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Quickly Move Code in VS Code w/ Mac Shortcuts

Brad Beggs
Curious and Persistent.
・2 min read

CMD X - place the full line into memory & clear it simultaneously

What It Does: This is similar to the classic CMD X cut of text but without the need to select the text. This shortcut automatically moves text into memory and deletes the line. Use CMD V to paste the same line (if needed)

Best For: removing 1 line and moving it to a new position. At the new position, CMD V and the text will bump down the current line text and insert at the location.

CMD Enter - insert a new line from the middle of the line above

What It Does: On your cursor position, CMD Enter inserts a new line break, shifting the current line 1 lower and moving your cursor to the start of the empty line.

Best For: Spacing out code blocks or need a new line for new text

CMD D - select identical items and replace

What It Does: Finds identical text and selects it for simultaneous delete, or re-write

Best For: Renaming a variable/text which is used in multiple locations in one file.

Note: Move your cursor to the word/phrase and CMD D to select all adjoining characters. No need to highlight the whole word or number. CMD D multiple times to select each instance below the cursor. ESC to remove focus.

Option Up or Down Arrows - move line(s)

What It Does: Easily move a full line of code (or lines of code) up or down as many lines as needed. Similar to cut and paste or CMD X but visually see code move

Best For: Refactoring code. Moving one function above or below another.

Note: From anywhere on a single line, Option up or down to move the line. To move multiple lines, highlight at least 1 part of each line to move them as a block.

OPTION CMD [ or OPTION CMD ] - collapse/uncollapse code blocks

What It Does Quickly collapse or uncollapse blocks of code according to scope

Best For: condensing code that you don’t need to see or deal with at the moment.

Note: This command works per scope. So you can collapse while loops, if statements, etc, and not the complete function. To collapse the function, invoke the shortcut in the functional scope.

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