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50 Keybinds ⌨ EVERY Intellij user MUST know! ✔

lukegarrigan profile image Luke Garrigan Updated on ・3 min read

Experiment! ⚗

I conducted a little experiment where I logged the keyboard shortcuts I used in Intellij from roughly a days dev. The list below contains the top 50 keybinds I used in order of count.

Note: I removed a few keybinds that are not strictly Intellij e.g. ctrl + shift + arrow keys for highlighting text, ctrl + c, ctrl + v, among many others.

No. Keybind (Mac) What it does Count
1 Alt+Up/Down (^Up/Down) Jump to next method 137
2 Ctrl+Alt+Left/Right (⌥[/]) Go back/forward location 101
3 Alt+Left/Right Switch to next file 65
4 Alt+Enter (⌥Enter) Show action intentions 56
5 Ctrl+B (⌘B) Go to declaration 51
6 Ctrl+Shift+F (⇧⌘F) Find in path 47
7 Ctrl+Alt+L (⌥⌘L) Reformat code 44
8 Ctrl+Alt+O (^⌥O) Organise Imports 44
9 F8 (In debug) Step over 43
10 Ctrl+F (⌘F) Search current file 32
11 Alt+Insert (⌘N) Generate code (can be done in multiple views) 31
12 Ctrl+Alt+M (⌥⌘M) (With code highlighted) Extract method 28
13 Alt+F8 (⌥F8) (In debug) Open evaluation window 26
14 Ctrl+/ (⌘/) Comment code 26
15 F7 (In debug) Step into 22
16 Ctrl+Shift+N (⇧⌘O) Search classes/files/symbols/actions 22
17 Ctrl+F4 Close current tab 21
18 Alt+F7 (⌥F7) Find all usages 17
19 Ctrl+F8 (⌘F8) Add breakpoint 17
20 Ctrl+Up/Down Move view 16
21 Alt+1 (⌘1) Opens up file explorer 15
22 Ctrl+D (⌘D) Duplicates line 14
23 Ctrl+Space (^Space) Basic code completion 14
24 Shift+F9 (^D) Begin debugger 11
25 F9 (⌥⌘F9) (In debug) Resume Program 11
26 Ctrl+Shift+Space (^⇧Space) Complete current statement 9
27 Alt+1, Alt+Insert (⌘1, ⌘N) Create new file 7
28 shift + alt + up/down (⌥⇧Up/Down) Move code 6
29 Alt+F9 (⌥F9) (In debug) Continue execution and stop at cursor 5
30 Ctrl+E (⌘E) Recent files 5
31 Alt+F10 (⌥F10) (In debug) Go to where execution stopped 4
32 Ctrl+Shift+V (⇧⌘V) Paste from recent clipboards 4
33 Double Shift Search anywhere 4
34 Ctrl+P (⌘P) Parameter info 4
35 Ctrl+Shift+/ (⌥⌘/) Comment block code 3
36 Ctrl+X (⌘X) Cut (line or highlighted) 3
37 Shift+F6 (⇧F6) Rename 3
38 Ctrl+Alt+S (⌘,) Settings 3
39 Ctrl+K (⌘K) Commit changes window 2
40 Ctrl+Shift+R (⇧⌘R) Replace in path 2
41 Ctrl+O (^O) Override methods 2
42 Ctrl+Shift+E (⇧⌘E) Recent locations 2
43 Ctrl+R (⌘R) Replace 1
44 Alt+J (^G) Select next occurence 1
45 Ctrl+Alt+V (⌥⌘V) Extract variable 1
46 Shift+F10 (^R) Run 1
47 Ctrl+Alt+F7 (⌥⌘F7) Show usages 1
48 Ctrl+Alt+T Surround with 1
49 Ctrl+Shift+Alt+T (⌥⌘T) Refactor this 1
50 Double Ctrl Run anything 1

Conclusion 🔎

It's quite funny looking at these results, I feel as though I could have a good guess at what sort of code I was writing just from the keybinds I use. Also, it highlights potential ways I could increase my productivity by focusing more on some keybinds that could do with more usage such as the Surround with shortcut, I'm sure I could have used it > 30 times.

Of course, your mileage will vary depending upon your preferences, the task you're working on or even just the way you code.

These are also by no means all the keyboard shortcuts in IntelliJ (There are bloody hundreds) they are just the useful ones I've picked up from my years of hacking away in it.

I hope this is of use to some of you, I know it will be for me if I ever go long periods of time without using the IDE (Probably not 😆).

VSCode - Intellij IDEA Extension

If you're coming from an Intellij background and you use VSCode, install the IntelliJ IDEA Keybindings Extension, it is bloody marvelous.

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Discussion (6)

Editor guide
florimon profile image

Handy list! Surprised though that Ctrl + F6 wasn't on it. Opens up a dialog to change the signature of a method, enabling you to easily add/remove/change parameters, or even change their order + refactor all their call sites.

lukegarrigan profile image
Luke Garrigan Author

Ooh lovely I’m gonna have to add that to my arsenal, thank you!

antonrusak profile image
Anton Rusak

Thanks, added some bindings to my toolbox :)

My personal favourites that aren't on the list:
Alt+F12 - Open terminal
Ctrl+F12 - View members
Alt+9 - List of VCS changes
Ctrl+Shift+K - View pending commits (and push'em)

And of course the godlike Ctrl+W! It saved me a ton of neural activity. It's like a homing aid system for us developers.

jonlauridsen profile image
Jon Lauridsen • Edited

Hah, that’s funny 😁

I’d love to use more shortcuts but using Mac at home and Linux+Windows at work messes it all up, and made even worse by using Rider and IntelliJ. I could really use some sort of cross-product, cross-platform shortcut manager!

lukegarrigan profile image
Luke Garrigan Author

I completely agree with this, I work on Windows and whenever I do some dev on my old Mac it completely throws me off, I just end up ignoring keybinds on my Mac as I’m too worried about pressing the wrong thing 😂

cadonau profile image
Markus Cadonau

Remapping “Rename” to Command + Option + R was probably one of the first things I did after being used to Eclipse. I think it has changed in Eclipse in the meantime.