Best VS Code shortcuts to write code more efficiently

In this article, you will find some very useful keyboard shortcuts that aim to make writing code in VS Code more easily, quickly and safely.

These shortcuts apply to MAC users, but there is also a list for Windows and Linux users.

You can find even more tips and tricks in the official VS Code documentation:

> https://code.visualstudio.com/docs/getstarted/tips-and-tricks

Stay tune ! There is a bonus at the end !

Moving around the code

Go to Beginning of Line: CTRL + A

Go to End of line: CTRL + E

Go to Beginning of code (first character) in this line: CMD + ←

Go to End of code (last character) in this line: CMD + →

Go to Beginning of file: CMD + ↑

Go to End of file: CMD + ↓

Moving code around !

Move an entire portion of code (line or block) up / down

ALT + ↑

ALT + ↓

Selecting more quickly !

Highlight from cursor position to last character (left to right)

CTRL + SHIFT + E

Highlight from cursor position to first character (right to left)

CTRL + SHIFT + A

Highlight words by words

ALT + SHIFT + →

ALT + SHIFT + ←

Multiply cursor up or down

My favourite by far ! Make your life so easy

CMD + ALT + ↑

CMD + ALT + ↓

Add Selection to next find match

Imagine a code block with 5 occurrences of the variable server

You want to change the name of this variable from server to httpServer

The code block is (let’s say) 20 lines long, and the server variable is located at random places.

You could go with the mouse click trick mentioned above, by clicking in front of every occurrence of server while holding SHIFT key.

But there is much faster !

CMD + D

  1. Click on the variable name
  2. CMD + D (first time): it will copy the name in the search field
  3. CMD + D : it will put the cursor in front of the next occurrence
  4. CMD + D : x2, x3, x4… as many times as you need to select

Bonus ! Select all occurrences of the same word !

  1. CMD + F : this will display the search field
  2. Enter the keyword you are looking for
  3. ALT + Enter: this will put the cursor in front of every occurrence of the word

Inserting !

Insert a comment / Commenting a line of code

CMD + /

Deleting !

What a better feeling that deleting code !

But how complicated it becomes when you have to delete specific lines, or specific portions in a line.

Have you ever experience the slow feeling, where you have to highlight manually what you want to delete?

Here are some ways to make it faster.

Delete — from right to left

CMD + DEL (delete char, backspace)

CTRL + K

If your cursor is positioned in the middle of the code, it will delete everything on the left.

If your cursor is positioned at the beginning of the line, it will delete the entire line.

Delete — from left to right

CMD + DELETE

If your cursor is positioned in the middle, it will delete everything on the right.

If your cursor is positioned at the end of the line, it will delete the entire line.

Delete an entire word

ALT + DEL

Delete an entire line

CMD + X

In a line of code, whether your cursor is positioned at the beginning, in the middle, or at the end, this will delete the entire line.

Duplicating / Copying

Duplicate a line of code + insert it above

SHIFT + ALT + ↑

This will copy the line of code where your cursor is positioned, and insert it above.

Duplicate aline of code + insert it below

SHIFT + ALT + ↓

This will copy the line of code where your cursor is positioned, and insert it above.

Juggling between files

Switch to previous / next file

CMD + ALT + ←

CMD + ALT + →

Switch between different files / editors

If you have the following 3 files opened in this order:

  • client.c
  • server.c
  • command.c
  • etc…

CMD + 1: switch to client.c

CMD + 2: switch to server.c

CMD + 3: switch to command.c

CMD + n…: etc…

Moving inside VS Code !

Show / Hide VS Code terminal

CMD + J

Show / Hide Sidebar

CMD + B

Open Command Palette

CMD + SHIFT + P

Quickly open a file

CMD + P

Very useful when you are working on a big project with a lot of files.

  1. CMD + P
  2. Type the file name in the search field that appear

Change Language

CMD + K M

Zen Mode

For those who like to write code distraction free !

CMD + K followed by Z

Mouse Tricks !

Here are some good tricks

Opening files

Switch between opened files: hold SHIFT + scroll) (your mouse pointer should be over the file tabs area)

Open file in new tab: scroll click

Open file on right side (right split window): hold ALT + click

Navigating through code

Scroll code horizontally: hold SHIFT + scroll (your mouse pointer should be over the code field)

Multiple Selection

hold ALT + click

Full Stack Developer, Web / Mobile and Blockchain. https://github.com/CJ42

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