Ctrl + Click is a widely used shortcut for Go To Definition in many development environments but not in Visual Studio. We, the JustCode team, find it really useful so we added it to Visual Studio. But we didn't stop there - we improved it even further. Read on to find the details.

With JustCode you get an enhanced Go To Definition. By default you can execute it in the Visual Studio editor using one of the following shortcuts: Middle Click, Ctrl+Left Click, F12, Ctrl+Enter, Ctrl+B. The first usage of this feature is not much different from the default Visual Studio Go To Definition command – use it where a member, type, method, property, etc is used to navigate to the definition of that item.

For example, if you have this method:

        public void Start()

        {

            lion = new Lion();

            lion.Roar();

        }

If you hold Ctrl and click on the usage of the lion you will go to the lion member definition. If you hold Ctrl and click on the Lion you will go to the Lion class definition.

What we added is the ability to easily find all the usages of the item you just navigated to.
For example:

    public class Lion

    {

        public void Roar()

        {

            Console.WriteLine("Rhaaaar");

        }

    }

 

If you hold Ctrl and click on the Lion definition you will see all the usages of the Lion type; if you click on the Roar method definition you will see all the usages of the Roar method:

usagesOfRoar

And if there is only one usage you will get automatically to that usage. In the examples I use C#, but it works also in VB.NET, JavaScript, ASP.NET and XAML.

Why we like this feature? Let me first start with how the Ctrl+Click (or Go To Definition command) is used. We noticed that developers use it especially in what we call "code browsing sessions". In simple words this is when you browse around the code looking for a bug, just reading the code or searching for something. Sounds familiar? In our experience when you go to the definition of some item you often want to know more about it and the first thing you need is to find its usages. With JustCode this is just one click away.
Why Ctrl+Click/Middle Click over F12/Ctrl+Enter/Ctrl+B? Actually you can use all of them. But during these "code browsing sessions" we noticed that most developers use the mouse. So the mouse is already in use and pressing Ctrl+Click (or the Middle Click) is so natural. During heavy coding sessions or if you are a keyboard type developer F12 (or any of the other keyboard shortcuts) is the key.

We really use heavily this feature not only in our team but in the whole company. It saves us a bit of time many times a day. And it adds up. We hope you will like it too. Your feedback is more than welcome for us.

P.S. If you don’t want JustCode to capture the Ctrl+Click and the Middle Click in the editor, you can change that in JustCode->Options->General in the Navigation group. Keyboard shortcuts can be reassigned using the Visual Studio keyboard shortcuts editor.


About the Author

Chris Eargle

is a Microsoft C# MVP with over a decade of experience designing and developing enterprise applications, and he runs the local .NET User Group: the Columbia Enterprise Developers Guild. He is a frequent guest of conferences and community events promoting best practices and new technologies. Chris is a native Carolinian; his family settled the Dutch Form region of South Carolina in 1752. He currently resides in Columbia with his wife, Binyue, his dog, Laika, and his three cats: Meeko, Tigger, and Sookie. Amazingly, they all get along... except for Meeko, who is by no means meek.

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