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Changing Visual Studio default settings for ASP.NET
Part five of a five-part series of blogs

Visual Studio is a great tool for developing websites using ASP.NET - it can be made even greater by tweaking some default settings. Use this blog to change the default start-up options, assign a navigate backward key, insert attribute quote marks and open pages in HTML view by default.

  1. Visual Studio - default settings to change for ASP.NET
  2. Changing Visual Studio Start-Up Options
  3. Opening Visual Studio pages in HTML view by default
  4. Inserting Attribute Quote Marks Automatically
  5. Creating a Navigate Backward Key (this blog)

Posted by Andy Brown on 02 August 2011

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Creating a Navigate Backward Key

In Visual Studio you can use the F12 key to navigate to the definition of any class, variable, method or property.  For example:

Example of menu to go to definition

Right-click on any keyword in code view and choose to go to the definition of it by pressing F12.


When you go to the definition of a keyword, Visual Studio will highlight it:

Highlighting keyword

In this case, Visual Studio highlights the definition of the variable.


But the question is - how do you go back to where you were last?  The answer is to assign a short-cut key to the navigate backwards command.  First select Tools -> Options... then:

Assigning short-cut key

Complete the dialog box using the numbered steps shown below

The steps to follow in the above dialog box are;

  1. Select the Environment tab, then the Keyboard category.
  2. Type in some search string (the word backward works well).
  3. Select the View.NavigateBackward built-in command.
  4. Click in the short-cut keys box, and type SHIFT + F12 (or any other key combination).
  5. Click on the Assign button.

The nice thing about this key combination is it has a long memory: you can keep pressing SHIFT + F12 to wind back time to your previous cursor positions.

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