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Navigation means how fast you switch between the pieces of code you are working on. The faster you switch the more productive you are. Here is a list of notable features which make your navigation experience smooth.

1. Recent files

Most of the time you work with a final set of files. It means you have to switch between them quickly all the time. The real time-saver here is action called Recent files via Ctrl + E (Cmd + E for Mac). By default the focus is on the last accessed file. In the meanwhile you can open any tool window through this action.

Another useful feature similar to Recent files is Recently edited files, available via Shift + Ctrl + E (Shift + Cmd + E for Mac). This is the easiest way to get back to the code you are working on.

2. Structure

When you are not switching between files you probably navigate within a file. The shortest way to do it is to press Ctrl + F12 (Cmd + F12 for Mac). The popup shows you the structure of file and allows you quickly navigate to any item. Just as always you don’t need to touch mouse.

Note that the speed search works here as well. The second press of the shortcut displays inherited members.

3. Switcher

Just like the task switcher in an operating system IntelliJ IDEA provides a switcher between opened files and tool windows. The action is available via Ctrl+Tab.

4. Jump to navigation bar

Another useful feature worth to mention is Jump to navigation bar via Alt + Home (Alt + for Mac). The navigation bar in the top of the window is useless most of the time. That’s why developers usually hide it and call on demand via a shortcut.

The navigation bar supports the speed search and other actions, such as code generations, documentation popup, etc.

5. Navigate between methods

If you need to jump over the methods quickly just press Alt + ↑↓ (Ctrl + ↑↓ for Mac).

A similar action for navigating between braces is available via Ctrl + { and Ctrl + } (Cmd + { and Cmd + } for Mac).

6. Navigate to anything

The next feature which practically one of the most used in IntelliJ IDEA is Navigate to Class, File and Symbol.

This feature is available via Ctrl + N (Cmd + N for Mac) supports sophisticated expressions, including camel humps, path, line navigate to, middle name matching and many more. If you call it twice it shows you the results out of the project classes.

Just like for classes it works for files as well, via Ctrl + Shift + N (Cmd + Shift + N for Mac). The results are sorted by the relevance to the expression.

And finally the most tricky feature is to navigate to a symbol via Ctrl + Alt + Shift + N (Alt + Cmd + Shift + N for Mac). The IDE constantly maintains the index of all symbols in the project (and within libraries as well) for quick resolve and navigation. So you can type an expression and find a method or a field you need in a second.

7. Select in

And finally if you need to open the file in a particular tool window (or Finder/Explorer) you can do it via Select In action by pressing Alt + F1.

8. Other notable features

  • Navigate to line number via Ctrl + G (Cmd + G for Mac)
  • Related files via Gutter
  • Navigate to declaration via Ctrl + B (Cmd + B for Mac)
  • Navigate to super via Ctrl + U (Cmd + U for Mac)
  • Navigate to implementations via Ctrl + Alt + B (Alt + Cmd + B for Mac)
  • Navigate to the last edit location via Shift + Ctrl + Backspace (Shift + Cmd + Backspace for Mac)
  • Navigate to the next error or warning via F2
  • Navigate to a related unit test via Shift + Ctrl + T (Shift + Cmd + T for Mac)
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