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Visual Studio
VS 2005+

Visual Studio IDE Navigator

Some software developers like to have many code windows and tool windows open at the same time, whilst others prefer to minimise the number, as it can be difficult to find a desired window. The Visual Studio IDE Navigator attempts to simplify navigation.

Switching Between Files

When working with large projects with lots of source code files and designer windows, you may find that you need to keep a large number of such windows open at the same time. This can make it difficult to navigate to the correct window quickly using the document tabs or the window menu.

The IDE navigator can help you to navigate between windows. This is a pop-up window that shows a list of the open files and tool windows and allows you to cycle through them to find the file that you wish to view or edit. An image of the IDE navigator from Visual Studio 2010 is displayed below:

Visual Studio IDE Navigator

To display the IDE navigator and cycle through the available files, press Ctrl-Tab and hold down the Ctrl key. The navigator will be displayed and the next available file will be highlighted. Continue pressing Tab whilst holding Ctrl until the desired window is selected. You can reverse the order in which items are selected by using Ctrl-Shift-Tab. You can also click an item in the IDE navigator to immediately display that window.

Switching Between Tool Windows

The IDE Navigator can also help you to switch between tool windows. In addition to clicking a tool window in the navigator, you can press Alt-F7 and Alt-Shift-F7 to cycle through tool windows. If a selected window is collapsed it will be automatically expanded when selected.

10 October 2011