Scott Hanselman

Reflectoring with the Keyboard

February 23, '06 Comments [7] Posted in Musings | Tools
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ReflectorstackIt's nice to "discover" a feature that you knew was already there but had forgotten. Reflector's "Analyzer" feature is a way to walk a Depends On/Used By tree.

I can fairly say that I never use the Visual Studio Object Browser but I live in Reflector. I've tried integrating it with Visual Studio, but this is one application that I like using Full Screen. I don't want it buried in a "toolbox window".

One of the things I love the most about reflector is that it is completely (and intuitively) usable via the keyboard. You just need to know:

  • Arrow Keys - Up, Down, Left, Right move you around the tree.
  • Tab - Switches you between panes.
  • F3 - Search. Lots of folks don't know that you can search on method name via the "Member Search" feature.
  • Space - The magic button that pops you into code view.
  • Ctrl-R - Starts the analyzer in a tree view in the right-hand page. At that point, the arrows, tabs, and space let you continue hunting.

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Thursday, February 23, 2006 5:13:21 PM UTC
great tip
Thank you
Thursday, February 23, 2006 5:16:38 PM UTC
Nice. I too live in Reflector (if only you could embed Visual Studio into Reflector eh?) and didn't realize there was a search. Silly rabbit.
Thursday, February 23, 2006 7:22:13 PM UTC
It's funny -- I do use the object browser in VS and I use Reflector, but I hadn't thought about using Reflector for the things where I use the object browser today.

Right now, I mostly use Reflector to diagnose problems in generated assemblies, especially those with embedded resources.

I'm going to try using it as an object browser replacement and see how it goes.

Thanks for the idea.
Thursday, February 23, 2006 7:39:13 PM UTC
One addition I would make:

Ctrl-T - Navigates from one class to the selected Base/Derived class.

Great for checking out all class members.
Thursday, February 23, 2006 8:28:24 PM UTC
Don't forget about alt-left arrow and alt-right arrow - the keyboard equivalents for "Back" and "Forward". I use those constantly.

Ctrl-T is a good one that I had never noticed. I also just noticed Ctrl-I (for Show Inherited Members). Sadly it's not a toggle.
Friday, February 24, 2006 7:25:49 AM UTC
I also use F1 a lot: I often switch between Space (code view) and F1 (documentation).
Friday, February 24, 2006 8:04:44 AM UTC
Parse error: "I don't it buried in a toolbox."
Comments are closed.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.