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Visual Studio keyboard shortcuts every developer should know

Posted by Fernando Felman on March 16, 2007

VS has many keyboard shortcuts. Some may say even too many of them. So many that it might intimidate developers to learn and remember. Well, I thought to come up with the most crucial ones, the ones that perform actions that I know many developers use only with the mouse. So here they are: VS keyboard shortcuts to actions you are using every day, but most of you are using with the mouse (and I’m not listing the very obvious everybody knows).

Try to remember at least the highlighted ones – you’ll be amazed how much you’ll use it.

  • Outlining:
    • Ctrl-M, Ctrl-M: Toggle Outlining Expansion
    • Ctrl-M, Ctrl-O: Collapse to Definitions
    • Ctrl-M, Ctrl-L: Toggle All Outlining
  • Editing tools (refactoring, snippets):
    • Ctrl-K, Ctrl-S: Surround with
    • Ctrl-K, Ctrl-X: Insert snippet
    • Ctrl-Shift-V: Clipboard cycling
  • Find & Replace:
    • Ctrl-I: Incremental Search
    • Ctrl-Shift-F: Find in Files
    • Ctrl-Shift-H: Replace in Files
  • Misc:
    • Ctrl- -: Navigate Backward
    • Alt-Shift-F10: Show smart tag
    • Ctrl-K, Ctrl-I: Tool tip info (mimics the mouse hover tool tip)
    • Ctrl-J : List Members (IntelliSense)
    • Ctrl-Space: Auto complete word (IntelliSense or auto complete)
    • Ctrl-Shift-Space: Parameters Info

5 Responses to “Visual Studio keyboard shortcuts every developer should know”

  1. Ctrl-. (that’s a dot there, folks) is the simpler alternative to Alt-Shift-F10 for popping up the smart tag. It’s so fast I hardly notice I’m using it.

    And of course, who can forget the long-time favorite Ctrl-Shift-T.

  2. Thanks, Avner. I wasn’t aware of the better option to drop the smart tag. The way I suggested (Shift-Alt-F10) breaks the flow of the writing whereas your way (Ctrl-.) doesn’t. I’m converted! 🙂

    There is also something I don’t like about the Incremental search (Ctrl-I): it only searches in visible code. So when using incremental search I either expand all (Ctrl-M, Ctrl-O) & search; or just write a macro to do that for me. Either way, switching back to the previous view is not simple. I used to use that a lot in VS 2003 to find all references to a method or a property, but since the introduction of the “Find all references” in VS 2005 I don’t really need it. Still, it’s useful to know when using non-symbolized files such as large XML files (CAML, anyone?).

  3. chakrit said

    didn’t know there’re shortcuts for outlining and navigation before

    very handy!

    thanks for sharing ^^”

  4. […]… Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Visual Studio Dark Settings […]

  5. David Hollowell said

    Ctrl-K-C (comment out highlighted block or current line)
    Ctrl-K-U (uncomment highlighted block or current line)

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