12 Keyboard shortcuts every programmer should know.

One way to becoming a more productive programmer is to keep you hands on the key board and I know there are a lot of you out there saying well just use VIM. Sorry not quite there yet, until I am these shortcuts help out a lot. I apologize in advance these are all Mac and sublime commands. I believe on windows you can replace ⌘ with the ‘ctrl’ key for most of these but not 100% sure. And for the sublime commands I know most of these work with Atom as well.

⌘ + Tab

I’m sure everyone knows about this one. But there are a few things that make it a little better. After you press ⌘ + Tab continue to hold down the ⌘ key and you can take over with your → and ← arrow keys and when you get to the program you are looking for you can either release the ⌘ key to open that app or press ↓ and it will show you all the windows you have open or minimized in that app. You can also achieve the same thing by pressing control+↓ when you currently have that app in focus.

⌘+→ ⌘+←

This a handy tool that will depending on which arrow you press take you to the (←)beginning of the line or the (→)end of the line. An added feature to this if you hold shift while doing it, it will select everything from where your cursor is to the beginning/end of the line.

option+→ option+←

Similar to ⌘+→ but possibly more useful this will move your cursor to the next breakpoint in the line. Some examples of breakpoints are spaces and most special characters (e.g. ! . ‘ “). Once again if you hold shift while doing this you can select the word/s your looking to select a bit quicker.

⌘+option+→ ⌘+option+←

This is useful for navigating through your sublime tabs. By pressing ⌘+option+← you can open the tab to the left and open the tab to the right with ⌘+option+→. In my opinion this is only really useful when you have 11+ tabs open because there are faster ways with fewer tabs see below.


Now lets say you have less than 11 tabs open in your SublimeText. Using the arrow method mentioned above would be tedious however you can use ⌘+[0–9] and the number you press will open the tab in that position which is why it only works for a max of 10 tabs. If you are using multiple panes in your text editor this will only work for the side that you are currently working on.


This is a handy shortcut but for how little you really need to use it not one of the more important ones. ⌘+option+[1–4] will make 1, 2, 3 or 4 vertical columns (also known as panes) in your SublimeText, while ⌘+option+5 will make 4 squares in the corners. Also if you wanted horizontal rows instead of columns you can use ⌘+option+shift+[2–3].


After you are using multiple panes this is a very useful shortcut. With this you can toggle focus to another pane. For instance if you run 3 columns maybe HTML in column one, JavaScript in column two and CSS in column three and your working on your CSS and you realize you need to add a class in your html you can press control+1 to toggle focus and make a quick change.


Is select next and is an awesome shortcut. If you have a word, letter or sentence selected pressing ⌘+d will select the next one while keeping your current selected.


This shortcuts is useful for two reasons, technically it’s find and replace so if you wanted to find every word and replace it with another this can be useful. However I usually use if for a different reason. If you just enter a value in the find field with nothing in the replace field and press enter it will show every file that has that value and a preview of where it’s at if you click the path of the file it will open.


This will toggle the focus if you have more than one window open in a specific application. It’s kinda like ⌘ + Tab except for rather than switching applications it switches windows.


Will enter a new line below the line your are currently working on, but the best part is that your cursor can be in the middle of a sentence and will not break the sentence just go to the next line.


Can comment out a single line or if you have multiple lines selected can comment out multiple lines.

⌘+{ ⌘+}

Can indent a single line or if you have multiple lines selected can indent multiple lines.



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