We all love our keyboard shortcuts, and RSE has a bunch you probably don't even know about.
By Susan Gantner
If you use Remote System Explorer (RSE) as part of either WDSC or RDi to edit your RPG code, you probably already use a number of keyboard shortcuts to improve your productivity. Maybe you even have a cheat sheet of your own pinned up next to your workstation with your favorites on it. Have you ever wondered whether there are some shortcuts out there that you don't know about?
If you don't use many keyboard shortcuts currently, have you ever thought about how much faster you could get things done if you didn't need to keep moving your hands off the keyboard to use the mouse? In my experience teaching RSE classes for companies and giving sessions at conferences such as the RPG & DB2 Summit, I'm often asked about keyboard shortcuts for just that reason. After all, SEU users rarely have reason to touch a mouse while editing code.
From that experience was born the first list of "Favorite Keyboard Shortcuts for WDSC" a couple of years ago. When System i Developer published the keyboard shortcut list--both on hard copy cards and in PDF form--even I was surprised by the number of people who took advantage of the offer. Now, hot off the presses is the updated version of the shortcut list, this time renamed "Favorite Keyboard Shortcuts for RSE" because they are equally applicable to both RDi users and WDSC users. You may want to take a look at the new list yourself to see if you can pick up some handy new shortcuts.
There are other shortcut lists available, including in the RSE tool itself. As a matter of fact, there's even a shortcut key to provide a shortcut key list; Ctrl+Shift+L while in RSE brings up a list of keyboard shortcuts. But I found that the list was way too long (with shortcuts to many things I don't use), and finding the shortcuts I do need in the list was cumbersome.
The updated System i Developer shortcuts list is organized into four categories:
- Standard Windows shortcuts are those that you may (or may not) already use when writing documents or emails. These include basic cut/copy/paste operations as well as undo/redo--ones that I particularly wanted years ago when coding with SEU! Some that may be a little less well-known include shortcuts to jump to the beginning or end of a line of code (Home/End) or of the entire source member (Ctrl+Home/Ctrl+End) as well as to display the context menu (aka right-click menu) via Shift+F10. One that I've lately become addicted to is the use of the right and left arrow keys to expand or collapse lists in trees, such as object or member lists in RSE or lists of fields or references to fields in the Outline View.
- Navigation shortcuts are those that help you move around in the toolset. This list includes two ways to navigate between open members in the editor (Ctrl+F6 and Ctrl+E) as well as switch between Views (Ctrl+F7) or perspectives (Ctrl+F8). The most useful of all in this category may be F12, which allows you to jump to the editor after you have been working with your error list or perusing the Outline View.
- Editing shortcuts are those that are useful for editing source code specifically. This is the biggest category and includes things like Ctrl+Shift+A to open a source member directly without drilling down through a list in RSE. One I use constantly is Ctrl+F5 to remove those lovely pink messages inserted into the source by the syntax checker, verifier, or compiler. Some new ones in the updated list include Ctrl+2, which opens up a split-screen view of the same source member, and F3, which jumps to the code for an internal subroutine or subprocedure when positioned on a reference to it (e.g., function call or EXSR). Alt+Q jumps back to the referenced location after you've seen what you need.
- Nested logic help is a new category with this update. It covers the different ways to help navigate through nested logic by indicating the beginning and end of blocks of code. These include Ctrl+M to highlight an entire block of code when you're positioned on either the beginning (e.g., If or Do) or end (e.g., EndIf or EndDo) of a code block as well as Ctrl+Shift+O to draw arrows near the sequence numbers, indicating code block nesting.
Take a look at the new and improved System i Developer's Favorite Keyboard Shortcuts for RSE to see if you might become even more productive with RSE than you are already. Other tips as well as an RSE FAQ are available from the same page.