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Brent was watching me fly through some FinalBuilder operations the other day and he suggested I write a blog post about the best keyboard shortcuts to use.

Even as a power user/developer, you can sometimes use a tool every day and not know the best keyboard shortcuts for it. I only learned many of the keyboard shortcuts for Visual Studio after I attended a special session at TechEd last year.

I don't want to drown you in information here, so I'm going to list four shortcuts that are essential to know, and another four that are very useful.


If you own a keyboard and use FinalBuilder or Automise, the following keyboard shortcuts are essential. They will improve your productivity ten-fold!


Key Context Description
Ctrl-I Main IDE Window

Focus the Actions filter field to search for a new action.
If the filter field is already focused, this keystroke hides the Actions sidebar instead.*

Ctrl-Right Selected action(s) Indent the selected action(s) as new children of the action above them.
Ctrl-Left Selected action(s) Outdent the select action(s) relative to their parent action
Ctrl-Up/Down Selected action(s) Move selected action(s) up and down

In my opinion, using the Ctrl-Arrow keys to rearrange actions is essential (drag and drop is just too fiddly!) 

* The "hide sidebar if currently focused" feature is new in FB 6.

Very Useful

The following key combinations are very useful when you are typing in a text field while editing an action:


Key Description
F3 Define a new variable on-the-fly.
F2  Pop up an advanced edit dialog with lists of variables, PropertySets, etc. 
F12 Pop up a list of suggested variable replacements.
Ctrl-Space  Automatic completion for variable and PropertySet names. 

For FB 6, we also did a lot of work on the Tabbing behaviour in the IDE. You should be able to use Tab to navigate the main IDE elements very easily.

Showing 1 Comment

Tate 16 years ago

I'd also add to the essentials:<br><br>Enter - Selected Action - Open the properties dialog of the action.

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