Useful vs Key Sequences/Shortcuts

Whether you are a fan of mouseless computing or not, most people reading this blog are .Net developers and that means that a lot of you spend a considerable amount of time in Visual Studio. There are common key-sequences and shortcuts that you can use inside of studio that allow you to keep the context switching from keyboard to mouse at a minimum. I am going to make a note of showing both the accessor sequence and the appropriate shortcut (if it has one). I am a big fan of accessor key traversal for several reasons:

  • your muscle memory will kick in after a handful of times of performing the traversal
  • accessor traversal is something that you can do easily in any windows application (unless it does not provide accessor keys!!) and this can allow you to use the application proficiently with the keyboard without having to commit a new set of shortcuts to memory.
  • in lots of applications the shortcuts consist of a combination of the CTRL key and/or function keys. I don’t love having to reach for the function keys as they move me too far from home row (yes I’m a home row nut). With accessor traversal I can keep my fingers on home row and accomplish the exact same tasks!!

One caveat to note about accessor traversal is that as new menus are added you may have to press the first and or second key more than once if there are other menus with the same accessor key in them. Again, this is something you can adapt to quickly!!
Here is the short list of the ones I use the most day to day ( I am excluding the ReSharper accessors):
Action Accessor Traversal Shortcut
Hit the ALT Key and then follow with the key sequence
Open a project/solution FOP CTRL+SHIFT+O
Add a new project FDN
Add a new website FDW
Add existing project FDE
Add existing website FDB
Show all files in project PO
Add a project reference PR
Cycle backwards through reference dialog tab (standard windows shortcut) CTRL+SHIFT+TAB
Cycle forwards through reference dialog tabs (standard windows shortcut) CTRL+TAB
Add a new folder to project/solution PD
Close all documents WL
Auto Hide All windows (except main code window) WU
Goto Options Dialog TO
Start Debugging DS F5
Start Without Debugging DH CTRL+F5
Step Into DI F11
Step over DO F10
Attach to process TP CTRL+ALT+P
Set as startup project PA
Add new item PW CTRL+SHIFT+A
Add existing item PG SHIFT+ALT+A
View output window VO CTRL+ALT+O
View Find Results VN{number of result dialog to display)
View Error List VL CTRL+\ , CTRL+E
Properties Window ALT+Enter F4
Refresh VF

You can download a PDF version of the above table from here.
Develop With Passion!!