Debugger Tips, Tricks and Tools #4

Keyboard navigation and transparency with Enhanced DataTips

Steve Steiner recently blogged about how to make DataTips temporarily transparent in case you need to see what they might be covering up. This was going to be one of my upcoming tips, but he beat me to it! :) Anyway, with that post he touched on another aspect of DataTips that you might not know about -- they have some limited keyboard support. To get access to it, you first must expand a top-most tip one level via the mouse.

From there you can:

  • Use the [down] and [up] arrows to move through the items in the expanded tip.
  • Use [pgup] and [pgdn] to scroll a page at a time in tips that are scrollable
  • Use the [right] arrow to expand an expandable item into a new child tip.
  • Use the [left] arrow to close the current tip and go back a level.
  • Use [F2] to edit a value (uhoh, did you know about this feature? Or is there another debugger tip looming?)
  • Use [ctrl] to make all the tips transparent (as Steve pointed out).

There is certainly room for further improvement. In particular, I would have like to have implemented the ability to invoke a DataTip via the keyboard and to support [home] and [end] for scrollable tips, but time constraints cut that effort short. Hopefully, you'll see more in a future release!