Cover image for 23 lesser known VS Code Shortcuts as GIF

23 lesser known VS Code Shortcuts as GIF

devmount profile image Andreas Updated on ・5 min read

Despite many shortcuts I'm using frequently in VS Code, the following ones can come in very handy but I'm often forgetting they even exist. I made some GIFs for visualization to better remember them. Maybe there are some shortcuts you didn't remember either but are useful for you.

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

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

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 open them directly.

2. CTRL+K   CTRL+S = Show shortcuts

Windows Mac

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

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 you current terminal session, if you had a terminal open in your VS Code workspace.

4. ALT+Z = Toggle word wrap

Windows Mac

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

Go to line in VS Code

This is the shortcut for typing CTRL+P   :.

6. CTRL+P = Go to file

Windows Mac

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

Switch tabs in VS Code

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

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

Windows Mac

Insert cursor at end of each line selected in VS Code

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

10. CTRL+L = Select current line

Windows Mac

Select current line in VS Code

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

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

Windows Mac

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

Select all occurrences of current word in VS Code

With this you don't even have to select something anymore. Just place the cursor on the word you want to select all occurrences of.

13. CTRL+SHIFT+SPACE = Trigger parameter hints

Windows Mac

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

Format document in VS Code

Because nobody wants to format a whole file manually.

15. CTRL+K   CTRL+F = Format selection

Windows Mac

Format selection in VS Code

In case you want to format only 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 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 indispensible shortcut for refactoring code.

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

Windows Mac

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 VS Code.

21. CTRL+SHIFT+H = Replace in files

Windows Mac

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 coding 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:

GitHub logo devmount / CheatSheets

Repository for everything I look up more than twice

Happy Coding!

Edited: 7th January 2020 (add MacOS shortcuts)
Published: 7th January 2020
Cover Image: https://codepen.io/devmount/full/ExaQjdm

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devmount profile



creator. developer. consultant. freelancer. husband. dad². guitarero. climber. javascript. php. python. css.


markdown guide

Cool article! 👍
If will be nice to add a MacOS shortcut as well.


Thank you! As I wrote at the top of the article:

I use VS Code on Windows here, if you are on a Mac, most of the Shortcuts should work using for CTRL, for ALT and for SHIFT.


That's not always correct. You can check out my post about shortcuts in Visual Studio Code

Nice article layout and many thanks for the feedback! I will see how I can include MacOS shortcuts as well!

You're welcome!
Tip: you can ask the community to help you 😊

Updated the article accordingly 😇

Thank you for the inspiration! 👍🏻

Can I just say, it's nice to see people in comments helping each other out? I guess you just see criticism so often, it's nice to see folks working together to make something great. Makes for an awesome community. Thanks guys!

Welcome to the club! Glad you've joined! 👍


I stopped plugging in a mouse, touchpad etc several months ago on my dev machine (I do have a mousekeys AutoHotkey script). It definitely encouraged me to find those keyboard shortcuts. Not so good for web browsing tho. VSCode is probably going to wear out my F1 key! 😄⌨


Wow, not using a mouse at all is impressive! 😲👏🏻 Maybe I'll try that too sometimes!


I do also have a portable with touch screen and pen to do any graphics and cad stuff on. But just a keyboard front and centre on the dev desktop 😇
my mousekeys script is on the following gist if you ever want to try it out: gist.github.com/grahamdyson/3029ef...

Cool! Thank you for sharing!


Wow. I always wondered how to select a line using a keyboard. It's so simple and easy shortcut for which I had to point to the line and then select it using the cursor. This will save a lot of time. Also, that open in explorer shortcut is also a great one. Thanks for this!


I'm really glad it's useful for you! It was the same here before I knew that line selecting shortcut 😅


I prefer the use of HOME and END to go to start/end of line, coupled with SHIFT when I need to select. So HOME, followed by SHIFT-END is just the same as select line, and a lot easier to memorize, for me.


What software or tool did you use to display those keyboard shortcuts on your screen as you typed them?


I'm using ScreenToGif. It's a really useful open source tool to quickly create screencasts. The shortcuts can to be inserted in editing mode.


Select some characters, a var name or whatever. ctrl+D is my favourite, although not the quickest way, to select the next occurrence of what you currently have selected. Habits I guess.


Thanks , this will be great help. Curious to know which shortcuts do you use frequently in your work ?


You're welcome. Sure, I highlighted them for you:

Frequently used shortcuts by devmount in VS Code

Those are the shortcuts I use every day.


What about Ctrl +` - Shows integrated terminal ? By the way thanks for the image. Appreciate 😄.

Also a good one, but I don't need it since I have the integrated terminal always open in each of my workspaces 😇

Ctrl +` also selects the terminal, which is great for rapid fire git commits! Etc.

Awesome, didn't know this 👏🏻


This is a collection of good and useful shortcuts for everybody. Though they are not lesser known. Using 95% of them all the time since switching to vscode


Thank you for your feedback! So you're a real VS Code pro user! Which command didn't you already know (the 5%)?


3)CTRL+R (such a good one, I somehow didn't know or think about it before)

Well so I'm glad, that there were at least 2 shortcuts that were helpful for you too 😅


Great read, thank you for sharing! Now I just need to practice some of them to help remember them.


You're welcome! So do I 😅


After I read the article I immediately needed to use one of them and forgot the shortcut but remembered it's possible 😬

😂 Well, do this a couple more times and you won't forget anymore 😅


Learnt some new shortcuts. Thanks for sharing!


So cool! I'm happy it's useful for you!


Actually, the fastest way to switch tabs without using the mouse is using Alt + {n} where n is the tab index.


Agreed! Thank you for this addition!


Really great write up. Thank you!


You're welcome - I'm glad you like it! 😊


Useful article ! Didn't even know there was a Zen Mode 🤷‍♂️


I'm glad it was helpful 😊


Thanks for the tips mate <3


You're welcome! 😊


This is how a tutorial should be written, well done. Thank you


Thank you. You inspired me: dwim.nl/2020-01-16-VSCode%20shortc...

I was wondering: Do you (or anyone else) know of a VSCode extension that advices on shortcuts for actions you perform often?


Cool! 👏🏻 I'm glad it's useful for you!

I don't know an extension, but if you perform an action with the command prompt CTRL+SHIFT+P you can directly see the defined shortcuts on the right:

command prompt shortcuts


Thanks. This will come in really handy


You're welcome, I'm glad it helps!


for the "go-to-line" you can also do ctrl+p and then :{line_number}


Which is why I wrote at the end of point 5:

This is the shortcut for typing CTRL+P :.