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23 lesser known VS Code shortcuts as GIFs

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Despite the many shortcuts that I use frequently in VS Code, the shortcuts I mention below can come in handy, but I often forget that they even exist. I made some GIFs for visualization to better remember them.

Every command in VS Code can also be executed via command prompt with CTRL+SHIFT+P and a search query; however, knowing the direct shortcut might be faster.

I use VS Code on Windows in the GIFs, but I also provide a table showing the shortcut for each command in both Windows and Mac.

1. CTRL+, = Open user settings

Windows Mac
CTRL+, +,

Open user settings in VS Code

Once in a while, I need to adjust my user preferences. This is how you would open them directly.

2. CTRL+K   CTRL+S = Show shortcuts

Windows Mac
CTRL+K +K
CTRL+S +S

Show shortcuts in VS Code

This is the complete list of shortcuts in VS Code. There is also a Windows Cheat-Sheet [PDF] and MacOS Cheat-Sheet [PDF] available to download.

3. CTRL+R = Switch workspace

Windows Mac
CTRL+R +R

Switch workspace in VS Code

This opens a list of your recent workspaces and is a super-fast way to switch to another folder or project. Note that this will kill your current terminal session if you had a terminal open in your VS Code workspace.

4. ALT+Z = Toggle word wrap

Windows Mac
ALT+Z +Z

Toggle word wrap in VS Code

A handy little helper when you quickly want to see complete lines without scrolling horizontally.

5. CTRL+G = Go to line

Windows Mac
CTRL+G ^+G

Go to line in VS Code

This is the shortcut for typing CTRL+P   :.

6. CTRL+P = Go to file

Windows Mac
CTRL+P +P

Go to file in VS Code

The fastest way to switch files (especially when they are not already open) without using the mouse.

7. F8 = Go to next error or warning

Windows Mac
F8 F8

Go to next error or warning in VS Code

This is debugging with a single key. You can also go to previous errors or warnings using SHIFT+F8.

8. CTRL+TAB = Switch tabs

Windows Mac
CTRL+TAB ^+TAB

Switch tabs in VS Code

The fastest way to switch already open files without using the mouse.

9. SHIFT+ALT+I = Insert cursor at the end of each line selected

Windows Mac
SHIFT+ALT+I ++I

Insert cursor at end of each line selected in VS Code

This is useful for a quick creation of multiple cursors in a selected area.

10. CTRL+L = Select current line

Windows Mac
CTRL+L +L

Select current line in VS Code

Use this to search for identical lines in combination with the next shortcut.

11. CTRL+SHIFT+L = Select all occurrences of current selection

Windows Mac
CTRL+SHIFT+L ++L

Select all occurrences of current selection in VS Code

This shortcut really saves time because you don’t have to CTRL+D through a whole file.

12. CTRL+F2 = Select all occurrences of current word

Windows Mac
CTRL+F2 +F2

Select all occurrences of current word in VS Code

With this, you don’t have to select something anymore. Instead, just place the cursor on the word that you would like to select all occurrences of.

13. CTRL+SHIFT+SPACE = Trigger parameter hints

Windows Mac
CTRL+SHIFT+SPACE ++SPACE

Trigger parameter hints in VS Code

In case you don’t remember parameter order and don’t want to interrupt your flow by looking into the docs.

14. SHIFT+ALT+F = Format document

Windows Mac
SHIFT+ALT+F ++F

Format document in VS Code

Because nobody wants to format a whole file manually.

15. CTRL+K   CTRL+F = Format selection

Windows Mac
CTRL+K +K
CTRL+F +F

Format selection in VS Code

In case you only want to format some parts of a file.

16. F12 = Go to definition

Windows Mac
F12 F12

Go to Definition in VS Code

The quick way to jump to the definition of a variable or function.

17. ALT+F12 = Peek at definition

Windows Mac
ALT+F12 +F12

Peek Definition in VS Code

This just shows the corresponding definition of a variable or function without moving the cursor.

18. F2 = Rename symbol

Windows Mac
F2 F2

Rename Symbol in VS Code

An indispensable shortcut for refactoring code.

19. CTRL+K   CTRL+X = Trim trailing whitespace

Windows Mac
CTRL+K +K
CTRL+X +X

Trim trailing whitespace in VS Code

This is especially useful for multi-line selections.

20. CTRL+K   R = Reveal active file in Explorer

Windows Mac
CTRL+K   R +K   R

Reveal active file in Explorer in VS Code

In case you want to perform some actions out of your systems file manager instead of using VS Code.

21. CTRL+SHIFT+H = Replace in files

Windows Mac
CTRL+SHIFT+H ++H

Replace in files in VS Code

If only one file at a time isn’t enough for you.

22. CTRL+K   V = Open Markdown preview to the side

Windows Mac
CTRL+K   V +K   V

Open Markdown preview to the side in VS Code

This way you don’t have to switch to the mouse to open a preview.

23. CTRL+K   Z = Enter Zen mode

Windows Mac
CTRL+K   Z +K   Z

Enter and exit Zen Mode in VS Code

Instantly code, distraction-free. To exit Zen mode, hit ESC ESC.

So that’s it for now. I maintain a repository on GitHub where I collect commands I tend to forget - check it out if you want.

Happy Coding!


Edited: 7th January 2019 (add MacOS shortcuts)
Published: 7th January 2019 by Andreas Müller on dev.to
Cover Image: https://codepen.io/devmount/full/ExaQjdm

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