A Fun Primer - Jetbrains IntelliJ Shortcuts Part 1


Jetbrains IDE’s come with a bunch of useful features such as syntax highlighting, error spotting, debuggers, and build automation tools. As software developers we use these tools every day, but one overlooked feature is the built-in IntelliJ support.

With all the shortcuts that IntelliJ we can:

  • find files and tools intuitively,
  • manipulate multiple lines of code at once,
  • fly through our projects at the speed of thought,
  • and generally increase our productivity multiple times over

Automatic Linting ( ⌥ ⌘ L )

I use this one the most. It automatically formats your code and most of the time it does everything right. You can do this on a code fragment by highlighting parts of the code or if you don’t highlight anything it will format the entire file.

Watching the code format itself is magic!

Highlighting Code ( ⌥ ↑ ) and ( ⌥ ↓ )

Speaking of highlighting code, IntelliJ makes it very easy to do without using a mouse. Simply place the cursor somewhere in the code you would like to manipulate and use ( ⌥ ↑ ).

  • The first time you do it, the IDE will highlight the word you’re on
  • Continue holding ⌥ and press the up arrow again to select the line you’re on
  • The third time will select the entire code fragment or function where you’re in
  • To go down one level keep holding the ⌥ and hit ↓

Search Everywhere ( ⇧ ⇧ )

Instead of using the mouse to find a function, class, or file, you can double tap on shift and start typing. You can select the scope of your search via the tabs at the top of the pop-up to see results from classes, files, symbols, or actions.

View Recent Files ( ⌘ E )

Use this to pop up your recently used files.

  • You can immediately start typing to filter the results
  • The up and down arrows allow you to navigate the results
  • Hit enter to open the highlighted file.

I find this to be most useful when I’m switching between two files. ( ⌘ E + Enter ) will switch you the previously viewed file. You can rapidly switch to the last file in milliseconds with this technique.


As you can see, there are lots of ways to improve your productivity using Jetbrains IDE’s. This is just the tip of the iceberg though!

I’m a big believer that info should be provided in little bits and applied into practice before moving onto the next part. So go use these shortcuts in your own work and get used to them before we move on.

I’ll be back with more soon.