Use These Keyboard Shortcuts to Maximize Your Efficiency in ExpertGPS

ExpertGPS is designed to maximize your efficiency, whether you're right-clicking with the mouse at your workstation, using multi-touch gestures on a touchscreen tablet in the field, or typing commands on a laptop as you bounce down a rutted dirt road. Knowing these keyboard shortcuts will greatly increase your productivity and allow you to create, edit, and visualize your data faster and more efficiently.

Basic Editing

Shortcut Key Command / Description
Enter Edit the selected item.
Delete Delete the selected item.
Backspace Hide the item temporarily on the map and list, without deleting. Use Show All or Clear to make all items visible again.
Ctrl+Backspace Show All hidden items on the map and in the list.
Right-Click or Menu key Show a popup menu with all of the commands you might want to apply to the selected items.

Using the Keyboard in the List View

When you click on a waypoint or track in the list to the left of the map, you'll notice that the column you clicked on is highlighted a darker shade than the rest of the columns in the selected row. This is the selected cell. If you press F2, you can quickly edit the data in that cell. If you hold Shift or Ctrl while selecting rows, you can select multiple items, and then use F2 to make a bulk change to all of those items at once. This is called F2 (or Quick) editing in ExpertGPS. This is extremely useful for changing the Type of a whole group of waypoints, or setting the Description of all the selected items to the same text. Some data columns, like Distance to Next, can't be edited, since they are calculated values.

You can use the left and right arrows to change the selected cell and the up and down arrow, Pg Up, Pg Dn, Home, and End keys to change selected row, which, combined with F2 editing makes it easy to edit a list of data without using the mouse.

When the List on the left side of the main window is active, typing any key (A, for example) will take you to the first item in the list that starts with that letter. It actually goes beyond that. You can start typing the first few letters of an item, and ExpertGPS will jump to the first item which has matching text in the active column (the column with the selected cell).

Press Enter to edit the selected item. Delete to delete, Backspace to hide (without deleting). Click Clear above the List to make any hidden items visible again.

Here's one I didn't even remember until I looked at the code while writing this article: Press Insert to view the selected item on the map, while keeping the focus on the list. You can also double-click items on the list to view them on the map, but this transfers focus to the map.

Switching Between Map Tools

Use the shortcut keys below to switch between map tools. Each map tool switches to a complementary tool (typically for moving the map or selecting items) when you hold the Space Bar key. Many of the map tools have variations which you can access by holding Shift, Alt, or Ctrl. For example, holding Shift when clicking with the Waypoint tool creates a new waypoint but doesn't open the Waypoint Editor. Hints for these actions are shown in the status bar in the lower left corner of the main window, and full details are in each of the Map Tool descriptions below.

Shortcut Key Command / Description
M Move Map tool Move Map tool
Z Zoom tool Zoom tool
S Select tool Select tool
W Waypoint tool Waypoint tool
R Route tool Route tool
K Track tool Track tool
E Shape tool Shape tool
N Note tool Note tool
~ Recenter Map tool Recenter Map tool
V Move Selected tool Move Selected tool
C Scissors tool Scissors tool
1 Calibration Point 1 tool Calibration Point 1 tool
2 Calibration Point 2 tool Calibration Point 2 tool

Switching Between Street Maps, Topo Maps, Aerial Photos, and Custom Basemaps

Use the shortcut keys below to switch between street maps, aerial photos, topo maps, and other map background types.

Shortcut Key Command / Description
O View OpenStreetMap
A View Aerial Photo Map
T View Topo Map
U View US Nautical Chart
Q View White Background Map
P View Scanned Map / Switch to Another Scanned Map - If you are already viewing a scanned map, this command will load a different Scanned Map.
5, 6, 7, 8, 9 View Custom Maps 5 through 9 - If the map options above aren't enough for you, you can add up to five of your own favorite map sources to ExpertGPS.
F12 Toggle map overlays - Sometimes it's handy to be able to temporarily hide all of the waypoint, track, and layer data on the map so you can study the underlying map. Press F12 to see just the basemap, and then press F12 again to show all of your data again.

Zooming In and Out, and Changing the Map Scale

Shortcut Key Command / Description
+ or Page Up Zoom In
- or Page Down Zoom Out
\ Zoom to Original Size - for Scanned Maps, this resets the scale to 100% for the clearest map image.
* Zoom to Show All Data - zooms out so that all of your data is visible on the screen.
: Zoom to Scale - lets you specify an exact scale to display. (1:24000, e.g.)

Moving the Map with the Keypad and Arrow Keys

You can use the eight outer keys on the numeric keypad of an extended keyboard to move the map in any of the eight principal directions, relative to the 5 key. You can also use the Up, Down, Left, and Right Arrow keys to move North, South, West, and East. If you are viewing a scanned map, holding Ctrl and pressing any of the eight outer keys on the numeric keypad will recenter the map on that corner or edge of the map. This is a quick way to prepare to calibrate a scanned map, as the best locations for calibration points are in the upper left corner (press Ctrl+7) and lower right corner (press Ctrl+3).

Shortcut Key Command / Description
7 Move Map Northwest
8 or Up Arrow Move Map North
9 Move Map Northeast
4 or Left Arrow Move Map West
5 Recenter Map on the Active Point
6 or Right Arrow Move Map East
1 Move Map Southwest
2 or Down Arrow Move Map South
3 Move Map Southeast

Moving Text Labels on the Map, Changing Font Size, and Changing the Map's Grid Spacing

You can use the eight outer keys on the numeric keypad of an extended keyboard to move the text label of a selected waypoint, note, or photo, relative to the symbol displayed on the map. Selecting a waypoint on the map and pressing 7 on the numeric keypad will position the label up and to the left of the symbol. Pressing 2 will position the label directly under the symbol.

Shortcut Key Command / Description
[ Reduce Font Size - if items are selected, their font size is reduced. Otherwise, the global font size is reduced for ALL text on the map.
] Increase Font Size - if items are selected, their font size is increased. Otherwise, the global font size is increased for ALL text on the map.
< Show fewer grid lines on the map.
> Show more grid lines on the map.

Track Editing with the Arrow Keys and Keyboard Shortcuts

If a single track or shape is selected, the behavior of the left, right, up, and down arrow keys changes as follows:

The orange triangle shows the current marker location on the selected track or shape. Left Arrow moves the marker one trackpoint closer to the beginning of the track. The Right Arrow moves the marker one point closer to the end of the track. In both cases, the marker will now be exactly on top of a trackpoint. The Up Arrow moves the marker halfway to the prior point, and the Down Arrow moves the marker halfway to the next point. This is really useful if you want to use the Insert command (I key, below) to insert a new trackpoint between two existing ones.

Holding Ctrl or Shift while using the arrow keys to navigate along a track or shape will create and extend a track selection (magenta highligher), which you can use to select trackpoints for deletion, or to reposition with the Move Selected tool.

Shortcut Key Command / Description
B Breaks the selected track, route, or shape at the marker.
I Inserts a new trackpoint or shape point into the selected track or shape, at the marker (orange triangle).
H "Toggle Highlighter" - starts or clears a track/shape selection, useful for using the arrow keys to select stray points to delete.
Home View Start of Track - recenter the map on the starting point of the selected track or shape.
End View End of Track - recenter the map on the ending point of the selected track or shape.
Shift+Home Select everything from the current track marker to the start of the track or shape. If your GPS was on for a few minutes before you started moving, click on the first good trackpoint, press Shift+Home to select the rat's nest of points around your start point, and press Delete to remove them.
Shift+End Select everything from the current track marker to the end of the track or shape. Use the technique above to delete unwanted points that accumulated at the end of your hike, before you turned off the GPS.
J Joins the two (or more) selected tracks or shapes.
F "Flip" - Reverses the selected tracks, routes, or shapes.

The Many Uses of the Escape Key

If you are drawing a route, track, or shape, and press Esc, this will finalize the object you were drawing, without opening the Edit dialog.

If there is a track or shape currently selected, and it has that weird magenta highlighting on it (technically, a Track Selection), Esc will clear the selection.

If there are selected items on the map, Esc will clear the selection.

If there's a weird red circle on the map (technically, the Active Point), Esc will clear that.

Esc also cancels popup menus, and closes any dialog, just like if you pressed the Cancel button.

When in doubt or in danger, just press Escape. With Esc and Undo (Ctrl+Z), you can experiment with just about any feature in ExpertGPS, knowing you can back out or reverse the changes.

Miscellaneous Commands

Shortcut Key Command / Description
F1 Help - Displays help file for the current dialog or screen.
F3 New Waypoint - Create and edit a new waypoint at the last point clicked on the map, or if Tracking is enabled, at the current location.
F5 View Online - View information about the selected item in the Web browser.
F7 View in Google Earth - View the selected data (or the entire document, if nothing is selected) in Google Earth.
Shift+1 Recenter the Scanned Map view on the first calibration point.
Shift+2 Recenter the Scanned Map view on the second calibration point.
L or Ctrl+L or Insert View in List - find and highlight the selected items in the list.
Ctrl+M View on Map - highlight the selected items on the map.

Standard Windows Shortcuts for Editing (Cut, Copy, Paste, etc)

Shortcut Key Command / Description
Ctrl+A Select All
Ctrl+X Cut
Ctrl+C or Ctrl+Insert Copy
Ctrl+V or Shift+Insert Paste
Ctrl+Z or Alt+Backspace Undo / Redo

Shortcuts for Switching Between the Map, List, and Elevation Profile

Quick refresher on what Microsoft means by files, windows, and panes: Each document you open or create in ExpertGPS is a separate file. When you open or create a new file, ExpertGPS creates a new window, which contains two panes: a list on the left, and a map on the right. If you view an Elevation Profile or a list of trackpoints in a selected track, these appear in a new window, associated with that file.

Shortcut Key Command / Description
Ctrl+F4 Close Window
Ctrl+F6 Next Window
Ctrl+Shift+F6 Previous Window
Ctrl+Tab Next Window
Ctrl+Shift+Tab Previous Window
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