How to: Assign Access Keys and Keyboard Shortcuts to External Tools

You can program access keys and keyboard shortcuts for external tool commands on the Tools menu.


Your computer might show different names or locations for some of the Visual Studio user interface elements in the following instructions. The Visual Studio edition that you have and the settings that you use determine these elements. For more information, see Working with Settings.

Add Access Keys

To include an access key

  1. On the Tools menu, click External Tools.

  2. In the Menu Contents list, select the name of the tool you want to modify.

  3. In the Title box, type an ampersand (&) in the tool name, just before the letter that you want to use as the access key.

Assign a Keyboard Shortcut

To include a keyboard shortcut

  1. On the Tools menu, click Options.

  2. Select Keyboard on the Environment page.

  3. In the Show commands containing list, type Tools.

  4. In the Command names list, locate the appropriate External Command n entry.


    You can define keyboard shortcuts for up to twenty external tools. External tools are listed as External Command 1-20 in the Command names list. The numbers correspond to the number to the left of the custom external command name on the Tools menu. If the menu command already has a shortcut assigned to it, that information appears in the Shortcuts for selected command list.

  5. Put the cursor in the Press shortcut keys box, and then press the keys you want to assign to the external tool.


    If the keyboard shortcut is already assigned to another command, the Shortcut currently assigned to list will display that information.

  6. Click Assign.

See Also


Arguments for External Tools