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Two productivity tricks in Visual Studio you need to be using

Up your productivity game by using these two tricks you probably didn't know existed in Visual Studio.

Bar chart depicting more productivity
Being more productive

F1 key

Starting with the best, the F1 key. You didn't know this key did something did you, well, you'll be surprised to know that the F1 key opens up a help page on whatever you have your cursor on. Don't know what a keyword means or does, don't know what the parameters of Parallel.ForEach are, hit F1.

A snippet of Startup.cs code from an core application
Use that F1 key!

Clicking the F1 key while your cursor is over the SameSiteMode as shown in the above screenshot, takes us to this page where we can learn more about the SameSiteMode.

The task list

For when you want to clean up your code base, open up the task list and get on to fixing those bugs! The task list opens a window that shows all instances of your //TODOs (as well as other symbols in your code). You can open this window by going to View > Task List or (ctrl + \, T).

Take this example.

Using the TODO token to show the task list working
An example of using //TODO in code

The blue highlighting on the TODO comment is coming from Resharper, and isn't going to show up unless you have it installed. There is a trial available if you'd like to give it a spin for 30 days.

If you don't like to type out TODO all the time, or perhaps you use a different convention, no matter. You can create your own tokens by following these steps.

What are some tricks you know?

Share with us in the comments.


  1. I use Ctrl + Comma a lot to navigate my code instead of going to Solution Explorer, I just type the name of class, enum, method, etc. I also use (Ctrl + M,O), (Ctrl + M,P), (Ctrl+M,H) a lot.

    1. Thank you for sharing that! Ctrl + T also acts as Ctrl + Comma in case you didn't know.

  2. Hit Ctrl + Minus to get back to the previous spot in the code you have visited.

  3. Ctrl-} will jump to the matching bracket, parenthesis, or even #directive (maybe other "pairs" of characters?). That helps me in a legacy code base with huge looping structures I'm trying to clean up.

    1. I'll definitely be using this one now, I didn't know this one existed. Thanks for sharing.

  4. 1. Ctrl+. is invaluable for refactoring
    2. Ctrl+R+T to debug the current test method
    3. Ctrl+R+G to remove and sort usings

    1. Thanks for sharing! I like Ctrl + R + G - I didn't know that one existed. Ctrl + . is another frequently used shortcut.

  5. In the HTML editor for lists I have discovered that the Tab key increases the level of lists (indentation) and the Back-tab key decreases it. In other words, if I create an unordered list and a list item then create another list item then I can make the second item a sublist by pressing the Tab key. This is much like the way that Expression Web works. The secret is that the item must be empty; the Tab key and the Back-tab key do not work for this if there is anything in the item.

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