Documentation: Modules / Keyboard Edit on Github

Keyboard Module

The Keyboard module enables custom behavior for keyboard events in particular contexts. Quill uses this to bind formatting hotkeys and prevent undesirable browser side effects.

Key Bindings

Keyboard handlers are bound to a particular key and key modifiers. The key is the JavaScript event key code, but string shorthands are allowed for alphanumeric keys and some common keys.

Key modifiers include: metaKey, ctrlKey, shiftKey and altKey. In addition, shortKey is a platform specific modifier equivalent to metaKey on a Mac and ctrlKey on Linux and Windows.

Handlers will be called with this bound to the keyboard instance and be passed the current selection range.

  key: 'B',
  shortKey: true
}, function(range, context) {
  this.quill.formatText(range, 'bold', true);

// addBinding may also be called with one parameter,
// in the same form as in initialization
  key: 'B',
  shortKey: true,
  handler: function(range, context) {


If a modifier key is false, it is assumed to mean that modifier is not active. You may also pass null to mean any value for the modifier.

// Only b with no modifier will trigger
quill.keyboard.addBinding({ key: 'B' }, handler);

// Only shift+b will trigger
quill.keyboard.addBinding({ key: 'B', shiftKey: true }, handler);

// Either b or shift+b will trigger
quill.keyboard.addBinding({ key: 'B', shiftKey: null }, handler);

Multiple handlers may be bound to the same key and modifier combination. Handlers will be called synchronously, in the order they were bound. By default, a handler stops propagating to the next handler, unless it explicitly returns true.

quill.keyboard.addBinding({ key: 'tab' }, function(range) {
  // I will normally prevent handlers of the tab key
  // Return true to let later handlers be called
  return true;

Note: Since Quill’s default handlers are added at initialization, the only way to prevent them is to add yours in the configuration.


Contexts enable further specification for handlers to be called only in particular scenarios. Regardless if context is specified, a context object is provided as a second parameter for all handlers.

// If the user hits backspace at the beginning of list or blockquote,
// remove the format instead delete any text
quill.keyboard.addBinding({ key: Keyboard.keys.BACKSPACE }, {
  collapsed: true,
  format: ['blockquote', 'list'],
  offset: 0
}, function(range, context) {
  if (context.format.list) {
    this.quill.format('list', false);
  } else {
    this.quill.format('blockquote', false);


If true, handler is called only if the user’s selection is collapsed, i.e. in cursor form. If false, the users’s selection must be non-zero length, such as when the user has highlighted text.


If true, called only if user’s selection is on an empty line, false for a non-empty line. Note setting empty to be true implies collapsed is also true and offset is 0—otherwise the user’s selection would not be on an empty line.

// If the user hits enter on an empty list, remove the list instead
quill.keyboard.addBinding({ key: Keyboard.keys.ENTER }, {
  empty: true,    // implies collapsed: true and offset: 0
  format: ['list']
}, function(range, context) {
  this.quill.format('list', false);


When an Array, handler will be called if any of the specified formats are active. When an Object, all specified formats conditions must be met. In either case, the context parameter will be an Object of all current active formats, the same returned by quill.getFormat().

var context = {
  format: {
    list: true,       // must be on a list, but can be any value
    script: 'super',  // must be exactly 'super', 'sub' will not suffice
    link: false       // cannot be in any link


Handler will be only called when the user’s selection starts offset characters from the beginning of the line. Note this is before printable keys have been applied. This is useful in combination with other context specifications.


Regex that must match the text immediately preceding the user’s selection’s start position. The text will not match cross format boundaries. The supplied context.prefix value will be the entire immediately preceding text, not just the regex match.

// When the user types space...
quill.keyboard.addBinding({ key: ' ' }, {
  collapsed: true,
  format: { list: false },  // ...on an line that's not already a list
  prefix: /^-$/,            // ...following a '-' character
  offset: 1,                // the 1st position of the line,
                            // otherwise handler would trigger if the user
                            // typed hyphen+space mid sentence
}, function(range, context) {
  // the space character is consumed by this handler
  // so we only need to delete the hyphen
  this.quill.deleteText(range.index - 1, 1);
  // apply bullet formatting to the line
  this.quill.formatLine(range.index, 1, 'list', 'bullet');
  // restore selection
  this.quill.setSelection(range.index - 1);

  // console.log(context.prefix) would print '-'


The same as prefix except matching text immediately following the user’s selection’s end position.


By default, Quill comes with several useful key bindings, for example indenting lists with tabs. You can add your own upon initization.

Some bindings are essential to preventing dangerous browser defaults, such as the enter and backspace keys. You cannot remove these bindings to revert to native browser behaviors. However since bindings specified in the configuration will run before Quill’s defaults, you can handle special cases and propagate to Quill’s otherwise.

Adding a binding with quill.keyboard.addBinding will not run before Quill’s because the defaults bindings will have been added by that point.

Each binding config must contain key and handler options, and may optionally include any of the context options.

var bindings = {
  // This will overwrite the default binding also named 'tab'
  tab: {
    key: 9,
    handler: function() {
      // Handle tab

  // There is no default binding named 'custom'
  // so this will be added without overwriting anything
  custom: {
    key: 'B',
    shiftKey: true,
    handler: function(range, context) {
      // Handle shift+b

  list: {
    key: 'backspace',
    format: ['list'],
    handler: function(range, context) {
      if (context.offset === 0) {
        // When backspace on the first character of a list,
        // remove the list instead
        this.quill.format('list', false, Quill.sources.USER);
      } else {
        // Otherwise propogate to Quill's default
        return true;

var quill = new Quill('#editor', {
  modules: {
    keyboard: {
      bindings: bindings


Like DOM events, Quill key bindings are blocking calls on every match, so it is a bad idea to have a very expensive handler for a very common key binding. Apply the same performance best practices as you would when attaching to common blocking DOM events, like scroll or mousemove.

An Open Source Project

Quill is developed and maintained by Slab. It is permissively licensed under BSD. Use it freely in personal or commercial projects!
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