Keyboard shortcut to go to sibling and parent

I’m in love with Dynalist — it’s exactly what I needed! However, I felt something was off about navigation (I previously used FreeMind for brainstorming). And just now I realised what is the issue.

In FreeMind the UP and DOWN keys move between elements on the same level. To go to the children of the current element you have to press the RIGHT arrow key (if it is on the right). Also, you can move to the parent of the selected node by pressing the opposite key — in this case LEFT.

I think the current navigation scheme is great for Dynalist, because of its Notebook-like nature, however I think adding the functionality to jump through elements on current level, as well as the ability to select the parent item would significantly improve its ease of use (speed)!

I’m not completely set on what shortcuts are the best, but here is my suggestion that doesn’t conflict with any existing shortcuts:

  • CTRL+ALT+UP — go to the previous element on current indentation level
  • CTRL+ALT+DOWN — like above, but to the element below (a.k.a next)
  • CTRL+ALT+LEFT — go to the parent of the current element

At the moment there’s Ctrl + Shift + [ and ] for zooming into and out of items in the same level. I think you mean moving down to the next item while zoomed out?

This is definitely a shortcut that we lack. Thanks for posting this!

If I understand correctly, Ctrl+Alt+Up/Down is the same as Up/Down inside a flat list, right?

Also any reason for picking Ctrl+Alt+Up? One modifier should be enough.

FYI Workflowy uses Ctrl+Shift+9 and Ctrl+Shift+0 on OS X, at least.

(I’m happy to use whatever Dynalist picks.)

More clear name for this thread: “Keyboard Shortcut to go to Sibling Items”?

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Updated. FYI @Adam_Dabrowski, let me know if that’s not what you meant!

  1. Yep, that’s exactly how it would work.

  2. Right now CTRL is used to move items, SHIFT for –text– item selection and ALT for scrolling the view.

  3. I think the new title is alright. :stuck_out_tongue:

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Ah, right, stupid me. What about Ctrl+Shift+Up/Down? Is that taken by something?

It is used for text selection as well, although I don’t know how many people use it. CTRL+SHIFT+UP selects all text to the left of the cursor and CTRL+SHIFT+DOWN to the right.

Update: see New customizable shortcuts

Since the default shortcuts for this is not set, I tried setting similar to WF, but it doesn’t seem to do anything. I then went back and added another combination, also no luck. Has anyone found good keyboard shortcuts that actually work?

@Erica, the fact that it lets you assign these, but they don’t work, seems like a bug. I doubt something on my system is using these, and I confirmed the WF ones still working by logging onto that system.

[quote=“Alex_Pasternak, post:11, topic:49”]
@Erica, the fact that it lets you assign these, but they don’t work, seems like a bug. I doubt something on my system is using these, and I confirmed the WF ones still working by logging onto that system.[/quote]

Sorry for the late reply due to the holiday!

I can’t repro the bug, the customized shortcut seems to work for me.

I fount one related bug though, not sure if that’s what happened to you: if there’s an invisible sibling that’s hidden because it’s checked, it looks like the cursor has disappeared.

Otherwise it seems to work as expected, meaning if I’m editing an item and I press the “go to next sibling item” shortcut, the caret jumps to the end of the next sibling. Let me know if that’s not clear enough.

Sorry I didn’t follow up on this sooner either, but now I understand why I didn’t think this was working, and it wasn’t all about the shortcut. It’s another difference between what Workflowy and DL means by this command. DL’s implementation is arguably less useful, unfortunately, making it almost irrelevant right now what the keyboard shortcut is.

Let’s say you have items:

  • Parent 1
    – Child 1.1
    – Child 1.2
  • Parent 2
    – Child 2.1

Let’s say you’re zoomed in to Parent 1 level, and that’s your top item. In DL, the “next sibling” command does something on Child 1.1, which is to go to Child 1.2, but does completely nothing at the Parent 1 level. In WF, the “next sibling” command, when your focus is Parent 1, would go to Parent 2, and that would become your zoomed in item.

The whole point of this command (to me), isn’t to navigate what’s already on the screen, which is something you can do easily through normal means. It’s to navigate your hierarchy without having to go back out. If I’m under “Projects” and I know Project B is next when I’m in Project A, it gets me there right away! I really wish the command would work the same way in DL, or at the very least, give you some feedback that it can’t do anything at the zoomed in parent level, rather than appearing to just not work at all. Hope that makes sense.

Do you mean a different set of commands?

These sound more like what you described. They are under the same keymap group as the other ones, just 1 shortcuts up. I guess the wording of “go to” vs “zoom in” was the confusing part. By “go to” we normally mean moving the cursor/caret somewhere, whereas zooming in means changing the current root item.

I hope that helps.

EDIT: I agree that in a sense the other part of shortcuts (go to previous sibling and go to next sibling) are less useful, which is why they appear after “zoom in previous item”. They are used to navigate siblings skipping child items, so it’s useful in some long lists.

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Yes, finally! This is exactly what I needed, so I cleared the keyboard shortcuts for “sibling” items. The wording was not very intuitive, so it never would’ve occurred to me to try this.

Now that you explain “zoom in” vs. “go to”, it makes more sense, but this can really benefit from at least a tooltip in Keymap explaining what the command actually does. It also seems like there wouldn’t be any harm in having the sibling commands perform the same task when the focus is the top level “zoomed in” item, but I guess that would go against your verbiage understanding.

Yeah, unless we’re really sure most users want something, we tend to not assume it. For example from the way the OP of this thread describes it, he just wants the shortcut to move between items on the same level.

Changing zoom changes all the items on the screen and can be quite surprising. By the rule of least surprising, we’ll only make it so if there’s strong incentive to do so. I hope that’s understandable!

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I love this feature and use it all the time now.

I wanted to ask how I might do this on the iOS mobile ap. I don’t see anyway to add Zoom in previous/next item commands to the toolbar. If not possible, then I would like to add this as a feature request for iOS.

Also, for completeness, I would add that although the Zoom in previous/next item commands are shown in the Keymap in the settings on macOS, they are not shown in the keyboard shortcut reference which is where I originally went looking and then luckily found this thread.

Thanks! In that case, I would suggest opening another feature request for a new custom toolbar option.

That help page contains all the shortcuts with defaults. The custom ones are here: (not up-to-date either, we need to update them! :slight_smile:)