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Cover image for VS Code Shortcuts That I Would Teach Myself if I Had a Time Machine With Limited Fuel
Vitor Paladini
Vitor Paladini

Posted on • Updated on • Originally published at

VS Code Shortcuts That I Would Teach Myself if I Had a Time Machine With Limited Fuel

— "Hey, it's me. Listen up, I don't have much time."

— "Wait, what?! What is happening?! Who are-How did you get in my house?! Wh-why do you look so much like me?!"

— "I am you, you dum-dum. I came from the future specially to teach you some VS Code shortcuts. Now..."

— "Wait. Are you serious? You could've brought back lottery results, stock market data, but you came all the way here to teach me freaking VS Code shortcuts?!"

— "Listen, I really don't have much juice left on this thing... Just sit and pay attention please, this is impor..."

— "Couldn't you have written these shortcuts, you know, on a piece of paper?"

— "Shut up! This is important!"

— "Okay, okay..."

— "So, you should stop clicking for files in File Explorer and start using Command/Ctrl+P, then type the file name. Add :N and it will open exactly at that line number"

Example gif

— "Ooooh, we have hologram gifs in the future, nice example"

— "I know, right? Also, stop navigating the File Explorer with your mouse altogether and just use Command/Ctrl+Shift+E and arrow keys, ok?"

Example gif

— "Ok, cool..."

— "Now, if you ever need to focus on the panel again, instead of clicking the edit area, just press Command/Ctrl+1 and it will focus the first open panel"

Example gif

— "Cool, cool cool cool cool cool no doubt"

— "Use Command+Shift+[ and ] to navigate through file tabs, try Alt+Left and Right if you run Windows in this timeline. This will save you a lot of time"

Example 3 gif

— "Hard to think of it as a lot of time but, yeah, okay… You're the one with the time machine"

— "Use Command/Ctrl+B to toggle the editor sidebar, it will save you some space when coding on small screens"

Example gif

— "I knew that one!"

— "Instead of scrolling so much, use Control/Ctrl+G to go straight to the line you want, do you copy?"

Example gif

— "Roger that"

— "Use Command/Ctrl+Shift+L whenever you need to select all occurrences of some text

Example gif

— "Handy! Next one please."

— "Command/Ctrl+W closes the current tab, Command/Ctrl+Shift+T reopens it"

— "The usual, nothing new he..."

Example gif

— "Wait, I have to return now. Command/Ctrl+Shift+H is Find & Replace, you'll always forget this one, don't be too hard on yourself"

Example gif

"Wait! I have so many questions! How did I even get a time machine? Does this creates a new parallel universe? Will 49ers ever win the Super Bowl again? Hey, wait! Waaait."

EDIT: There is a whole lot of great shortcuts in the comments, you definitely should check them!

Repo in the examples is forem.

Gifs (with a hard G) were recorded with Kap on a 680x416 size with 12 fps.

VS Code theme is Cobalt2 and the font is Envy Code R.

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Top comments (49)

paulasantamaria profile image
Paula Santamaría

Best "vscode shortcuts" post I've ever read. Extra points for the b99 reference.
Next time you go back make sure to teach your past self this one: Shift +Alt + F. It will automatically format your code (if you have a formatter installed for that language).

diogosouza profile image
Diogo Souza

This one is really useful. The Mac version is Option + Shift + F

vtrpldn profile image
Vitor Paladini

Thanks, Paula. Glad that someone caught that 😄

Shift + Alt + F is also pretty great, thanks for sharing!

maxime216 profile image

You can also configure VSCode to run this onSave as instance which allow you to dont forget formatting ;)

Thread Thread
paulasantamaria profile image
Paula Santamaría

Love this idea, thanks!

aleksandrhovhannisyan profile image
Aleksandr Hovhannisyan • Edited on

My favorites:

  • Ctrl+L. Highlight the current line. Press it N times to highlight the next N lines.
  • Alt+Up/Down. Move an entire line of code (or the current selection) up/down. No more cutting/pasting.
pzelnip profile image
Adam Parkin

The move line up/down is like my #1 used hotkey.

The other one I use a lot that's similar is SHIFT+ALT+up/down for duplicating the current line above or below.

pavelloz profile image
Paweł Kowalski

I find "move line up/down" shortcut very useful.
Also cmd+a (beginning of the line) and cmd+e (end of line) very useful - not only in vscode, just in general, including terminal.

drew_mc profile image
Drew McConville

Great one! (fyi this was Ctrl+A/E on mac for me)

milhod profile image

Do you know how long I tried to find this info? Thank you! Lot of my time will be saved

pavelloz profile image
Paweł Kowalski

Glad i could help :-))

vtrpldn profile image
Vitor Paladini • Edited on

Man, I kid you not, that was literally my expression when I tried your suggestion.


Fantastic, never even knew that this kind of navigation was possible.

bytejunkie profile image
matt short

can't see this one mentioned elsewhere, but i must use it every hour.

CTRL + / >> comment/uncomment a line or selection

also mentioned elsewhere, but different

CTRL + ' >> open a terminal window (but this one is apostrophe, not backtick)

cyberhck profile image
Nishchal Gautam

I use forward and backward button on my mouse

maxime216 profile image
maxime216 • Edited on

Good article that will probably help many people :)
Well, some other things that are usefull =>
(Sry Idk for windows)
Command + d : select current word (really essential shortcut) and, if you press it again, it will select the next occurence of this word :)
And an other one which allow you to work on several line at the same time:
Command + option + arrow (up or down), then do what you want with your selected lines (esc to leave this mode !)

rajatkantinandi profile image
Rajat Kanti Nandi

If you are on mac with touchbar you can also press the arrow keys in the touchbar. Super convenient.

mdhesari profile image
Mohammad Fazel • Edited on

So creative and perfect article!

Thank you for sharing it.

What I use every day is opening and closing terminal :

Command/Ctrl + backtick
Command/Ctrl + shift + backtick

vtrpldn profile image
Vitor Paladini

Command/Ctrl + backtick is toggle Integrated Terminal and Command/Ctrl + shift + backtick creates a new one, right? Thanks for sharing!

mdhesari profile image
Mohammad Fazel


waseidel profile image
Walther Seidel

in spanish keyboards is:
Ctrl + ñ" (open/closes a terminal)
"Ctrl + Shift + ñ" (open an additional terminal)

vasilevas profile image
Radu Pacurar Vasile

Nice post and nice replies. I'll also add some shortcuts I'm using and I didn't see here.

  1. Select several lines. SHIFT+ALT+i will create multicursor. Then CMD+LEFT/RIGHT to go to the beginning/end of the lines.
  2. CMD+P. Then > to see the latest command, or : to jump to specific line. For example, if I have some text I want to uppercase it, I select the text, CMD+P, then type > and start typing uppercase. You will see a Transform to Uppercase command :)
cben profile image
Beni Cherniavsky-Paskin

Alt+1, Alt+2, Alt+3 ... also work for focusing tabs. It also works in Chrome (both Ctrl+digits and Alt+digits), Firefox (only Alt+digits) and gnome-terminal (only Alt+digits), making this the one shortcut to remember! [Linux]

leob profile image
leob • Edited on

Control-Shift-P (or Command-Shift-P) is the "master key" which shows your most recent commands, and allows you to search for any other command, including keyboard shortcuts - learn this one first, and then gradually you'll learn the rest ...

Control-Q is also one I use a lot - switching between the Explorer view, the Source Control view and the Debug/Run view.

Ah and then Control-] or Cmd-] (on OSX) to jump to end bracket/begin bracket is a powerful one.

mmanousos profile image
Melissa Manousos

CMD + ] on my Mac causes the line to indent (like using TAB) rather than jumping to brackets. I wonder if you have mapped your hot keys differently.

leob profile image

Ah yes maybe I remapped it, some key combos are unintuitive or conflict with other things so then I'd remap them.

mehtanilay10 profile image
Nilay Mehta

My favorite is Ctrl + D to select Next occurrence. And hold ctrl key for using multi cursor.

giologist profile image

This is a great list! I Found myself referring back to this after reading it a few days ago :)

Quick observation:

Command/Ctrl+W closes the current tab, Command/Ctrl+Shift+T reopens it"

For me (I've made no edits that I can recall) this closes all "except" the current tab. And then pressing it again re-opens all. Did you customize this setting?

mmanousos profile image
Melissa Manousos • Edited on

That seems like specialized behavior, @Gio.
The default on VSCode (as well as most browsers and operating systems) is that CMD + W closes the current window.

phongduong profile image
Phong Duong

In my vscode, I use Ctrl+Tab to navigate between tabs

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