15 Visual Studio Code Shortcuts You Should Know

Brandon Burrus
The Startup
Published in
4 min readJun 18, 2019


Photo by Troy Chen on Unsplash

All of my articles are now available for free here, without the need for a subscription to Medium!

Mastering your keyboard can save you hours upon hours of time every week. Whether you’re working on that important project or trying to meet a deadline, knowing your shortcuts can be a massive difference maker. For Visual Studio Code, these are the essential shortcuts that everyone should know.

1. Open Command Palette

Shift + Cmd + P : The command palette will quickly become your best friend as you learn various shortcuts. If you ever forget a shortcut, simply open the command palette, and search for what you’re trying to do.

2. Find in current File

Cmd + F : Instantly find whatever you’re looking for in the current file you’re in. Pressing Alt at the same time will open the Find & Replace, and pressing Enter will move your cursor to the next occurrence of the current search.

3. Toggle Sidebar

Cmd + B : Straightford, quickly show and hide the sidebar.

4. Toggle Panel

Cmd + J : Quick show and hide the bottom panel, this includes the Terminal, Output, Problems, and Debug Console.

5. Find a File

Cmd + P : Quickly search for a specific file in the current workspace. This one works really well in conjunction when opening and using the split editor.

6. Focus Explorer

Shift + Cmd + E : Similar to #3, except this shortcut will specifically toggle the Explorer every time. Once the Explorer is focused, you can use J and K to move the cursor up and down, O will open and close folders, and / will activate the Explorer-specific search filter.

7. Global Find

Shift + Cmd + F : Also similar to #3, but this one works for the Global Find sidebar panel.

8. Focus Debugger

Shift + Cmd + D : Another #3, except this one is for the Debugger sidebar. By default, VSCode binds most of the top-keyboard function keys to Debugger actions (e.g.: F5 to start, Shift + F5 to stop, F9