Checkout the Previous Branch with git

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Command line shortcuts are can be a huge time saver, which is why I like creating bash aliases and and enjoy other tricks I've found.  I do have a list of tasks I don't yet have a shortcut for, like easy switching between my current branch and the previous branch.  I have to do this often when I update master via remote pull and then rebasing a feature branch, and since many of my branch names include a hard to remember bug number, switching between branches is a pain.

I recently found out that you can switch the the previous branch you were on using the following command:

git checkout master

# Do whatever
git pull remote master

# Go back to the previous branch
git checkout -

Using - references the previous branch name, thus allowing you to navigate branches with ease!

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Discussion

  1. Sam

    Like in the terminal:

    cd -

    To return to the previously visited directory.

  2. Also useful when you want to merge the branch that you were just working on into dev/master (or any branch really)

    git checkout master
    git merge -
    

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