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Editor Convenience Commands and Features

The Code and Text editor provides many utilities and controls to make the development process easier.


The dialog boxes and menu commands you see might differ from those described in Help depending on your active settings or edition. To change your settings, choose Import and Export Settings on the Tools menu. For more information, see Working with Settings.

Command and Feature List

  • Zoom
    You can quickly zoom in and out by holding down the CTRL key and rolling the scroll wheel of your mouse.

  • Word Wrap
    When text extends beyond the visible code pane, it can automatically wrap to the next line. For more information, see How to: Manage Word Wrap in the Editor.

  • Incremental Search
    An incremental search is performed letter-by-letter as you type in a search string. To activate an incremental search, press CTRL+I. For more information, see How to: Search a Document Incrementally.

  • Navigate Backward / Forward Buttons
    Used to jump to the previous or the next document and location selected in the Code Editor. For more information, see How to: Navigate Code and Text.

  • Clipboard ring
    The IDE remembers the last 20 items copied. To rotate through the list of copied items and choose one to paste into the current file, press CRTL + SHIFT + V.

  • Code Outlining
    Lets you hide selected regions of code under their first lines. You can then expand or collapse these regions as needed. For more information, see How to: Outline and Hide Code.

  • Collapse to Definitions
    Collapses members of types so that all members belonging to a type can be clearly seen. All procedures (methods, functions, ifdefs, code blocks, and so on) are collapsed and hidden within their definitions, making it easier to read and navigate throughout your code. To collapse code to definitions, choose this command on the Outlining menu, or press CTRL+M and then CTRL+O. For more information, see How to: Outline and Hide Code.

  • Collapse Block / Collapse All In
    (Visual C++) Hide selected code under the first selected line, and then expand or collapse it by clicking the symbol next to it. To collapse the current block, place the insertion point in the block and choose Collapse Block on the Outlining menu. For more information, see How to: Outline and Hide Code.

  • IntelliSense
    As you enter a function or statement in the Code Editor, its complete syntax and arguments are shown in a ToolTip. When items are needed to complete a statement, IntelliSense provides popup insertion lists of available functions, statements, constants, or values to choose from. For more information, see Using IntelliSense.

  • Line Numbering
    You can turn line numbering on and off in the Options dialog box, either for the language in which you are programming or for all languages. To jump to a particular line, choose Go To on the Edit menu or press CTRL+G. For more information, see How to: Navigate Code and Text.

  • Hyperlinks
    You can embed URLs in the document you are editing, and use them as hyperlinks. This feature is particularly useful for adding links to Web pages that contain specs or Help topics.

  • Coding Problem Indicators
    As you enter and compile code in the Code Editor, wavy lines appear beneath code that is incorrect or could cause a problem. These are sometimes called "squigglies." In form and function, code squigglies resemble the spell check squigglies in Microsoft Word.

    The Error List displays coding problems marked with squigglies. Click on any Error List entry to jump to the line in your code where the problem occurs.

    • Red squigglies mark syntax errors. These red squigglies disappear as soon as the marked code is corrected in the Code Editor.

    • Blue squigglies mark semantic errors detected by the compiler, such as a mistyped class name not found in the current context. These blue squigglies disappear after the marked code is corrected and then recompiled.

    • Purple squigglies mark other errors such as rude edits in Edit and Continue.

    • Green squigglies mark warnings. Review these messages to see if you need to modify your code.

    For further information, see Error List Window.

  • Undo / Redo
    You can undo changes in documents by pressing CTRL + Z or selecting Undo from the Edit menu. You can redo undone changes or repeat your last action by pressing CTRL + Y or selecting Redo from the Edit menu. The Undo and Redo commands apply to all files edited in the current session of Visual Studio, even if the file or solution in question is closed.

See Also


Customizing the Editor

Other Resources

Editing Text, Code, and Markup

Coding Aids