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Jeroen W. Pluimers on .NET, C#, Delphi, databases, and personal interests

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Visual Studio Smart Tag keyboard shortcuts: Ctrl-. and Shift+Alt-F10

Posted by jpluimers on 2012/07/04

I’m a keyboard fan, so recently I have put up a new Keyboards and Keyboard Shortcuts category and tried to add all old relevant posts to it (staying organized is time consuming, but in the end it pays back by being able to find back stuff faster).

At conferences, presentations, and clients people often wonder “how do you get to such-and-such IDE feature so quickly” and the answer usually is: be sure you know your keyboard shortcuts. Which isn’t easy, as documentation for them is often spread out, and to find the information: you have to know how the underlying actions are called.

A long time ago (I think it was in version 2005) Visual Studio introduced Smart Tags. Most posts talk only about one kind of Smart Tags, but the Visual Studio IDE has two kinds:

  • A tiny triangle in the designer
  • A combobox drop-down button like control in the code editor

Both listen to these keyboard shortcuts (most cheat sheets miss at least one of these, but you can find them at Pre-defined keyboard shortcuts and at the VS2008 C# keyboard cheatsheet):

  • Shift-Alt-F10
    The shortcut is called View.ShowSmartTag, View.ObjectBrowserGoToSearchCombo
  • Ctrl-.                    (yes, the . is a period)
    The shortcut seems to be called Edit.Generate

The pictures below show the Smart Tag in action.


Oh BTW: the red squiggly lines and some of the other adornments in the screenshot are from CodeRush, one of the most keyboard-centric additions to Visual Studio I know.


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