PyCharm 2020.2 Help

Part 4. Use the navigation bar


The Navigation Bar is an alternative to the Project tool window that can be percieved as a means of navigation. For example, to open a file, locate it in the Project tool window and press F4, use the right-click menu to find usages or find in path etc.

However, the Project tool window eats the screen space. So to save the screen space for the editor, let's get rid of the Project tool window.

In this tutorial we'll navigate through the source code using the Navigation Bar only! So let's close the Project tool window by clicking the button icon hideSide png:

hide tool window png

Then, (to completely get rid of it) clear the check command Tool Buttons on the View menu:

view menu png

How to make the Navigation Bar visible?

If you don't see the Navigation Bar, make it visible. To show the Navigation Bar, do one of the following:

  1. On the View menu, select the check command Navigation Bar.

    Now you see the Navigation Bar on top of PyCharm window, under the title bar and the main menu:

    py navbar png
  2. Press Alt+Home.

    The Navigation Bar shows in the middle of the editor pane (or PyCharm window, if no files are open in the editor). To hide the Navigation bar, press Escape.

Now see the buttons starting at the project root, all the way down to the currently-visible file.

How to open a file using the Navigation Bar ?

If you want to open the file in the folder Animals, you simply click Animals on the Navigation Bar, and then click

py navbar1 png

However, you can use the keyboard only, not using your mouse pointer. This is how it's done:

  1. Show the Navigation Bar Alt+Home.

  2. Press Enter. The nested directories and files are shown, and you should use the arrow keys to navigate through the list. Repeat this step as required.

  3. Finally, press Enter to open the desired file:

    py navbar6 png

What to do if the list of files in the Navigation Bar is too long ?

If you have too long a list of files in your folder, then all its content won't fit in the Navigation Bar window. In this case, use speed search - it works in the Navigation Bar as well as in the tool windows.

Just click the desired folder in the Navigation bar and start typing:

py navbar2 png

Is the right-click menu available on the Navigation Bar?

The answer is yes. Right-click the desired button in the Navigation Bar and choose any of the available commands.

For example, PyCharm allows easy creation of a file or folder from the Navigation Bar. To do that, right-click the desired folder button in the Navigation Bar, and choose one of the available file types on the New menu:

py navbar3 png

Also, use the command Find in Path. Right-click the folder Animals in the Navigation Bar, choose Find in Path, type ca in the dialog box that opens, and observe results:

py navbar5 png

Or you can use Find Usages:

py navbar4 png


This tutorial is over - congrats! Here you've learned how to:

  • Navigate around your source code using the Navigation Bar only.

  • Use the keyboard shortcuts for navigation purposes.

What's next?

Let's proceed with Part 5 and learn how to navigate between the various parts of PyCharm's UI. Learn also how to do that using the keyboard shortcuts.

Last modified: 08 May 2020