15 Best VLC Media Player Keyboard Shortcuts For Using It Productively

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VLC-logoBe it a software or the operating system itself, having the main keyboard shortcuts memorized and using them each day can save you a ton of time in the long run. While some might like the mouse more and feel that they could be more productive with that, keyboard is something which you tend to use far more than the mouse and hence knowing how to use it faster and better doesn’t harm.

We have already covered 15 killer Windows 7 keyboard shortcuts that might surprise you. Today we will see 15 cool keyboard shortcuts you can use on VLC, one of the leading cross platform media players, to increase your productivity. The chances of you knowing them all is unlikely, so I insist you check them out. You never know, some of these could make things really easy for you when it comes to playing videos on VLC.

Important Note: We have written an amazing guide on VLC called The Ultimate Guide to VLC Media Player. It’s available as a beautiful page as well as a downloadable ebook. Make sure you check that out.

1. Space Bar to Play or Pause

Now, two of the most-used functions while playing a video are play and pause, and thus VLC assigned it to the biggest key on your keyboard, the Space Bar. While Space Bar is the de facto play/pause key when it comes to media players, you can’t take it for granted. For example, many versions of Windows Media Player don’t have it. So knowing where it works and where it doesn’t is useful.

2. F to toggle Full Screen

So you have selected a movie, embedded the subtitle (if any), prepared a tub of pop corn, switched off the lights and then finally, you are all set to switch the movie to full screen and play it. Don’t bother with the mouse, just hit the ‘F’ key. It’ll let you toggle between full screen mode and window mode on VLC.

3. A to Change Aspect ratio

appect ratio 1

aspect ratio

Aspect ratio in simple words is the width to the height ratio of the video. When you play a video, it will not automatically fit your window, and thus you will have to try various predefined available aspect ratios to bring out the best. Using the context menu to cycle aspect ratio can be really time talking. Just press the button A on the keyboard to do that quickly.

4. Z to Change Zoom Mode

zoom

zoom 1

Using Z you can quickly zoom in and out the video in window mode. It cycles between one-quarter, half, original and double.

5. Alt+Left/Alt+Right to Fast Forward slow

Want to skip few seconds on the video? Simply press the Alt button along with the direction key in which you want to skip (right for forward and left to go back). Each key event will skip 10 seconds of your video.

6. Ctrl+Left/Ctrl+Right to Fast forward Medium

To skip a minute in the video, replace the Alt key in the above shortcut with the Ctrl key.

7. Ctrl+Alt+Left/Ctrl+Alt+Right = fast forward long

If the seconds and a minute is not long enough, just combine both, the Alt and the Ctrl key along with the directional button to skip 5 minutes of the video. Well, that’s the longest you can get using the shortcut, any more than that, and you will have to use the seek bar.

Note: People who are using Intel HD Graphics card might want to disable their cards’ global hotkey before using the above shortcut. I didn’t do it, and my screen turned upside down.

8. Ctrl+Up/Ctrl+Down to Increase or Decrease Volume

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To decrease or increase the volume of the video, just press the Ctrl key and use the up and down directional keys. It’s always easier to use the mentioned shortcut key than to hunt for the volume button. If your laptop is bestowed with some quick volume function button, you can directly use them to control the windows device volume.

9. M to  Mute

There is nothing much to say about  this. Pressing the M button will mute or un-mute your video.

10. CTRL + E to Adjust Audio/Video Effects

graphich option

While playing a video or listening to a song, if at all you want to adjust the audio or video effects like equalizer, color contrasts, etc. pressing the Ctrl button along with E will bring on the Audio/Video Effects window.

11. T to Show Time(Remaining and Elapsed)

time elapsed remaining

In window mode, you can just look at the seek bar to get information regarding the elapsed and remaining video time. If you want to know the remaining or elapsed time of the video in full-screen mode, simply press the T button to get a three-second info on the top right hand corner of the video.

12. +/- to  Play Faster/Slower

If you want to watch your videos in adrenaline or bullet time mode (If you are not a gamer, you will probably not get that), pressing the minus(-) button will slow your video playback speed, and  the plus (+) will increase it.

13. N/P = Play next in list/Play previous in the list

If you have multiple tracks in your playlist you can simply press the N or P to play the next or previous media respectively.

14. S to Stop the playback

If you didn’t like the video or you some urgent work came up, press the S button to stop your video. If you are in full-screen mode, your video will be stopped, and VLC will return to window mode.

15. Ctrl+ H to Hide/Unhide Controls

vlc hiden controls

With so many shortcut keys who needs the on-screen control while watching a video? All of them seem so unnecessary!! If you would like to hide these controls, you can simply press the Ctrl + H button. You can bring it back using the same.

The above 15 are the shortcut keys I use the most in VLC while playing both audio and video.

Which of the above you discovered today? Which ones you are likely to use most frequently from now on? Any cool shortcuts we missed? Tell us!

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  • Jesse Thomas

    I’m looking for a way to change a key for karaoke purposes. Any ideas?

    • jin

      preferences>hotkeys

  • arun

    vol key is not working for version 2.1.0

  • jb

    thanks.

  • Carl S

    I use VLC to play MP3 audio files of my college lectures. I can speed them up and slow them down via the menu (playback>speed>faster vs slower). But, I would like to do this via the keyboard, instead. Do keyboard shortcuts exist for this? The shortcuts listed for changing the speed of video playback do not work for audio files. Thanks!

    • Punta

      Use [ and ]

  • Newland khan

    Good,,,,,,Thanks

  • Muzz

    One quick question please. With WMP, when you pause in full screen (Ctrl+P) the bloody playback toolbar at the bottom pops up. Really annoying if you’re doing a presentation & projecting videos you have made. With VLC, when you hit the spacebar in full screen, does it just pause? or is there something awful like “PAUSE” suddenly appearing in the corner & then “PLAY” when you hit the spacebar again? Thank you.

    • jin

      no, it is a clean pause in vlc

  • AnneMM

    Thanks. +/- are just a real time saver.

  • jeekiddo

    thanks

  • vincent

    i would like to be able to skip/rewind 5 seconds instead of 10.

    • Merchant

      Press shift+arrow key for 3seconds

      • Mayer Amschel Rothschild

        Thanks so much!!

  • Jeebus

    VLC has the worst recording capability I’ve ever seen. Way too much lag.

  • Bimurto

    Thnx

  • jeev

    I cannot increase the speed of the video with +, the max it gets is 1x.. but im able to decrease it.. can anybody help pls//

  • http://welmax.blogspot.in/ udhaya92

    Thanks a lot..very useful