CLion 2021.3 Help

Source code navigation

You can quickly navigate through code in the editor using different actions and popups. For the detailed information on navigating between the editor and tool windows, check the editor basics.

Navigate with the caret

  • To navigate backwards, press Ctrl+Alt+Left. To navigate forward, press Ctrl+Alt+Right.

  • To navigate to the last edited location, press Ctrl+Shift+Backspace.

  • To find the current caret location in the editor, press Ctrl+M. This action might be helpful if you do not want to scroll through a large file.

    However, you can press the Up and Down arrow keys to achieve the same result.

  • To highlight a word at the caret you are trying to locate, select Edit | Find | Next Occurrence of the Word at Caret from the main menu.

  • To see on what element the caret is currently positioned, press Alt+Q.

  • To move caret between matching code block braces, press Ctrl+Shift+M.

  • To navigate between code blocks, press Ctrl+[ or Ctrl+].

Move the caret

You can use different actions to move the caret through code. You can also configure where the caret should stop when moved by words and on line breaks.

  • To move the caret to the next word or the previous word, press Ctrl+Right or Ctrl+Left.

    By default, CLion moves the caret to the end of the current word.

    When you move the caret to the previous word, the caret is placed in the beginning of the current word. You can configure the position of the caret when you use these actions.

    In the Settings/Preferences dialog (Ctrl+Alt+S) , go to Editor | General. In the Caret Movement section, use the When moving by words and Upon line break options to configure the caret's behavior.

  • To move the caret forward to the next paragraph or backward to the previous one, press Ctrl+Shift+A and search for the Move Caret Forward a Paragraph or Move Caret Backward a Paragraph action.

    You can also select a text and then move the caret forward or backward to a paragraph. Press Ctrl+Shift+A and search for the Move Caret Forward a Paragraph with Selection or Move Caret Backward a Paragraph with Selection action.

    If you need, you can assign shortcuts to these actions. Refer to Keyboard shortcuts for details.

Find recent locations

You can also check your recently viewed or changed code using the Recent Locations popup.

  • To open the Recent Locations popup, press Ctrl+Shift+E. The list starts with the latest visited location at the top and contains code snippets.

    Recent Locations popup
  • While in the popup, use the same shortcut or select the Show changed only checkbox to see only the locations with changed code.

    Recent Locations popup: Show changed only
  • To search for a code snippet, in the Recent Locations popup, start typing your search query. You can search by the code text, filename, or breadcrumbs.

    Search recent locations
  • To delete a location entry from the search results, press either Delete or Backspace.

    Keep in mind that the deleted location is also removed from the list of entries that you access with the Ctrl+Alt+Left shortcut.

Go to Declaration or Usages

You can navigate to the declaration of a variable, function, class, or type from its usage:

  • Place a caret at a symbol and press Ctrl+B.

  • For a type declaration, press Ctrl+Shift+B.

  • You can also point to the symbol keeping Ctrl pressed, and click, when it turns to a hyperlink. The popup message will show the declaration information. Click once again to navigate to the declaration.

    Go to definition

The Go to Declaration or Usages action (Ctrl+Shift+B) works differently for different cases:

  1. When invoked on a symbol usage, it navigates to that usage’s declaration.

  2. When invoked on a declaration, it shows the list of that declaration’s usages.

  3. When invoked on a definition, it shows the associated declaration.

You can choose between the first two options using the switcher in Settings / Preferences | Editor | General:

Go to Declaration or Usages behavior

The default option is Show usages popup:

Go to Declaration showing usages

If you select Jump to predeclaration, the action navigates you to the declaration if it exists:

Go to Declaration

Go to definitions

  • You can keep track of class implementations and overriding functions using either the the Implemented method icon/the Implementing method icon, the Overridden method icon/the Overriding method icon gutter icons or the appropriate shortcuts.

  • Press Ctrl+Alt+B to navigate to the definition of a code entity at the caret (variable, function, class).

  • Press Ctrl+U to navigate to the super definition.

go to definition

Go to Header/Source

To switch between source and header files, you can use the dedicated Go to Header/Source action instead of Go to Related Symbol.

  • To invoke Go to Header/Source, press F10 or call Navigate | Header/Source from the main menu.

    The action either opens a file in the editor right away or shows the popup with the available options:

    Switching header/source

    While searching for the target file, Go to Header/Source uses a few heuristics:

    • The most recent switched file is always at the top of the list.

    • Next goes the file with the matching name from the same directory, if any (for example, myfile.h/myfile.cpp).

    • Then, a definition/declaration-based search is performed in the background, and new items are added to the popup.

    • If no single destination is found within 500 ms, CLion shows an interactive popup where new items are added, and you can select where you want to navigate to.

  • If you are accustomed to Go to Related Symbol for switching between header and source files, you can remap its shortcut to Go to Header/Source.

    Once per installation, CLion will prompt you to do that when you invoke Go to Related Symbol via the shortcut in a C/C++ file (if the non-default shortcut is not yet set for Go to Header/Source):

    Remap Go to Related Symbol to Switch Heafer/Source

    You can also configure the desired shortcuts in Settings / Preferences | Keymap.

You can automatically locate a target in the Project tool window.

  1. If the file is opened in the editor, press Alt+F1 for the Select in popup.

    Select in popup
  2. In the popup, select Project View and press Enter.

    CLion locates your target in the Project View window.

Locate a file in the Project tool window

You can use the Open Files with Single Click (previously called Autoscroll to Source) and Always Select Opened Files (previously called Autoscroll from Source) actions to locate your file in the Project tool window.

  1. In the Project tool window, right-click the Project toolbar and from the context menu select Always Select Opened File. After that CLion will track the file that is currently opened in the active editor tab and locate it in the Project tool window automatically.

    Project view context menu
  2. You can also select the Open Files with Single Click option. In this case, when you click a file in the Project view, CLion will automatically open it in the editor.

Breadcrumbs help you keep track of your location inside the hierarchy of scopes in the file opened in the active editor tab. For C++, breadcrumbs represent namespaces, classes, structures, functions, and lambdas:

CLion breadcrumbs

To jump to an element in the code, click the breadcrumb with its name.

  1. By default, breadcrumbs are shown and positioned at the bottom of the editor. To hide or relocate them, right-click a breadcrumb and choose Breadcrumbs | Top or Breadcrumbs | Don't show, or configure their placement in Settings / Preferences | Editor | General | Breadcrumbs.

  2. In the same Breadcrumbs settings dialog, you can also enable/disable breadcrumbs for a particular language by selecting/clearing the corresponding checkbox.

  3. To configure colors for breadcrumbs highlighting, go to Settings / Preferences | Editor | Color Scheme | General, and choose Editor | Breadcrumbs from the list.

Locate a code element with the Structure view popup

You can use the structure view popup to locate a code element in the file you are working on.

  1. To open the structure view popup, press Ctrl+F12.

    Structure popup
  2. In the popup, locate an item you need. You can start typing a name of the element for CLion to narrow down the search. Press Enter to return to the editor and the corresponding element.

Browse through methods

  • Press Alt+Down or Alt+Up.

  • To visually separate methods in code, in the Settings/Preferences dialog (Ctrl+Alt+S) , go to Editor | General | Appearance and select the Show method separators option.

    Method Separators in Editor
  • To open the Structure tool window, press Alt+7.

Use the Lens mode

The lens mode lets you preview your code without actually scrolling to it. The mode is available in the editor by default when you hover your mouse over the scrollbar. It is especially useful when you hover over a warning or an error message.

Lens mode
  • To disable the lens mode, right-click the code analysis marker located on the right side of the editor and in the context menu clear the Show code lens on the scrollbar hover checkbox.

  • As an alternative, in the Settings/Preferences dialog (Ctrl+Alt+S) , go to Editor | General | Appearance and clear the Show code lens on the scrollbar hover checkbox.

Find a line or a column

  1. In the editor, press Ctrl+G.

  2. In the Go to Line/Column dialog, specify a line or column number, or both, separating them with : and click OK.

    Go to line/column dialog
  3. If you don't want to see the line numbers in the editor, in the Settings/Preferences dialog (Ctrl+Alt+S) , go to Editor | General | Appearance and clear the Show line numbers checkbox.

Find a file path

  1. In the editor, press Ctrl+Alt+F12 or in the context menu, select Open in | Finder.

  2. In the Reveal in Finder popup, select a file or a directory to open in a path finder and press Enter.

Find recent files

You can search for the recent and recently edited files with the Recent Files popup.

  • To open the Recent Files popup with the list of recent files, press Ctrl+E.

    Recent files
  • To see only the recently edited files, press Ctrl+E again or select the Show changed only checkbox.

    Recent files changed only
  • To search for items in the popup, use the Speed Search functionality. Just start typing a search query, and the Search for field appears. CLion displays the results based on your search query, the list shrinks as you type.

Recent files search
Last modified: 10 December 2021