New Version of the Productivity Power Tools is Available!

New Version of the Productivity Power Tools is Available!

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I am pleased to announce that we have an updated version of the Productivity Power Tools.  With this release, we've introduced 4 brand new extensions and we've fixed many of the bugs that were reported in the previous version.  If you have the Productivity Power Tools installed already, you will get a notification that a new version is available the next time you restart Visual Studio. Otherwise, you can visit our Visual Studio Gallery page here: http://visualstudiogallery.msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/d0d33361-18e2-46c0-8ff2-4adea1e34fef

 

Tools Options Support

 

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.

 

Productivity Power Tools - Tools Options Support

 

Solution Navigator

 

Solution Navigator is a new tool window that acts like an enhanced Solution Explorer.  With it, you can:

  • Expand code files to navigate to its classes, expand classes to navigate to their members, and so on (C# and VB only)
  • Search your solution, all the way down to class members
  • Filter your solution or projects to see just opened files, unsaved files, and so on
  • View related information about classes and members (such as references or callers/callees for C#)
  • Preview images by hovering over them, or preview rich information by hovering over code items

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 multiselect 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:

  • Press Ctrl+1 to open a relevant tooltip at the current cursor location
  • Press Ctrl+2 to quickly navigate to any class/member in the current source file

 

Productivity Power Tools - Solution Navigator Tool Window

For more information on the Solutoin Navigator, see Adrian Collier's post (http://blogs.msdn.com/b/visualstudio/archive/2010/07/20/solution-navigator-blog-post.aspx). 

 

Quick Access

 

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:

  • Execute Main Menu and Context Menu commands
  • Open the New Project Dialog with a specific Project Template selected
  • Show a tool window
  • Jump to a Visual Studio Options page
  • Navigate to an open document in your Tab Well
  • Create and execute a series of actions (task)  

 

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.

 

 

Automatic Brace Completion

 

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:

  • Supports the following constructs: (), {}, [], <>, “”, and ‘’. 
  • Allows you to press <TAB> to navigate past the next enclosing brace
  • Allows you to automatically complete a statement and place the caret on the next line with SHIFT + ENTER (also adds a semicolon in C#)

Updates to Extensions from the first Productivity Power Tools 

Searchable Add Reference

  • Fixed: HintPaths were not added for non-Framework, browsed assembly references
  • Fixed: Projects tab is the default.  Subsequently the last used tab is shown per VS session.
  • Fixed: Exception dialog is shown when an assembly with an invalid AssemblyCulture attribute is found.
  • Fixed: Exception dialog is shown for some missing references or invalid type library references
  • Fixed: Browsed references not being added to the Recent tab.

Fixed: Trying to fix an unresolved reference reported that it is already present in the project.  Now it updates the reference with the correct path.

  • Fixed: Incomplete Assembly Name was being used to construct resolved reference identities
  • Added: Context menu on the Recent tab to allow for clearing of the recent references list.
  • Added: Browse now defaults to the solution folder. Subsequent uses of the dialog remember the previous folder.

Colorized Parameter Help

  • There are now specific Fonts & Colors settings to allow you to configure the display of items in Parameter Help.  This will allow users with dark backgrounds to be able to customize these to readable.

 

 

Column Guides

  • Fixed: Adding & Removing guidelines from a split window occurred based on the caret position in the wrong window.
  • Fixed: Guideline could not be added to first column
  • Fixed: Guideline is placed incorrectly when added to a trailing tab
  • Moved: Guidelines are now a fly-out to reduce the clutter on the Editor context menu.

Ctrl Click Go To Definition

  • Fixed: Navigation now happens on mouse up which reduces conflict with drag & drop operations and word selection.

Document Tab Well settings

  • Added: Show/Hide pin button in unpinned tabs

We received feedback that the pin button was taking too much space or was too easy to click accidentally. You can now configure whether the pin button appears in unpinned tabs or not. In the options dialog page, just uncheck “Show pin button in unpinned tabs”, in the “Tab UI” section.

Showing pin button in unpinned tabs

Hidden pin button in unpinned tabs

  • Make selected tab more distinguishable when using custom colors

We received feedback about the currently selected tab not being easily distinguishable when using custom colors. We now use a gradient for the selected tab that fades from the custom color to the default VS selected tab color:

Selected tab when using custom colors in previous version:

Selected tab when using custom colors in current version:

  • Configure text color for selected and unselected tabs

We received feedback about text being unreadable in some of the darker colors we use when coloring by project. We no allow you to configure the text color for selected and unselected tabs, for all custom colors:

Configure text color for selected and unselected tabs

  • Command for closing all unpinned tabs

Many of our users have asked for this command. It will close all unpinned document well tabs.

Closed All But Pinned command

 

  • Moved: Options for this extension are now found under Productivity Power Tools -> Document Tab Well(or by typing Document Tab Well into Quick Access).
  • Fixed: Vertical tabs would float when a new toolbar row appeared as a result of selecting a tab.

 

HTML Cut/Copy

  • Added: Cut as HTML is now supported

 

Installation on Windows XP

  • Fixed: Unable to install Productivity Power Tools on Windows XP if user name is too long.  Note: We've reduced the number of characters considerably but this still may be an issue if your user name is extremely long.
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  • After installing and creating a new C# Class Library Project, when clicking "Add reference" I get an error stating that the add reference dialog could not been shown.

    Content of the error log:

    System.ArgumentException: The path is not of a legal form.

      at System.IO.Path.NormalizePath(String path, Boolean fullCheck, Int32 maxPathLength)

      at System.IO.Path.GetDirectoryName(String path)

      at Microsoft.VSProjectPlus.AddReferenceDialog..ctor(IVsHierarchy projectHierarchy, DTE2 applicationObject)

      at Microsoft.VSProjectPlus.AddReferencePackage.ShowAddReferenceDialogOnIdle(IdleComponent idleComponent)

  • Previous problem solved by opening an existing solution and then trying to create the new solution again.

    But now I can't add references to COM Libraries (as in the previous version of Power Tools).

    I get an error:

    Library not registered. (Exception from HRESULT: 0x8002801D

    (TYPE_E_LIBNOTREGISTERED))

  • Awesome, thanks.  You could've stopped at the Tools Options support and I would've been happy, but the new Solution Navigator looks very promising and the major bug fixes/changes are also great.

    Here's some constructive criticism: Auto-brace-completion is something that I find to be extremely annoying about Resharper (which I don't use, but other people in the company that I work for do, and it drives me nuts when I have to user their computers during code reviews.)  It's absolutely great that I can shut this feature off :)

    Something missing: Please add descriptions of each feature in the All Extensions tools options page.  Even just a tooltip over the label controls could be extremely helpful.

  • BUG REPORT:

    1) Start VS

    2) Press Ctrl+3 (QuickAccess)

    3) Type "att"

    ...the QuickAccess dialog shows "at" and the VS crashes!

  • Bug:

    Fixed: Projects tab is the default

    This bug still exists. It opened on the Assemblies tab on two different developers machines.

  • @CoryCissel, I tried what you said and it doesn't crash!

  • I am sorry, I meant @Robert Haken.

  • I am sorry, I meant @Robert Haken.

  • The QuickAccess crash every time I try to use it. You only need to press one key to cause it :

    "Set property 'Microsoft.VisualStudio.QuickAccess.VSPackage.UI.TwoItemPanel.ItemWidths' threw an exception."

    "Value does not fall within the expected range." at Microsoft.VisualStudio.QuickAccess.VSPackage.UI.TwoItemPanel.set_ItemWidths(String value)

    I'm using an EN-US VS on EN-US OS but with French regional setting

  • VS crashes after adding two assemblies on a c# project with the browse option.

    Object reference not set ... at

      at Microsoft.VSProjectPlus.TypeLibraryReferenceProvider.PopulateTypeLibraries(Object data)

      at System.Threading.QueueUserWorkItemCallback.WaitCallback_Context(Object state)

      at System.Threading.ExecutionContext.Run(ExecutionContext executionContext, ContextCallback callback, Object state, Boolean ignoreSyncCtx)

      at System.Threading.QueueUserWorkItemCallback.System.Threading.IThreadPoolWorkItem.ExecuteWorkItem()

      at System.Threading.ThreadPoolWorkQueue.Dispatch()

      at System.Threading._ThreadPoolWaitCallback.PerformWaitCallback()

  • Excellent! I really like it. The Document Tab Well, the Add Reference Dialog, and the new Solution Navigator are just really cool, beating up my expectation :).

    Just an observation, it seems the TreeView in the new Solution Navigator is virtualized. The horizontal ScrollBar visibility changes according to item width. Is that so?

  • "Make selected tab more distinguishable when using custom colors"

    This seems to have broken the UseCustomColorForSelected setting - now the selected tab always uses a custom colour.

  • Hi Robert Haken, styx31,

    Could you please contact me at: alan.tang (followed by @microsoft.com) so we could investigate the cause of this crash?

    Thanks!

  • Possible bug: Disabling auto-braces does not remove the Shift+Enter key binding.  I could be wrong, but I'm experiencing some behavior in the editor that doesn't feel right since I've upgraded to the latest release of this extension.  The behavior is that when I manually type empty braces - really fast - I'm used to leaving the shift key down across both braces.  I've never really thought about this until now, so I hope I'm not mistaken.  The sequence is like this:

     MethodName() [shift...] [{] [enter] [}] [...shift]

    when normally (slowly) it could be like this:

     MethodName() [shift...] [{] [...shift] [enter] [shift] [}] [shift]

    But now it seems that holding shift while pressing [enter] does not create a new line for me, thus the braces remain on the same line and VS does not reformat the code.

  • Possible bug: Disabling auto-braces does not remove the Shift+Enter key binding.  I could be wrong, but I'm experiencing some behavior in the editor that doesn't feel right since I've upgraded to the latest release of this extension.  The behavior is that when I manually type empty braces - really fast - I'm used to leaving the shift key down across both braces.  I've never really thought about this until now, so I hope I'm not mistaken.  The sequence is like this:

     MethodName() [shift...] [{] [enter] [}] [...shift]

    when normally (slowly) it could be like this:

     MethodName() [shift...] [{] [...shift] [enter] [shift...] [}] [...shift]

    But now it seems that holding shift while pressing [enter] does not create a new line for me, thus the braces remain on the same line and VS does not reformat the code.

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