Mathew Manela from the Online Tools Group at Microsoft has written a really cool tool, which adds a feature missing for a long time in Visual Studio: Code Snippet Creation.

The tool, which is available at http://www.codeplex.com/SnippetDesigner allows a bunch of functionality for working with custom snippets.

  1. Add a new .SNIPPET file via File-New-File--Code Snippet File
  2. Export existing code into a snippet:
    Simply right click on the selected code and press "Export as Snippet".
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  3. Edit snippets (set placeholders, etc..)
    The editor is opened after exporting something.
    Additionally you can later on open .snippet files out of the "Snippet Explorer" (see below).
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  4. The Snippet Explorer
    Go to "View - Other Windows - Snippet Explorer" to search for existing snippets.
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The snippets you build are stored under the path %USERPROFILE%\Documents\Visual Studio 2008\Code Snippets\Visual C#\My Code Snippets.

You can either insert them via the context menu "Insert Code Snippet"
(Ctrl+K-X) or you can assign a short-phrase (shortcut).

With the shortcut you just need to type e.g. prop<tab><tab> to insert a property code snippet.

You can set the shortcut (and other things as well) in the property window of the snippet editor.