Before I begin digging into some of the stuff in Update 1, I thought it would be a good idea to review some of the features I’ve blogged so far on Visual Studio 2012 features. Below is a quick list of the features (in no particular order) with links to the more detailed blog posts.
Technically this isn’t a “feature” but it is by far one of my most popular posts. This article is about how to turn off the annoying uppercase menu bar so you can go from SHOUTING:
To Something Normal:
You can now create projects in Visual Studio 2010 with Service Pack 1 then open those projects in Visual Studio 2012 and THEN open the project up again in VS2010 SP1. This works the other way, too! You can create projects in VS2012 (targeting Framework version 4 or less) then open the project in VS2010 SP1 and THEN open it up in VS2012 again. In other words, we now have project round-tripping capability so you can work with the latest features but still keep the solution compatible with team members using an older version of Visual Studio.
We all explore code and need to move quickly between files when examining code to get familiar with it or debugging or [insert file browsing scenario here]. In prior versions of Visual Studio you had to open a file to look at the contents which often resulted in many open files (tabs) when you were done. The Preview Tab eliminates the need to open files when browsing code. Most likely you’ll first encounter the Preview Tab when you are looking at files with Solution Explorer. When you click on a supported file type, you will see the contents of that file in the new preview tab (to the far right in the tab well).
In the past, finding things deep in the IDE has been a challenge. Visual Studio 2012 introduces search abilities at virtually every level of the product. Perhaps the biggest change is the introduction of Quick Launch (CTRL + Q) which specifically addresses how to dig inside Visual Studio to find features you need.
You can now search items in Solution Explorer, make copies of the Solution Explorer window, and much more! This post is a must-read.
For Visual Studio Premium and Ultimate users there is a great new add-in for PowerPoint that can really help you called the PowerPoint Storyboarding add-in. Using this feature you can quickly draft an interface design and get stakeholder feedback. Plus, since it’s PowerPoint, even stakeholders can change elements easily to show you what they really want.
For better or worse we have all had code that gets copied throughout our solutions. Until now there was no tool to tell us there were copies and, instead, we had to rely on other metrics to hopefully reveal any code smells that lead us to duplicates. Now, however, we have the new Code Clone Detection (aka Code Clone Analysis) feature.