When studying biology and mechanisms, it's very useful to take notes with arrows that illustrate a stepwise process: A --> B --> C and up/down arrows to denote increase/decrease. This is very straightforward in MS Word, as I just assign a key to the arrow symbols I need, but I would like to be able to do this in Google Docs so I can continue collaborating on my work.

I've come across Google's keyboard shortcuts for Docs, but I'm specifically looking for a custom keyboard shortcut, which I can't seem to find anywhere.

If this feature isn't available in Google Docs, is there a clipboard-type program that would give me the same result? I'm on OS X Mountain Lion.

  • 1
    I fall on this question by searching "how to change keyboard shortcut in Google Docs" solutions aren't relevants ...
    – snoob dogg
    Mar 11, 2018 at 18:17
  • I'm using userscript (works with a chrome extension). You could set shortcuts to highlight, change font colors, etc. See the option4 in webapps.stackexchange.com/a/85859/76816
    – JinSnow
    Aug 23, 2018 at 9:43
  • @snoobdogg Your comment isn't relevant to this question, however you got here. If you can't find an answer elsewhere, ask a new question.
    – Denis Howe
    Feb 25, 2021 at 14:10

2 Answers 2


nhinkle gives the germ of the answer.

Automatic Corrections

Automatic corrections for and are included as defaults. You just need to add your own for and . (Maybe |^ and |v?)

While editing a document,

  1. Select Preferences from the Tools drop-down menu.
  2. Either deselect the checkbox next to the word for which you'd like to disable text substitution, or press the "x" to the right of the word to delete the row.

automatic corrections screen shot

  • 1
    What if I want the shortcut to invoke something only available from the UI? For instance, I frequently want to switch to a different font and back.
    – Michael
    Sep 8, 2018 at 16:02
  • @Michael: That's a separate question and you should post it as such.
    – ale
    Sep 8, 2018 at 22:18

In Google Docs, just typing --> and <-- will yield and without requiring any shortcuts.


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