The official source of product insight from the Visual Studio Engineering Team
With last week’s release of the Productivity Power Tools, we announced a new extension – Quick Access – that allows you to search and execute common tasks within the Visual Studio IDE. You can launch Quick Access by pressing Ctrl+3, or by selecting View->Quick Access.
Quick Access will allow you to search and execute:
Because I get these questions a lot, I’ll mention that Quick Access will NOT search:
Of course, that’s not saying we will never support searching those items above, just that it will be very difficult with the current extensibility APIs in VS 2010.
With Quick Access, our goal was to target two customer scenarios:
You can look at tasks as “scripts” or “light-weight macros”. Through tasks, Quick Access provides you with the ability to interact with VS in a way that isn’t normally exposed through menu commands. An example would be the task “Turn line numbers on”. Normally, you would have to change this option in the Tools –> Options dialog. With Quick Access, we could implement this task by executing a sequence of VS commands or even interact with the DTE.
The current version of Quick Access ships with several tasks. To see the available tasks, search for “tasks”:
In the next release, we are planning to add support for you to author your own tasks. We will also implement the most commonly requested tasks into the package, so tell us what you’d like to see.
Quick Access uses a model similar to the Windows Start Menu to only show a subset of the matching items when the list fills more than the tool window real-estate. That way, if you type “debug” and really want the Visual Studio Options result, you don’t have to scroll down through 14 menu items. If you want to see all the results, press Ctrl+3 again to show everything. Continue pressing Ctrl+3 to filter on each category.
As with all of the Productivity Power Tools features, we want to know what you think. What do you like? What can we make better?
We are also really interested in how you use or would like to use Quick Access. Is it to find a specific options page or something more involved such as executing tasks/macros?
Click the smiley face in the bottom right of the Quick Access window to send us mail.
Weston Hutchins Program Manager – IDE Platform