Update: this blog is no longer active. For new posts and RSS subscriptions, please go to http://saintgimp.org.

Over the years several people have shared the Visual Studio macros they use to make the BDD boxcar naming style easier to work with.  I thought I’d add my own, not because it’s any better than the others but because it’s built for a slightly different workflow and someone might find it useful.

First, here’s the macro:

Imports System

Imports System.Windows.Forms

Imports EnvDTE

Imports EnvDTE80

Imports System.Diagnostics


Public Module BDDNaming


    Public Sub ReplaceSpacesInTestNameWithUnderscores()

        If DTE.ActiveDocument Is Nothing Then Return


        Dim selection As TextSelection = CType(DTE.ActiveDocument.Selection(), EnvDTE.TextSelection)

        If selection.IsEmpty Then




        End If

    End Sub


    Private Sub ReplaceSpacesInSelection(ByVal selection As TextSelection)

        Dim text As String = selection.Text

        text = text.ToLower()

        text = text.Replace(" ", "_")

        text = text.Replace("""", String.Empty)

        selection.Text = text

    End Sub


    Private Sub ReplaceSpacesAtEditPoint(ByVal selection As TextSelection)

        selection.CharLeft(True, 1)

        While selection.Text(0) <> """" AndAlso (Not selection.ActivePoint.AtStartOfLine)

            selection.CharLeft(True, 1)

        End While


        If selection.Text(0) = """" Then




            selection.CharRight(False, 1)

        End If

    End Sub


    Private Sub DeleteTrailingQuote(ByVal selection As TextSelection)

        selection.CharRight(True, 1)

        If selection.Text(0) = """" Then



            selection.CharLeft(False, 1)

        End If

    End Sub

End Module


I usually bind this macro to Alt-- (Alt-[dash]) because it’s easy to remember and it’s not bound by default to anything important.

To use it, I start by typing an open quote mark where I want to type a BDD context or spec name.  I use Resharper so it automatically inserts two quote marks for me, but the macro works equally well without Resharper.  The quotes prevent Intellisense from freaking out as I start to type the context or spec name:

    public class ""

Then I type the context or spec name as a normal sentence using the space bar like so:

    public class "when a message with no eligible listeners is sent"

Then I hit Alt-- to convert the sentence to a proper boxcar-style identifier:

    public class when_a_message_with_no_eligible_listeners_is_sent

I can also highlight any arbitrary piece of text and hit Alt-- to convert the spaces to underscores.

Other people like to put a lot of boilerplate code into the macro to make it easier to set up contexts and specs quickly, but I prefer this macro that does just one thing and does it well.  Hopefully someone else will find it useful too!