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Working with Documents in Microsoft Visual Studio

04.08 Using the IDE Navigator

DEFAULT

Ctrl+Tab (forward in Active Files);

Ctrl+Shift+Tab (backward in Active Files);

Alt+F7 (forward in Active Tool Windows);

Alt+Shift+F7 (backward in Active Tool Windows)

VISUAL BASIC 6

[no shortcuts]

VISUAL C# 2005

Ctrl+Tab (forward in Active Files);

Ctrl+Shift+Tab (backward in Active Files);

Alt+F7 (forward in Active Tool Windows);

Alt+Shift+F7 (backward in Active Tool Windows)

VISUAL C++ 2

[no shortcuts]

VISUAL C++ 6

Ctrl+Tab (forward in Active Files);

Ctrl+Shift+Tab (backward in Active Files);

Alt+F7 (forward in Active Tool Windows);

Alt+Shift+F7 (backward in Active Tool Windows)

VISUAL STUDIO 6

Ctrl+Tab (forward in Active Files);

Ctrl+Shift+Tab (backward in Active Files);

Alt+F7 (forward in Active Tool Windows);

Alt+Shift+F7 (backward in Active Tool Windows)

WINDOWS

[no shortcuts]

COMMAND

Window.NextDocumentWindowNav;

Window.PreviousDocumentWindowNav;

Window.NextToolWindowNav;

Window.PreviousToolWindowNav

VERSIONS

2005, 2008, 2010

CODE

vstipTool0023

Navigating documents and tool windows in the IDE is a critical part of your development experience. You can easily move among active file and tool windows by pressing Ctrl+Tab.

Some interesting things come with using this feature. For example, holding down the Ctrl key keeps the IDE Navigator showing once it is up. Also, you can select any item in this dialog box, while it is showing, by using your mouse or arrow keys.

Navigator Areas

Let’s take a look at the two major areas in the navigator: Active Files and Active Tool Windows.

Active files

To navigate active files, press Ctrl+Tab to go forward and Ctrl+Shift+Tab to go backward though the list. The currently selected file is highlighted, and its name is displayed at the top of the dialog box. Also, notice that the full file path is shown at the bottom of the IDE navigator.

Active tool windows

This part of the dialog box shows all your tool windows that are currently open. To get to this area, you can use Alt+F7 or Alt+Shift+F7. The interesting part is that this list changes depending on when you use it. The following illustration shows what mine looks like while I am writing code.

And here’s what it looks like when I’m debugging: