Announcing Update to Productivity Power Tools 2013

Announcing Update to Productivity Power Tools 2013

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Today, we’re releasing an update to Productivity Power Tools 2013 on the Visual Studio Gallery. In this release, we fixed a number of customer-reported bugs and issues, and introduced a new feature called syntactic line compression.

Syntactic line compression enables you to make better use of your screen’s vertical real-estate. It shrinks lines that contain neither letters nor numbers by 25% vertically, allowing more lines to be displayed in the editor. Other lines are not affected.

Here’s an illustration of the same code before and after the feature is applied. You can see the extra lines you can get in the same space with no loss of content:

Before And After Syntactic Line Compression NCL

As with all Productivity Power Tools features, if you don’t like it you can turn it on and off in Tools…Options…Editor…Productivity Power Tools – but do let us know if there are things that you’d like to see that would make it more useful to you:

Tools Options With Syntactic Line Compression Main Switch

For Syntactic Line Compression we’re also providing the ability to tune the way it works with a couple of extra settings:Tools Options With Syntactic Line Compression SubSwitches

As you can see, these settings give you some control over the kind of lines which will be compressed.

You can pick up the new release right now on the Visual Studio Gallery. We hope you enjoy this new release, and look forward to hearing your feedback, both here on the blog and on the Visual Studio Gallery.

image Author: Mark Wilson-Thomas, Senior Program Manager, Visual Studio

Mark Wilson-Thomas is a Program Manager on the Visual Studio team, currently working on the Visual Studio Editor. He has worked on developer tools for the last 8 years, including tools for Office, SQL and XAML. Prior to moving to the US he was a consultant in Microsoft Consulting Services in the UK on large scale projects. Prior to joining Microsoft, he worked for BP Oil plc as a Process Modelling Chemist, and for QA plc building web-based Learning Management Systems.
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  • Is this the same line height as CodeLens? Very clever way for squeezing out more real estate.

  • Any chance the source for PPT is going to be released?  This would be serve as valuable documentation for extension authors on how best to plug into Visual Studio

  • Does syntactic line compression work with all languages? E.g. C++, CSS, JS?

  • Really cool :)

    i'd like to compress it even more, perhaps the compression amount could be an option in the settings?

  • Awesome stuff! Even though laptop displays are getting better quality with more pixel real estate, this will still boost viewable code :)

    One complaint ... PPT extension still resets its settings when updated :(

  • Or you could just put the opening brace on the same line and save space and make your code less prone to errors at the same time...

  • Thanks for the responses so far everyone. We're glad you are finding the new feature useful. Here are answers to some of the questions you've raised:

    1. The height for a compressed line is similar to that used for Code Lens lines, but not identical

    2. Yes, syntactic line compression works on C++, CSS, JS as well as C#. It uses the same rules, so blank lines and those with no letters and numbers are currently selected for compression

    3. Regarding settings reset, we'll take a look at that issue for future releases

    4. Regarding having a setting for the amount of compression, that's an interesting suggestion we'll take a look at

    Thanks, and please keep the feedback coming!

    Mark Wilson-Thomas

    Program Manager, Visual Studio

  • I wonder if an option to do the same for comments might be useful?

  • Why the UI, like Windows 8.x, is so ugly?

  • Is it going to go into the main VS release?

  • I've been using this for a few days and really love the line compression feature. It's subtle, but it feels great and makes a noticeable difference. Excellent idea!

  • It took me about half an hour to find out why curly brackets look so ugly! Tried to change editor's font, reset VS settings, disable various plugins... All that was done because every Thanks "Productivity Power Tools" update resets its settings and enables all features by default!

  • This is a great idea. It would be nice to have a setting to adjust the line height for these unimportant lines so you can tweak it just the way you like.

  • This is pretty cool... It was kind of hard to see the full code in that view earlier...

  • Can you add a toggle to shrink Attributes as well?

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