Accessibility Tips and Tricks
This article applies to Visual Studio 2015. If you're looking for the latest Visual Studio documentation, use the version selector at the top left. We recommend upgrading to Visual Studio 2019. Download it here
Visual Studio includes built-in accessibility features so you can easily work from the keyboard and use screen readers or other assistive technology devices. The topic includes some suggestions for optimizing Visual Studio for accessibility as well as some useful shortcut key combinations.
The dialog boxes and menu commands you see might differ from those described in Help depending on your active settings or edition. To change your settings, choose Import and Export Settings on the Tools menu. For more information, see Customizing Development Settings in Visual Studio.
Save Your IDE Settings
You can customize your IDE experience by saving your window layout, keyboard mapping scheme, and other preferences. For more information, see Customizing Development Settings in Visual Studio.
Common Windows Shortcut Key Combinations
You can use many of the standard Windows shortcut key combinations to perform tasks within Visual Studio. Some of these shortcut key combinations include:
|Switch High Contrast on and off||Left ALT + Left SHIFT + PRINT SCREEN|
|Select or clear the check box option in a dialog box||SPACEBAR|
|Display the properties of the selected item. For example, puts focus in the Properties Window if a form is selected or Opens the Property Page dialog box if a project is selected.||ALT+ENTER|
|Display the items in the active list, such as a drop-down list, in a dialog box||ALT + DOWN ARROW|
|Display items in an active drop-down list in a grid||SHIFT + ALT + DOWN ARROW|
Hidden Visual Studio Shortcut Key Combinations
Some features have shortcut keys available that do not appear in the Options dialog box on the Environment\Keyboard pane. These shortcut key combinations include the following:
|Toolbox window||Move among Toolbox tabs||CTRL + UPARROW
CTRL + DOWNARROW
|Toolbox window||Add a control from the Toolbox to a form or designer||ENTER|
|Keyboard, Environment, Options dialog box||Delete a key combination entered in the Press shortcut keys option||BACKSPACE|
|All tool windows||Select the first button on the toolbar of the window||SHIFT + ALT|
|IDE toolbars||Select the first button on the Standard toolbar||ALT, CTRL + TAB Note: Press CTRL + TAB again to select the first button on the next IDE toolbar.|