to Way
N Move a node to the nearest way segment
L Align nodes into a straight line
M Merge Nodes
O Align nodes in circle
P Split Way
Q Orthogonalize Shape
R Reverse Way
Shift+Y Simplify Way
Del Delete object but don't change into delete mode
Ctrl+A Select all
Ctrl+B Create a multi-polygon
Ctrl+C Copy Way/Node etc to buffer
Ctrl+X Cut Way/Node etc to buffer
Ctrl+V Paste from buffer
Ctrl+Shift+V Paste only the tags
Ctrl+D Duplicate selected objects
Shift+M Mirror selected nodes and ways
Shift+O Create circle
Shift+P Create parallel line
Shift+Q Undo Orthogonalization for certain nodes
Escape Unselect all
Shift+← Move objects
Shift+↑ Move objects
Shift+→ Move objects
Shift+↓ Move objects
Shift+Ctrl Rotate
Ctrl+Alt Scale


Main shortcut Page
Ctrl+Shift+P Remove selected objects from the layer
Ctrl+Alt+U Reload the currently selected objects from the server
Ctrl+Alt+D Download parent ways and relations
Ctrl+Alt+M Reload the modified objects in the current data layer from the server
Ctrl+Alt+Shift+D Delete tags from selected elements
Alt+Shift+U Undelete an OSM object ("Undelete" plugin)
Shift+V Perform validation checks for current layer or selected objects

Objects history

Main shortcut Page
Ctrl+H Show history dialog
Ctrl+Shift+H Show history at
Ctrl+I Advanced object info dialog
Ctrl+Shift+I Advanced object info at


Main shortcut Page
Ctrl+Alt+C Changeset manager
Ctrl+Alt+Q Close open changesets

Interface and appearance

Main shortcut Page
Tab Show/hide Sidebar and Edit toolbar
F11 Fullscreen mode
Ctrl+W Toggle between wireframe and mappaint mode


Main shortcut Page
Ctrl+Shift+M Merge the currently selected objects onto another data layer
Ctrl+M Merges the content of current active layer into another layer of the same kind
Ctrl+F4 Delete layer
(absent) Duplicate selected OSM data layer

Layer Visibility

Main shortcut Page
Shift+A + press 1 Activate layer 1, counting from the top
... ...
Shift+A + press 9 Activate layer 9, counting from the top
Shift+A + press 0 Activate layer 10, counting from the top
Alt+1 Show/hide layer 1, counting from the _bottom_
... ...
Alt+9 Show/hide layer 9, counting from the _bottom_
Alt+0 Show/hide layer 10, counting from the _bottom_


Main shortcut Page
+ Zoom in
- Zoom out
Ctrl+, Zoom in
Ctrl+. Zoom out
Ctrl+← Scroll viewport
Ctrl+↑ Scroll viewport
Ctrl+→ Scroll viewport
Ctrl+↓ Scroll viewport
1 Zoom to data
2 Zoom to layer
3 Zoom to selection
4 Zoom to conflict
5 Zoom to download
6 Zoom to problem
8 Zoom to previous
9 Zoom to next
Shift+A Cycle through the different Auto zoom modes
Ctrl+J Opens the Jump To Position dialog
Ctrl+Shift+F Enable/Disable automatic centring of the map view to last placed node


Main shortcut Page
Ctrl+Space Autocomplete menu items
Ctrl+Shift+↓ Download
Ctrl+Shift+↑ Upload
Ctrl+L Open location
Ctrl+Shift+O Download object
Ctrl+Alt+Shift+U Upload Selection
Ctrl+U Update data
Ctrl+Z Undo
Ctrl+Y Redo
Ctrl+N New Layer
Ctrl+O Open file
Ctrl+S Save file
Ctrl+Shift+S Save as
Ctrl+E Export to GPX
F1 press anywhere to open main Help page
F1 press over element in question to open context-sensitive Help page
Shift+F1 About screen (with JOSM version number)
F12 Preferences
Ctrl+Alt+Shift+J Restart JOSM
Ctrl+Q Exit JOSM


Main shortcut Page
. Play/pause
F8 Next Marker
F5 Previous Marker
F7 Forward
F6 Back
F9 Faster
F4 Slower


Main shortcut Page
Alt+Shift+L Layer List panel List of all open layers. Note that it contains different menus for the different layer types.
Alt+Shift+P Tags/Membership panel Tags and memberships of selected objects.
Alt+Shift+C Selection List Selection list panel.
Alt+Shift+R Relations List List of all relations.
Alt+Shift+O Command Stack panel List of all commands (undo buffer)
Alt+Shift+A Authors panel List of Authors of selected objects
Alt+Shift+C Conflict List List of unsolved conflicts
Alt+Shift+V Validator results Validator panel
Alt+Shift+F Filters panel Filter objects and hide/disable them.
Alt+Shift+M Map Style panel Configure the map painting style.
Y Geotagged Images panel (only if photos are loaded; defaults to open as unsticked window)

Was explained at Sidebar.

all modes

Click-RightMouse Click and drag to move the map.
Scroll-Wheel Zoom in and out.

Platform specific caveats

Middle mouse button

Mac OS

There's no button that works as a middle button like with UNIX. You can use the middle button with an Apple Mouse. Connect Apple Mouse, Open System Preferences, click "Keyboard and Mouse" and configure the Ball button as "button 3". Then it can be used as the middle button. Note that you cannot configure other buttons as "button 3" with the Apple Driver. Maybe you can find a more useful mouse driver for this purpose.

An alternative is to run the open-source the MiddleClick program from It allows you to emulate a middle button with a three (or more) finger click on the trackpad.

Alt key

Alt key is used by Compiz to move windows on Ubuntu

It's likely the Alt key combination is caught before it is passed to JOSM.

Steps below tested with Ubuntu 16.04 LTS:


In gnome desktop environment Alt-Click is used for moving the window. The AltGr key can be used instead; note that on some keyboards the AltGr key is simply the right-hand Alt key.


Linux may use the left-Alt key as a mouse modifier, which will annoyingly compel Improve Way Accuracy mode to use right-Alt to delete nodes. Here is an article explaining how to reassign that Alt key in Gnome (or MATE), freeing it up for IWAM application usage. <Super> is "Windows key".

Alt+F2 → dconf-editor.
Click through org → gnome → desktop → wm → preferences → mouse-button-modifier → Set it to whichever key you like. e.g. <Super> or <Control><Alt> or <Alt><Super>


In some Linux desktop environment (e.g. KDE) the Alt-click event is captured to perform actions like dragging the window across the screen. To reclaim this combination to JOSM you have to open the Control Center, click on Desktop, Window Behavior, Actions and change the modifier key to something different than Alt.

See also

  • Auto generated list of shortcuts

Back to Main Help

Last modified 8 weeks ago Last modified on 2023-10-13T21:55:59+02:00