I know developers have other favorite editors especially if they develop outside of Windows. Maybe I am biased because I do a lot of development on a Windows machine but I really like Visual Studio Code.
There are some things that I don’t like. For example, I think their code tree is missing something. It seems that it’s much harder to navigate it than the code tree in Visual Studio. I think it may have something to do with the folder icons in VS service as an additional visual quick check when you are in a folder.
Nevertheless, I have found a quick way to find anything I am looking for. So…because I am able to overcome most of its shortcoming this makes VS Code my favorite IDE across platforms. I like the fact that I can use it in all three of the most popular operating systems; Linux, Windows, and Mac.
It does take some getting used to and while I don’t consider myself a power user I do have a few shortcuts that I find invaluable in my day to day work.
Here is the list of my top 5 favorite shortcut commands
5. Zooming In and Out
If you are like me you may collaborate a lot online. And while you may have eagle eyes or perhaps a bit 32 in Monitor, the person on the other end of the connection may have a much smaller screen. That means they may not be able to view the screen you are sharing clearly or at all. That’s where zooming in comes in.
You can Zoom in by using CTL + = and that will enlarge all your VS Code editors and your explorer tree. You can go back to normal by using CTL+-.
4. Finding Any Text in Any File
If I want to find a variable or part of a variable I like to use CTRL+SHIFT+F. That command opens a search box. From there you can add additional options such as match case and match the whole word. Many times I am not sure about the case so I avoid those options. Other times I want to find a constant which is usually in all caps so I use the match case options.
3. Finding Text Within a File
For finding text within a file you can use CTL+SHIFT. The search dialog opens the same ways as the find anywhere except that it only searches within this file.
2. Going Back to A previous File
I have to admit that I like Visual Studio in some ways better than I like VS Code. Visual Studio allows me to pin files. So that no matter how many files I open, my pinned files stay pinned in position for easy access.
I don’t think VS Code has this feature however it does have an awesome feature that allows you to navigate back to a previous location. You can use ALT+LEFT ARROW or ALT+RIGHT+ARROW to navigate back or forward to a file respectively.
My #1 Favorite —- Navigating to Any File
In addition, you may want to avoid navigating VS Code’s explorer tree but you want to get to a known file quickly. You can do this by using CTL+P. That command opens a dialog that allows you to type it the filename that you are interested in. It dynamically starts populating the list of options as you type. For example, if you type mlw it will actually start showing you MyLittleWidgetService because it keys in on the chars m, l, and w. It will also work if you start typing MyLittle… but of course, that is a lot more typing.
You can find many more shortcuts. I trust that you can easily google some VS Code shortcut cheat sheets.
What are your favorite shortcuts?
Please drop me a line with your favorite shortcut on twitter at