Ableton Live Keyboard Shortcuts and Tips

Ableton Live Keyboard Shortcuts and Tips

Published on 03-Mar-2016.

So I have been using Ableton Live on and off since version 1 and I'm still learning new features and key commands every day. In my daily searches for Ableton tips that help speed up my workflow, so I thought I would compile a list of some recent bits that I have found useful.

This post is more specific to keyboard shortcuts, but there are also some great general tips and other shortcuts too.

Ableton Forum user autogen compiled this amazing list of shortcuts and tips for Ableton Live users.

Keyboard shortcuts

Live shortcuts and alternative controls for certain functions. PC users substitute ‘COMMAND’ with ‘ALT’ and ‘ALT’ with ‘CTRL’.

  1. Duplicate = COMMAND+D.
  2. Disable Grid = COMMAND+4 (or hold COMMAND whilst selecting note or note start/end).
  3. Select Looped = COMMAND+SHIFT+L.
  4. Resize/Move Loop braces = cursor keys or COMMAND+cursor keys.
  5. In arrange view loop selected = COMMAND+L.
  6. In arrange view consolidate multiple selected clips = COMMAND+J.
  7. Playback from current position = SHIFT+SPACEBAR.
  8. Trigger selected clip slot = RETURN.
  9. Switch Clip/Track view = SHIFT+TAB.
  10. Move clip from session to arrange & vica versa = Click and hold on clip then press TAB.
  11. Stop focus moving when triggering clips (all clips) = In prefs > Record/Warp/Launch > Select on Launch > select ‘off’.
  12. Stop focus moving when triggering clips (selected clips) = CTRL+Click desired clip > select ‘Select on Launch (Pref)’.
  13. Preferences = COMMAND+,.
  14. Adjust all track widths = hold ALT while adjusting.
  15. Record Enable Track = F9.
  16. Slower response while changing track levels = Hold COMMAND while moving fader.
  17. Show hide plugin windows = COMMAND+ALT+P.
  18. Stop browser preview = ESC.
  19. In browser alternate navigation/previewing = left & right cursor keys.
  20. Zoom to loop = Click on the word “length”.
  21. Zoom to position = Click on the word “position”.
  22. Zoom out 100% = Double click the bottom clip overview tab.
  23. Zoom to specific portion = Use start and end of bottom clip overview like loop braces.
  24. Alternate scrolling in MIDI clips = COMMAND+ALT+Drag.
  25. Show/Hide overview in session view = COMMAND+ALT+O.
  26. Show/Hide Info View = SHIFT+/.
  27. Mute/Unmute tracks 1-8 = F1-F8.
  28. Time compress/expand MIDI notes = right-click with all notes selected then select ‘stretch notes’.
  29. Insert silence in arrange view/scene in session view = COMMAND+I.
  30. Drag multiple files to individual tracks = Hold COMMAND whilst dragging files in.
  31. Unfold all arrange tracks = ALT+Click a track arrow icon.
  32. Alternative velocity control in MIDI editor = COMMAND+Click note+drag.
  33. Duplicate note in MIDI editor = ALT+Click note+drag.
  34. Render tracks as individual files = In render dialog change “Master” to “All Tracks”.
  35. Assign twice as many qwerty keys to live = SHIFT.
  36. Restrict automation point movement to vertical axis = COMMAND+Drag.
  37. Scroll drum racks 1 row at a time = COMMAND+Drag.
  38. View multiple plugin windows = In prefs > Look/Feel > Auto-Hide Plugin Windows > select ‘off’.
  39. Edit info text for tracks and devices to make notes = CTRL+Click > select ‘Edit Info Text’.
  40. Create note with draw mode off = Double Click.
  41. Remove stop buttons to avoid clips stopping when changing scenes = Select clip slot > COMMAND+E (or enable ‘Legato’ launch mode).

General Tips

  • Hidden buttons visible when in midi or key assign mode = scene up/down (in master track).
  • per track play button – launches selected clip in track.
  • Entering bpm in the scene launch buttons title sets bpm when launched.
  • Click the headphone icon in midi editor to enable vertical keyboard to preview related sound.
  • While MIDI synced to external machine hosting Live ALT+SPACEBAR on the sync slave causes it to sync to the masters current song position. (remedy for sync drifting without stopping and starting).
  • Remember to experiment with the default live rack presets especially the DJ/Performance ones.
  • GIGA libraries can be exported to Sampler then deleted (if required), as all samples are copied to the library.
  • Mac users check out a free app called Soundsource. It adds an audio prefs selector to the menu-bar.
  • OSX Function keys = ALT+F1/F2 opens Display Prefs, ALT+F3/F4/F5 opens Sound Prefs, ALT+F8/F9/F10 opens Keyboard & Mouse Prefs.
  • When a new version of Live is released. Open Info Window (SHIFT+/) and hover any new parameters, fields or preferences.
  • Multiple tracks can be selected and frozen simultaneously.
  • Drag and drop tracks directly from iTunes for DJing.
  • Dragging a sample onto a plugin instrument will replace the instrument with an instance of Simpler containing that sample.

Other great resources for Ableton Keyboard Shortcuts

  1. The first point of call for keyboard shortcuts is Ableton's online manual
  2. Macableton have some great tips for Zooming Clips.
  3. is a great website that shows keyboard shortcuts for most keyboard layouts, Mac and PC.
  4. Liveschool have some great keyboard shortcuts compiled by producers and certified trainers.

Useful videos


Ableton Live - Keyboard Shortcuts - Tips and Tricks


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