For those of you who enjoyed the 1st Productivity Power Tools release, be sure to download the latest version released this week! There are a number of changes, including requests from your comments on this blog. :) The most popular request was the ability to have more granular control of which features are enabled, and being able to turn others off. This capability is included in the latest release through Tools->Options support. There are also 3 new productivity features that have been added: solution navigator, quick access, and auto brace completion. More info on these in the release notes below.
Download here: http://visualstudiogallery.msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/d0d33361-18e2-46c0-8ff2-4adea1e34fef?SRC=Home
Visual Studio 2010 Productivity Power Tools
A set of extensions to Visual Studio Professional (and above) which improves developer productivity. In this second major release of the Power Tools we have added the following four extensions:
Tools Options Support (New in the July Release!) The number one feature request by far has been the ability to turn off the individual extensions in the Productivity Power Tools. In this release, we’ve added an extension which adds a category to Tools Options which allows you to toggle the extensions on/off and provides a single place to find the options for a particular extension.
Solution Navigator (More Info) (New in the July Release!)
Solution Navigator is a new tool window that acts like an enhanced Solution Explorer. With it, you can:
In other words, it merges functionality from Solution Explorer, Class View, Object Browser, Call Hierarchy, Navigate To, and Find Symbol References all into one tool window! Note that the tool window doesn’t (yet) support everything that Solution Explorer supports, such as multi-select and drag-and-drop. Solution Navigator also provides interactive tooltips in C# and VB code (replacing the default “quick info” tooltips) that give you the same kind of data, but right at your fingertips. In addition to getting the tooltips on hover, you can:
Quick Access (New in the July Release!) Quick Access is a new tool window that allows users to search for and execute common tasks within the Visual Studio IDE. Not sure where a particular menu command is located? Want a quick way to create a new Silverlight project? By using Quick Access, you can efficiently find and execute common VS operations without taking your hands off the keyboard. Quick Access allows users to:
To use, press Ctrl+3 to launch Quick Access, type in your search term (e.g., “debug”), and press Enter on the desired result. If your search term returns too many results, continue pressing Ctrl+3 to cycle through each category of results.
Auto Brace Completion (New in the July Release!) Automatic Brace Completion improves the productivity of writing code by automatically inserting the closing code construct when the opening construct is typed for VB & C#. More specifically, this extension:
The extensions from the previous Productivity Power Tools have also been included and improved.
Tab Well UI (More Info) This extension allows you to completely customize the behavior of your document tabs from the Productivity Power Tools Options:
Searchable Add Reference Dialog (More Info) The new Add Reference dialog makes it faster and easier for you to find the reference that you are looking for and add it to your VB, C# or F# project. From the Solution Explorer, simply right click on the References node, select the Add Reference command to see the updated Add Reference Dialog.
Highlight Current Line As the resolution of monitors increases, it’s becoming more difficult to find the caret in the code editor. The highlight current line extension makes it easy to find the caret by highlighting the line that the caret is on in the editor. You can even configure the default color by changing the setting for “Current Line (Extension)” and “Current Line Inactive (Extension)” in Tools Options Fonts & Colors.
HTML Copy (More Info) This extension provides support for the HTML Clipboard format when cutting or copying code from the editor. This means that you’ll no longer have to go fix up the formatting of your code when you paste it into a TFS bug form or any other HTML based control.
Triple Click It’s never been easier to select a line of code from the mouse by simple triple-clicking anywhere on the line.
Fix Mixed Tabs Some developers prefer tabs, others prefer spaces, and nobody likes mixing tabs & spaces. This extension promotes developer harmony by warning as they are open or save a file that has a mixture of tabs & spaces. The information bar also provides an easy way to fix the file to suit your preference.
Ctrl + Click Go To Definition This extension gives the editor a web browser by adding clickable hyperlinks to symbols in your code as you hold down the Ctrl key.
Align Assignments This extension is useful for making your code a little more readable by aligning the assignments when you type Ctrl+Alt+] such that it takes this: And turns it into this: Please note: This may conflict with your formatting settings. E.g. in C# you will need to disable: Tools->Options->Text Editor->C#->Formatting->Spacing->"Ignore spaces in declaration statements"
Move Line Up/Down Commands This extension maps the Alt+Up Arrow & Alt+Down Arrow keys such that they will move the current line of code or the selected lines up and down through the editor.
Column Guides Since Visual Studio 2002, there has been a not so secret registry key which allowed user to draw a vertical line in the code editor. This is very useful to remind developers that their full line of code or comments may not fit one a single screen. Thanks to this extension this feature has returned with UI configure it. Simply place the cursor at the appropriate column and select Add Guideline from the context menu
Colorized Parameter Help This extension improves consistency with the editor by applying syntax highlighting to the contents of the Parameter Help window for C# & VB. Please note: Syntax highlighting colors can be customized using the display items prefixed with “Signature Help” in the “Fonts and Colors” menu.