List of Emmet keyboard shortcuts for quickly generating HTML

List of Emmet keyboard shortcuts for quickly generating HTML

Kingsley Ubah's photo
Kingsley Ubah

Published on Oct 28, 2021

3 min read

Like many others, I started my coding journey with Notepad. Few days ago, I tried building a basic HTML page using my NotePad text editor. It took me over 10 minutes to get everything set up.

This made me realize just how useful Emmet is. Emmet is arguably one of the best extensions for web developers, productivity-wise.

Though I am not quite sure of NotePad, other popular code editors like VSCode and Atom all have their own Emmet plugins which can be installed from respective marketplaces.

With the Emmet plugin installed on your text editor , you can quickly generate HTML code by using a couple of predefined keyboard shortcuts, saving you a lot of time in development.

You can generate a huge tree of HTML markup with along with their attributes on the fly. Emmet uses conventional CSS selectors to structure HTML and define attributes.

Below are some of my go-to shortcuts for quickly generating HTML.

Generate boilerplate for HTML

Key: !+tab

Imagine if you had to type out the boilerplate markup for every HTML document you created. That's an exhausting task.

With Emmet, you can create the structure of your document with just two keys:

Generate HTML boilerplate

Create opening and closing tags (with some key attributes)

Key: <tagname> + tab or enter

You can simultaneously create the opening and closing tags of any HTML element.

In addition, Emmet abbreviations automatically expands a list of related tags (with their attributes) as you start typing the tag name:

Emmet abbreviation

Create a HTML tag with two or more of the same attributes

You can specify two values to the same HTML property. For example, you can set two class names on the same element using the class CSS selector (.), like so:

Same class names

Create a HTML element with different attribute types

You can specify two different types of attributes on the same tag. For example, you can specify a class attribute and an id attribute on a div tag by combining .classname + #id-name , like so:

HTML element with different attributes

Create nested tags

You can create a tree of nested tags with Emmet. To nest a tag, simply precede the child with the greater than symbol (>):


Nest different tags with different classnames

You cannot just nest the same kind of element with same attribute, but also nest different tags with different attributes. In the second markup, we nest an image with an id inside of a div with a class:

diff attributes

Multiply children HTML tags

You can multiply a specific type of tag to a specified number, using the multiplication symbol (*). For example, we can create multiple list items inside of an unordered list:

multiply children tags

Create auto-incrementing attribute value

Another awesome thing we can do with Emmet is to auto-increment an attribute on a list of HTML children tags:

Auto increment atributes

Complex nesting of HTML tags

You can create a complex nesting structure in just a single line:

complex nesting

Create sibling elements (on same level)

You can create two or more sibling HTML tags (adjacent to each other) using the plus symbol (+):

sibling elements


The Emmet plug-in is an indispensable tool for web developers. The tool helps you create simple and complex HTML markup structure with a couple of pre-defined keyboard shortcuts.

Did I miss out any keyboard shortcut? Please let me know in the comments.

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