I've read the "flight manual" but there is no mention of whether or not this option exists. Looking through the command palette (+SHIFT+p) I don't see an option.

Use case: If I am in the project tree pane I can change selection focus by using and . I can also use and to, respectively open or close a selected folder, or, use enter to open a selected folder or file. Once I've opened a file I can cmd+option+/ between all the tabs of open documents. What I can't do is get back into the Project pane once I have switched Atom's focus to the Workspace area. Of note, when opening a project, Atom defaults to the Workspace area and it would also be nice to open a project folder and traverse the project tree with arrows, then open a file, "keyboard kung fu" back into the project, open another folder, et cetera...

Is there a keyboard command to switch Atom's focus to the Project tree pane?

2 Answers 2


Option 1: When you are in the Workspace pane (content area), you could do +SHIFT+\ to switch to the project tree.

And from the Project Tree, if you are on a file, you could just do a right arrow to switch to the workspace (this actually opens the file if not already opened).

Option 2: You could also use Ctrl+0 to toggle between both views.


Difference between fully loaded state and the italicized title

  • The italicized title is the Preview Tab mode. Its like half opening the file to read its contents. It changes to fully loaded when you edit the file. I am not sure of any other user perceived difference asides this.

Difference between Ctrl+0 and in the context of the workspace

  • The former switches to file you had in view in the workspace before switching to the tree, while the latter opens the highlighted file while in the tree (its like actually left/single clicking the file from the tree).

Difference between Ctrl+0 and +SHIFT+\ in the context of the Project Tree

  • The former switches to file you had highlighted in the tree before switching to the workspace while the latter highlights (or selects) the file you are currently viewing in the workspace in the Project tree (sort of like searches for the focussed tab in the Project Tree).

These are my observations, hope it makes sense.

  • 1
    Thank you for your comment. I did not know about Ctrl + 0
    – flash
    Jun 9, 2017 at 21:52

For newer versions of Atom you can assign a custom shortcut to the command called tree-view:toggle-focus inside your keymap.cson. E.g.

  'alt-1': 'tree-view:toggle-focus'

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