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Roam Research Shortcuts - A Lightweight Guide


Ctrl + Shift + d
Go to today's daily note
Roam relies heavily on daily notes. Getting back to your current daily note is the first shortcut you should memorize.

From any page, press Ctrl + Shift + d to jump back to today's page. In the screen capture below, we're jumping from a page about Planets back to our daily notes page.
⌘ + u
Go to search bar
The search bar helps you navigate to pages efficiently.

Use ⌘ + u and type the first few letters of the page you're looking for. When you see the page you want, arrow or mouse down and Click / Enter to open it.

You can also create a new page from the search bar by typing in the name of the new page and pressing Enter.
[[page link]]
Bracket links
Double brackets create links to other pages. These bidirectional links are what make Roam special. In effect, they allow you to build your own wiki.

If you create a bracket link to a page that doesn't exist, Roam creates a new page for you automatically.

The example below shows us creating a bracket link to the Planets page.
((block link))
Parentheses links
Parentheses links are similar to the bracket links above, except they link to specific blocks (i.e., lines) instead of whole pages.

The example below shows us creating a link to the Pluto block.
/[command] or [↓/↑]
Inline commands
Inline commands are a fast way to add new pages, formatted content, and other tools to your Roam pages as you type. Roam provides a number of unique tools from the inline command menu, including pomodoro timers, date selectors, sliders, kanban boards, queries, and encrypted text.

The example below scrolls through all the inline command options before creating a page reference. Creating a page reference this way is the same as creating a page reference with brackets (See, [[page link]] above).

Page Navigation

Left Click
Open link with mouse
Open pages with the mouse using Left Click.
Shift + Left Click
Open link in sidebar with mouse
Hold Shift while clicking to open links in a sidebar.
Right Click
Context menu
Reveal Roam's context menu by Right Clicking on anything on the page.
Ctrl + o
Open link under cursor
To open pages without the mouse, press Ctrl + o while your cursor is over a link.
Ctrl + Shift + o
Open link under cursor in sidebar
Open pages in the sidebar without the mouse using Ctrl + Shift + o while your cursor is over a link.
Ctrl + c Ctrl + b
Toggle brackets
Pressing Ctrl + c and then Ctrl + b toggles the visibility of brackets around links. The links work the same whether the brackets are displayed or not.
Ctrl + c Ctrl + s
Toggle edit icon
Pressing Ctrl + c and then Ctrl + s toggles the icon showing whether you edited a block.


↓, ↑, ←, →
Navigate around a page using keyboard arrows or the mouse.
⌘ + ↓/↑
Expand / collapse block
Expand or collapse the contents of any block.
New block
Add a new block below the current block.
Shift + Enter
New line in block
Add a line to a block without creating a new block.
⌘ + Enter
New checkbox
Add a checkbox anywhere.
Tab / Shift + Tab
Indent / unindent block
Indent and unindent blocks.
⌘ + Shift + ↑/↓
Move block up / down
Move the current block up or down.
⌘ + z / ⌘ + Shift + z
Undo / redo
Undo or redo your previous actions.
⌘ + Shift + ./,
Zoom in / out
Zoom in and out of specific blocks for more or less focused viewing.
Shift + ↑/↓
Select block above/below
Select blocks above and below by holding Shift while moving up and down.
⌘ + Shift + a
Select all blocks
Select all blocks on a page.


⌘ + Alt + 1,2,3,0
Format header font.
  • ⌘ + Alt + 1 Large Header
  • ⌘ + Alt + 2 Medium Header
  • ⌘ + Alt + 3 Small Header
  • ⌘ + Alt + 0 Regular Font
⌘ + Enter
Toggle to-do/done
Toggle checkboxes between checked / unchecked.
⌘ + b
Bold the selected text.
⌘ + i
Italicize the selected text.
⌘ + k
HTML link
Turn the selected text into a link.
Option + Drag from Sidebar
Drag reference from sidebar
Drag a block reference with link. (Thanks, Eugene Yan)
⌘ + y
Strikethrough the selected text.
⌘ + Shift + h
Highlight the selected text.


Use Markdown to make bold text.
__ italic__
Use Markdown to make italicized text.
Use Markdown to make strikethrough text.
Use Markdown to make highlighted text.
$$E = mc^2$$
Latex (Math)
Use Markdown to apply Latex formatting.
Use Markdown to format inline code.
```Code Block```
Code Block
Use Markdown to format code blocks.
Use Markdown to create links.
Use Markdown to insert images.


Ctrl + ,
Add version
Create a new version of a block.
Ctrl + .
Expand all versions
Expand all versions of a block into separate blocks.
Ctrl + > / <
Cycle versions right / left
Cycle through block versions.

Click here for a printer friendly version.

Thank you to Compound Writing members Stew Fortier and Eugene Yan for reviewing a draft of this post!