How to press ‘y’ to navigate to the permalink for a file’s exact commit ID on – 052

Suppose you had a question about the contents of a file at an exact moment in time (or in git-speak: at an exact commit in time). If you were to visit the repo and navigate directly either to a file or the line in question in a file, e.g. showing the line


you might forget or not even realize (like me) that you’re copying the link for the latest version of that file on master (or in git-speak: the version of the file at the current head of master).

In other words, if someone were to come along and make a change to this file, your link to this line of code at the latest commit on master might be a link to a totally different line of code instead of the openDevTools() link.

Press the `y` key and you’ll see that the page seems to refresh. Well, yes and no. The page has updated, but look at the URL now.

now you got the permalink to that exact line of code!

This shortcut is the functional equivalent of clicking Code – Commit – Browse the repository at this point in the history – clicking the file (e.g. main.js) – and then clicking the line number.

This shortcut works for any branch name, specific commit SHAs, and tags, according to the docs. E.g. suppose you were looking at main.js on a branch called windows-fix located at and you pressed the `y` key. The URL would change to

I hate not having a photo to go alongside a tip, so here’s a picture of a Great Dane next to a small (terrier?) dog, aka how I feel standing next to tall people.

Great Dane standing next to small dog

photo taken from

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