Did you know… You can use ‘*’ to Expand All and ‘/’ to Collapse All in the Toolbox – #186

These are specific to the Toolbox.  Pressing * (Shift+8 on ENU keyboards) will expand everything in the Toolbox and pressing / (note it is just the / key, and not Shift+/ as that’s a ?) will collapse everything.

Pressing * will expand

Toolbox All Expanded

And Pressing / will collapse

Toolbox All Collapsed

Technorati Tags: VS2005Tip,VS2008Tip

Comments (4)
  1. Mark Sowul says:

    Now if only the solution explorer would obey these hotkeys…

  2. Bhargav says:

    This a great tip and saves a lot of time. Thank you so much for all these tips.

  3. Jimbo says:

    Note that the numeric keypad equivalent on a standard US-EN keyboard has the * and / keys right next to each other (this won’t be so obvious to laptop users).  They work too.

    I hope I’m not stepping on a future tip, but the keypad + and – keys similarly open/close a single pane in the Toolbox, just as they open/close a leaf in a standard Treeview.  The left/right arrow keys do the same thing.  I seriously love Windows because there are often many ways to accomplish the same task!

    In Treeviews in general, the / key used to work really nicely to undo what the * key did, but that stopped working around Win95 or so.  So ya wanna have fun and waste time and CPU cycles on your computer?  Open Explorer, highlight your c: drive in the Treeview and press the * key.  Depending on the speed of your processor and the number of folders on your drive, you could spend the next hour or so watching every folder on the c-drive open…(okay…so I missed April Fools Day by a couple)

    Can you ask around to find a REAL way to undo the "magic" of the * key in Treeviews?  I had to stop using these keys by habit because recovery from an accidental * press could be time-consuming in VS.

    Sara you rock!

  4. Luk says:


    You changed my coworker’s life with this tip. Thanks. 🙂

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