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Accessibility Tips and Tricks

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.

NoteNote:

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 Visual Studio Settings.

  • Customize the IDE   You to can save your window layout, keyboard mapping scheme, and other preferences for use on your current machine and on other machines. For more information, see How to: Share Settings Between Computers or Visual Studio Versions and Visual Studio Settings.

  • Apply accessibility settings   Visual Studio includes a sample macro that can be applied to the product to make the integrated development environment (IDE) more accessible. This macro includes optimizations for working with screen readers. For more information, see Macros Samples.

You can use many of the standard Windows shortcut key combinations to perform tasks within Visual Studio. Some of these shortcut key combinations include:

Description

Key Combination

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

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:

Feature

Description

Key Combination

Toolbox window

Move among Toolbox tabs

CTRL + UP ARROW

and

CTRL + DOWN ARROW

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

NoteNote:

Press CTRL + TAB again to select the first button on the next IDE toolbar.

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