Disabling the IDE Navigator (Ctrl-Tab Dialog)

I’ve had a few questions come back to me about disabling the IDE Navigator, aka the Ctrl-Tab Dialog. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Open Tools – Options – Keyboard
  2. Under “Show commands containing:”, type in “Window.NextDocumentWindowNav”
  3. Press the Remove button to remove the “Ctrl+Tab” keyboard shortcut binding

If you want the Visual Studio .NET 2003 Ctrl-Tab behavior, continue with these steps:

  1. Under “Show commands containing”, type in “Window.NextDocumentWindow”
  2. Under Press shortcut keys, press Ctrl+Tab.
  3. Press Assign to bind the keyboard shortcut
  4. Press OK to accept changes and dismiss the tools options dialog

And ctrl-tab will cycle through all open documents without the IDE Navigator popping up.

Comments (15)
  1. Hi Sara,

    Thanks for the tip. For me, the jury is still out on the new functionality. When I have lots of windows open, the new way would be pretty nifty, but it’s not so nice when flipping between two docs quickly. I’ll give the new way a try before firmly planting a stick in the mud. 🙂

  2. sara ford says:

    No worries. I have to admit it was a little painful to write a blog entry on how to disable a feature i tested, but i do agree when working with a small file set, you really don’t need a bird’s eye view. =)

  3. Uwe Keim says:

    With regards to the first poster, there should be a configurable threshold when to use which method…

  4. This tip is for Visual Studio 2005.  We have a new feature called the IDE Navigator.  When…

  5. Will Barns says:

    This is great info. Thanks Sarah.

    However, I believe in the current RC, the menu flow is:

    Open Tools / Options / Environment / Keyboard

    In my universe, I prefer to tab directly between windows instead of reading window names. I guess I’m just a visual sort of guy.

    This holds true even when I have a large number of open windows because they’re only open because I don’t get around to closing them very often. Then, every once in awhile, I’ll close down all my open windows. However, while they’re open, I am generally interested in just two or three windows that are ‘close by.’

    Thanks again, Will

  6. Will Barns says:

    Ctrl-F6 seems to have taken the role of stepping through the currently open windows.

  7. Jeff Bartley says:

    When I first saw this, my gut instinct was to disable it immediately, but after playing with it a bit, I can see its benefits.

    One suggestion: what about allowing the scroll wheel to quickly move through the file list, rather than having to continually hit tab or the arrow keys?

    I know the current system conforms to the standard Alt-Tab dialog, but I’ve used Alt-Tab alternatives where the scroll wheel is enabled and it really makes a world of difference.

  8. saraford says:

    Jeff: I checked with the dev and we believe this is the first time this has been suggested. Please feel free to open a suggestion at Product Feedback Center (so that you can track the progress).

    Also send me the ID once the suggestion is created.



  9. HHAAPPYY says:

    Hi Sara

    its nice tip.

    i am facing problem………like i want my find window shld appear at the combination of ctrl + F but it do not appear. i tried it from Tools – Options – Keyboard.

    but it never appear again.

    can u help me out from this problem………



  10. HHAAPPYY says:


  11. Don’t forget about following the same method for the "Previous" versions of the commands as well.  

    If you leave out the rebinding of the Previous versions, you get a wild combination of the IDE Navigator and the old flip depending if the shift key is down.

  12. gatoatigrado says:

    yeah the wheel seems like a nice idea. but what I really wanted was an ide navigator dialog that would disappear when the keys were released. wasn’t this in one of the beta builds? also the options pane is not resizable, which is quite annoying when looking through window options (i had to rebind ctrl tab to the next document as ctrl f6 is now).

  13. codebeater says:

    Disabling Visual Studio’s Ctrl Tab dialog

  14. codebeater says:

    Disabling Visual Studio’s Ctrl Tab dialog

Comments are closed.

Skip to main content