Following Jeff Artwood’s blog post, I started working without touching the mouse. I was used to it on my MacBook since I hate trakpad and TextMate snippets are so addictive, you have to use them all the time ratter then point-and-clicking. And TextMate key bindings really easy to remember, but I the case I forget, Ctrl+Apple+T => Select Bundle Item list appears, magic!

I find it harder to do on Visual Studio at work. It’s like all was made to use the mouse. The project drawer is not really keyboard friendly and I don’t know of any way to quickly find a file by it’s name in a solution. But all is not lost, you can customize keyboard bindings in Tools > Options > Keyboard. I blinded TestDriven.RunTests to Alt+t, Alt+t, and TestDriven.RepeatTests to Alt+t, Alt+r, etc. You can also bind keystrokes to external tools and macros which could open a much wider range of opportunities.

I also discovered NumberFox which displays a number close to each link in Firefox, you then simply type the number on the keyboard. Takes some time to keep yourself from reaching the mouse tough!

What has reduced my typing and clicking a lot on windows is Launchy. It indexes all shortcuts and programs on your computer so you can hit Alt+Space and type the first letters of the app then hit enter to launch. Tremendous productivity gain, plus it is smart enough to remember that the last time you typed sql you were looking for SQL Express Management Studio and not SQL Server Configuration.



Filed under Misc

6 responses to “Mouseless

  1. I use ReSharper with Visual Studio and it makes keyboard navigation much easier. For instance you can navigate to a file by its name by pressing CTRL+SHIFT+N and type the filename. This feature has type ahead, so you seldom need to type the entire filename.

  2. Thanks for the pointer! I haven’t used ReSharper that much

  3. There is a free plugin for Visual Studio called SonicFileFinder that does file search similar to ReSharper (I don’t use ReSharper so YMMV).

    My prefered way of opening files in Visual Studio is “ctrl-/ >of [filename]”

    An Explaination: ctrl-/ takes you to the find text box in the tool bar. > puts that text box into immediate command mode rather than find in file mode. of is a command alias for Open File. Visual Studio starts completing file names as soon as your type the first char of the filename. It searches all projects in your current solution.

    The one feature which neither of these do is one that TextMate I think does do, and that is if you type uppercase chars it matches them anywhere in the file name. For Example “EC” would match EmployeeCollection.cs. This is a feature I saw demoed by Neal Ford at CodeMash and I WANT IT!

    I hope ctrl-/ >of works for you.

  4. I’ll second that about Resharper. It makes going mouse-free a lot easier.

  5. Great tip Jay, the CTRL+/ didn’t worked for me, but the of command did. But that is a lot of keystrokes.

    You’re right about TextMate, that feature is amazing. I think you don’t even need to use uppercases it just finds trought all the files thats “looks” like what you typed.

    Thanks for your comments all!

  6. Pingback: DevTeach : The .NET place to be « Marc-André Cournoyer’s blog

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