Use Ctrl+Alt+DownArrow to quickly access all your open files

Today’s tip comes from “some cool dev” who wrote the new Window Management features for Visual Studio 2005.  At the end of the File Tab Channel, there’s a drop-down arrow and a close ‘x’ button.  If you press the drop-down arrow, you’ll get a menu of all the open files in Visual Studio in alphabetical order.  Simply click on a file name, and it’ll open on the left-side of the IDE file channel.

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Now for today’s actual tip.  The command to drop down the menu is bound to “Ctrl+Alt+Down Arrow”.  Anywhere in the IDE, you can press Ctrl+Alt+Down Arrow and get the menu to pop-up.  Now, you can type the name of the file (or the first few unique characters of the file name) to quickly select that file.

Not jazzed about using two hands to access this keyboard shortcut?  Change it by going to Tools – Options – Keyboard, and type in the Show commands containing edit box “Window.ShowEzMDIFileList” and bind it to whatever.  Just make sure you’re in Global scope (you can use any scope, but Global scope makes the most sense for this feature.)

Looking for more Window Management / File Tab Channel tips:  check out these…

Happy Visual Studio’ing!

Comments (3)
  1. Travis Owens says:

    Just a FYI,

    The Intel video drivers take over CTRL+ALT+(arrow key) to rotate the screen.

    I actually didn’t realize that until I tried your trick.

  2. r b says:

    This doesn’t work if you’ve selected a Window Layout of "Multiple documents", only if you’re on "Tabbed documents" (under Tools -> Options)

  3. Michael Arita says:

    Nice article. I stumbled on to the Ctrl+Alt+Down Arrow that caused my screen to rotate 180. Freaked me out but after my friend helped figure it out, it was funny. I wanted to understand why it works on my machine but not on others? What is the driving force?  Sounded, from your article’s folks response, that it has something to do with the video driver.  But what gives it priority or not for my computer versus others? Does it have anything to do with the type of monitor? I have a older NEC AccuSync 70 driven by the IBM motherboard’s video board.   My curiousity peaked.

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