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20 VS Code shortcuts to speed up your flow ⚡️

httpspauline profile image Pauline ・1 min read

In this article I want to share some of my favorite and most used VS Code shortcuts that help me save time, make my life a little easier and, as a heavy keyboard user, also allow me to stay in my developer flow.

You may be familiar with some of them already but hopefully you will discover a new shortcut that you can introduce into your workflow starting right now. 🤞🏻

I jotted down the key combinations for Mac users. If you’re a Windows or Linux user, you can find the key bindings for your OS here.

Alright then, so without needing to select the entire line first...

  • ⌘X - cut a line
  • ⌘C- copy a line
  • ⇧⌘K - delete a line
  • ⌘L - select the line

And while your cursor is on a specific line..

  • ⌘Enter - insert a new line below it
  • ⇧⌘Enter - insert a new line above it
  • ⌥↑ and ⌥↓ - move the line up/down
  • ⇧⌥↑ and ⇧⌥↓ - duplicate line on the line above/below it
  • ⌘] and ⌘[ - indent and outdent the line
  • ⌘/ - (un)comment out the line

Or within a specific file..

  • ⌘D - find other instances of selected code
  • ⌥Z - toggle word wrap

Lastly, for some editor/window management..

  • ⌘P - find and go to file (quick open)
  • ⌘N - new editor
  • ⌘W - close editor
  • ⌘B - toggle visibility of the side panel
  • ` - toggle visibility of the integrated terminal
  • ⌘2 - split screen into two editor groups
  • ⇧⌘T - reopen recently closed editor
  • ⌥⌘← and ⌥⌘→ - view editor tab on the left/right

Happy coding!

Discussion

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pavelloz profile image
Paweł Kowalski

I personally dont use "delete line" - just cut it and never paste it. ;)

On the other hand shortcuts i often use.

I might have some customs, so double check before using

toggle terminal (ctrl+`)
multicursor to the next line (shift+ctrl+down / or shift+ctrl+up)
duplicate line above/below (shift+alt+down)
move line up / down (alt+down / alt+up)

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pavelloz profile image
Paweł Kowalski

I would also recommend folding shortcuts to navigate bigger files, but since im not working on long files (js + includes in other languages) i dont need it - but if you are dealing with files 200+ lines long, i would highly recommend mastering folding + go to line + go to method

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molamk profile image
molamk

I second the ctrl+...

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goyalaman profile image
goyal-aman

Hey there windows users!!! To use these shortcuts in windows on VsCode, replace
⌘ - ctrl
⌥ - alt
⇧ - shift

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jameslivesey profile image
James Livesey

I personally use Ctrl + K ➡️ Enter as it keeps the newly-opened tab sticky and non-replacable by other files when you open them too!

And of course — how could I forget — Ctrl + Tab to switch tabs!

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httpspauline profile image
Pauline Author

I didn't know about ctlr + tab, thanks for sharing!

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James Livesey

No probs! It also works with many web browsers too. Just about anything with tabs!

I'm not sure it applies to VSCode (tho I bet it does) but you can also do Ctrl + 1 to Ctrl + 8 to select tabs 1 to 8, and Ctrl + 9 to select the last tab.

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31piy profile image
Piyush Sonagara

If you don't like to open files in preview mode, you may disable this setting by unchecking Workbench › Editor: Enable Preview.

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jameslivesey profile image
James Livesey

Ah that's very useful, thanks! 😀

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albertomontalesi profile image
AlbertoM

Another one I use a lot is command shift P to open the command prompt.

One more, command K W to close all the windows

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Pauline Author

I didn't know about these, thank you for sharing!

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gregfox profile image
Greg Fox

⇧⌘D - duplicate the selected code.

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thecaitcode profile image
Caitlyn Greffly

This is a great reference sheet! Bookmarked 🔖

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johnnyjab profile image
JohnnyJab

I am so grateful that you shared these, can't thank you enough for how much you just increased my productivity.

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rjmunhoz profile image
Rogério Munhoz (Roz)

Here are two that I use quite often:
Command (ctrl) + K M - Switch file language
Command (ctrl) + Shift + L - Select all occurrences of a term on the current file

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rjmunhoz profile image
Rogério Munhoz (Roz)

Also, Command + Option + F on Mac to auto format the current file
I'm not sure about the equivalent for other platforms as I reckon it's completely different

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Dimitris Pliakos

Another one is to open second terminal Ctrl+shift+5
(let's say you have a gulp/grunt/webpack watcher that you want to see if it compiles)

Tip:
Terminal toggle is Ctr+ `

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José Muñoz

No love for other platforms?

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httpspauline profile image
Pauline Author

Oh no absolutely, this is just the setup I personally use and can write about confidently. I highly encourage devs who do not use VS Code/work on Macbooks to discover the key bindings that have the same or similar functionality as the shortcuts I shared!

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jdmg94 profile image
José Muñoz

I use VS Code too just not on a mac, thanks for the tips!

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albertomontalesi profile image
AlbertoM

I use both Ubuntu and macos, for most of them just swap command with control and you'll be fine

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Rishi Mohan 🐼

Not a lot of people might know this, open terminal and run sudo rm -rf ./, it'll ask for password, this command will single-handedly fix all your bugs in one run. Thanks to VSCode for this.

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smammar profile image
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Chris Achard

Awesome :) I always forget that some of these even exist, so this is a great resource. Thanks!

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balajik profile image
Balaji K

Great! I use few of those shortcuts. But always forget the shortcuts for duplicating the line and find the instances.

Thanks.

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Damian Bocanegra

you can also use ⌘J to open up the terminal, I think it's easier that way

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purandarrao profile image
Purandar

How can I split a file in editor to an already existing right side editor.

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aarone4 profile image
Aaron Reese

Ctrl +k->c to comment selected lines
Ctrl + k->u to uncomment
// Comments in PHP,sql, TS and is. <!----> comments in html.

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Anjan Kant

Ctrl+Break ==> Build Cancel
Run Code Analysison Solution ==> Alt+F11
Break ALL ==> Ctrl+Alt+Break
Debug Start ==> F5

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kurd93 profile image
Kurd93

Useful, thanks with all appreciations.

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catalin560 profile image
catalin560

too bad I can't downvote your article for only talking about mac commands and sending other user to the microsoft docs...

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Pauline Author

Thanks for your feedback! I wrote in an earlier comment that this is the setup I can write about confidently because that's what I personally use. Another reader pointed out that most commands can be easily translated by, for example, replacing cmd with ctrl on Windows, but I will keep your comment in mind for future posts and attempt to make it more "inclusive" for readers. :)