3 keyboard productivity tips for VS2010 - "Look Ma no mouse"

I am a big fan of little check-ins as often as possible during the day, instead of 1 big check-in at the end of the day.

Split tasks into smaller pieces and check-in every small change. Advantages of doing so:

  1. Your focus is much higher because your code changes are smaller
  2. Less risk of merges and conflicts
  3. Every check-in is a kind of a "Done" (Isolate features!)

BTW: In order that everyone on your team can follow the life of your code base, you should setup email alerts on source control. So everyone can follow what's going on…


Back to checkins!
A check-in has to be quick. That is the reason why I don't like Gated-Checkins. I don't want to wait for a Gated-Checkin to be finished.
It has to be quick!!


Now …  3 quick keyboard tips for Visual Studio 2010

If you are coding along and you are done with the current task/feature/test/coding

#1 Do a Checkin!

  1. <Ctrl>+<Alt>+<L>   : Focus Solution Explorer
  2. WinRight                    : Open Contextmenu
  3. <I>,<I>                    : Go to menu point "Check In"
  4. <Enter>                     : Select "Check In"
  5.                                   : Type comment
  6. <Alt> + <C>             : Do the check in

Your build server will tell you if you did a good job, because you have a lot of automated tests.


How to get back to the code window?

#2 Focus Code Editor

Hit a couple of times <Esc>



How can you close "Solution Explorer", "Team Explorer" or other tool windows with the keyboard?

#3 Close tool window with current focus






"Look Ma, no mouse"


Unknown said...

#1 change keyboard shortcut change on new VS install:
Map Ctrl + W to close the current editor window, just like it is in nearly any other program

Peter Gfader said...


Great tip!
I might do this for the checkin as well, as per

Remapping has a little downside: If you work on another machine (pair coding) you don't have the same shortcuts...

Wen said...

> 2. WinRight : Open Contextmenu

How to do that?

Peter Gfader said...

You need a keyboard with a "Windows Right Key"
Use +

Opens a shortcut menu for the selected item (this is the same as right-clicking an object

Wen said...

No worries. I got it from

Shirt + F10 also do.

Great post!
Will send to my colleagues.

Unknown said...

Yes that's the problem, I also had several times when working on the machines of colleagues.
New VS2010 Extension idea born ;) Port Google's workspacemechanic for Eclipse to VS:

This allows you to specify settings of the IDE configuration that should be the same for all the machines of a development team. You place those settings centrally at some place and if your machine doesn't conform to them, workspacemechanic displays a notification and gives you a 1-click option to automatically adjust those settings.

would be cool and useful for VS too :)

Peter Gfader said...


Great idea.

I would actually like to take *my environment* with me.

1. Publish all settings to the cloud
2. Reinstall machine
3. Get all settings from the cloud

Unknown said...

That could also be an option, yes.

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