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Tricks in PhpStorm to save your development time

Monday, September 19th, 2016 by Servage

phpstormPhpStorm is one of the most popular PHP integrated development environments (IDEs) in 2016. It has a huge amount of features and even experienced developers regularly come across new features they haven’t known before. Next we are going through some handy tools and shortcuts that are built into PhpStorm but may be difficult to find out on your own.

PhpStorm is full of useful keyboard shortcuts. Here are a few that you will surely find useful. Keep in mind that these may be slightly different for you depending on your operating system and PhpStorm version, but these are the default ones for Windows.

Ctrl + Shift + N: Find a file in your project folder. This is useful for navigating between files without having to find a specific file behind a long directory path.

Ctrl + Shift + F: Find in path. This allows you to search for anything within your project. You can use it to find where a specific variable, value, function or YAML key is used, just to name a few possibilities. This will surely find what you are looking for.

Ctrl + Alt + Shift + N: Navigate to a function by name. If you are browsing a big file you are not familiar with, such as a third-party library, this keyboard shortcut will help you to quickly find a function or method you are looking for.

A different kind of shortcut worth mentioning is clicking a function or class name when the Control key is held down. This will open the file where that function or class is defined. It will even find the correct line where the definition starts from.

Bottom toolbar

One handy feature in PhpStorm is the small bottom toolbar. It allows you to use tabbed command line windows that you can use to interact with various command line tools such as Laravel’s Artisan or Symfony’s console without having too many separate windows open at the same time.

Git integration

The Git integration PhpStorm offers by default can also be found in the bottom toolbar. Just open the version control tab and you can see your commit history and files that have been modified since the last commit. You can also update your project by pulling as well as commit and push files.


Generators allow you to automatically generate commonly used code, such as PHPDoc comment blocks, getter and setter methods and even full constructors. You must find yourself writing code like $this->age = $age inside functions quite often. This is exactly what generators can do for you automatically.

Live templates

With live templates you can write code such as functions, HTML tags or whole page templates using shorthand notations. For example, typing ”fore” inside a PHP file and pressing tab will create a foreach loop for you. Typing a.button and pressing tab inside an HTML file will turn into <a href=”” class=button”></a>.

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Categories: Software & Webapps, Tips & Tricks

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