Carl Camera

Visual Studio Shortcuts

[now updated: version 2.0]

I've made an intentional effort this past week to improve my Visual Studio productivity by trying to reduce time-consuming mouse interaction while coding. Although I don't have a benchmark to prove it, it seems like I'm moving around much faster within the Visual Studio IDE.

MSDN provides a list of all shortcuts, but it was torture trying to look up the shortcut I needed among the scores listed. The organization of the list itself did not strike me as intuitive either and that led me to create a hand-written crib sheet of the most useful shortcuts.

That. in turn, lead to the Vine Branches visual studio shortcut crib sheet. It's a one-page diagram that I provide to the C# world at large.

If you only learn three shortcuts, learn these:

  1. CTRL + SPACE pops up intellisense at any point of typing.
  2. CTRL + ALT + L jumps focus to the solution explorer toolbar. Use the arrow keys to move around then hit ESC to return to code window.
  3. CTRL + TAB cycles through the open tabbed documents. And a bonus fourth shortcut is CTRL + F4 to close a tab.

Just those few shortcuts will improve your productivity and impress your friends and coworkers -- at least the geeky ones.

Let me know if this is useful or if I left out something important.