AdWords Editor Shortcuts: Cheat Sheet

By , guestblogger


For anyone regularly building and optimizing Google AdWords campaigns, the Editor is a great tool to save lots of time on most of your PPC tasks. And for those of you using this tool on a weekly or even daily basis and wanting to save even more time (and which search marketer doesn’t?), this article provides a cheat sheet with all the Editor shortcuts in a way you can actually quite easily remember and use them.

So firstly, I’m assuming you’re already using the Editor and know what it can do. If not, I highly recommend you download this free tool provided by Google over here and read AdWords Editor 101 at WordStream to get you started.

Secondly, you might already have taken a look (or printed out) the quick reference for Windows or Mac from Google. And your first thought might have been “I’m never going to know all these shortcuts by heart”. If that’s the case, I think I have good news for you. After some further examination, there is another way of arranging and visualizing the shortcuts that should make them easier to use and remember.

First group: adding, updating and deleting (multiple) items


This part of the cheat sheet is all about the shortcuts to quickly add/update and sometimes delete items like (negative) keywords, ads, ad groups and placements.

With these shortcuts, you use Ctrl to add, Ctrl+Shift to add/update multiple and Ctrl+Alt to delete items. Sometimes these shortcuts are already easy to remember, like Ctrl+K to add a Keyword. But often, these shortcuts are harder to remember, like Ctrl+L for negative keywords. In those cases I added a mnemonic that might help you easily remember the shortcut.

Second group: the usual suspects


You probably already use most of the shortcuts from this group (at least the first ‘Ctrl’ column), as they are commonly used in almost any software. That is why I did not add any mnemonics.

It’s definitely worth it to start using the Ctrl+Shift and Ctrl+Alt combinations of these shortcuts, which should be quite easy to learn if you already know the Ctrl ones.

Tip: watch out when using Ctrl+Z on items that haven’t been posted yet, using this shortcut will completely delete the item instead of just undoing your last adjustment.

Third group: download, post and check changes


These are the shortcuts you use at the beginning and at the end of your AdWords Editor session.

Fourth group: more shortcuts

To be complete, I added the Delete key and the extra shortcuts that Google provides in their quick reference.

There you have it, around 60 shortcuts to save time and the use of your mouse. If you have any suggestions for improvements (like better mnemonics) I would love to hear them.

Download the Cheat Sheet here.

And yes, a Mac version is coming soon!

Wijnand Meijer is Paid Search Strategist at Netsociety, an online media agency based in Amsterdam (the Netherlands) and Brussels (Belgium). He created his first AdWords campaigns in 2006 and is currently helping advertisers and coworkers alike to get their Paid Search to the next level.

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11 thoughts on “AdWords Editor Shortcuts: Cheat Sheet

  1. Adrian

    Thank you for sharing these shortcuts for AdWords Editor. You need to check the link in the footer of the PDF however. Appears to be broken. 

  2. Pingback: Weekly PPC Roundup 3/16/12 — Lucky Day Edition

  3. Terry Whalen

    I think these are really helpful:

    Use the Alt key plus the right or left arrow to move between the tree view and the data view. 

    Use the Control key plus numbers (1, 2, 3, etc.) to jump to the different tabs. For example, Ctrl+1 takes you to the Keywordstab, Ctrl+2 to the Placements tab, and so on.

    I use these a lot – say you are doing manual bid automation, looking first at ad groups with either very high or very low CPAs. You’re looking at rows of ad groups for a particular campaign. You double-click an ad group that needs attention. Now you hit CNTRL+1 to jump to keyword tab, you manually tweak some bids, then hit CNTRL+5 to get back to ad group tab, then hit CNTRL+(left arrow) to get back to left hand nav tree, then hit (left arrow) once more to get up the campaign level, so that you are where you started – looking at all the ad groups in that campaign.

  4. brettburky

    This is awesome I love shortcut keys. Granted adwords editor is driving me freaking nuts right now, it doesn’t open dropdowns and it seems to be broken since the update. If you have any suggestions I would be all ears.

    1. PPC Hero AllyPPC Hero

      Hi Brett,

      We love shortcuts too! We haven’t had the same problems with the editor as of late. We’re a Mac office, though, which definitely makes us outliers in the PPC community.

      Here’s hoping for a speedy new update for you!

      1. brettburky

        I am a mac man as well. I hope it doesn’t last long, going to the online version of adwords sometimes is just different for building.

        Plus they keep moving stuff on me I have to search for stuff (like the audiences) I found it but still.

        Then enhanced campaigns I’m still trying to get that all right.

        I watch the Advanced Google Webinars but they never get into the nitty gritty just some surface level stuff that doesn’t really help just wastes an hour of my time.

        1. PPC Hero AllyPPC Hero

          There are definitely some pains involved with the enhanced campaign transition. In time they’ll figure out the kinks with the editor. At Hero Conf, Paul Feng at Google said that the AdWords editor is the most universally beloved entity he’s ever worked on, so it’s definite that they’ll get the problems worked out.

          The advanced webinars are a lot more fun if you follow their hashtags on Twitter. It’s fun to interact with the community. And you can always check out PPC Hero’s webinars if you’re craving more knowledge.

          1. brettburky

            I haven’t been following the hashtags but I will from now on. Also I just signed up for your upcoming webinar, are there any achieves that I could watch as well?

            Thanks for your help on all this

          2. brettburky

            Awesome!!! This is officially my favorite site 🙂 I just got the email for todays webinar I will see you at 2pm.

            Looking forward to it. Thanks again for your replies and thanks for doing it so fast, that is impressive.

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