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  • The Ultimate Visual Studio Tips and Tricks Blog

    Heroes Happen Here Launch Resources

    • 13 Comments

    Event

    Welcome to the Launch Landing Page on my blog!  Here you will find all kinds of launch-related coolness for your use.

     

    Visual Studio Team System 2008 Virtual PC Images

    http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/vsts2008/products/cc268311.aspx 

     

    Hands-On-Labs -- These things rock they are the harcore labs that you can do to get up so speed with the products. 

    http://heroes.labmanuals.virtualwide.com/

    [UPDATE:  apparently there are source files missing from the hands on labs above so they are basically PDFs that suck.  You can grab them as a nice overview but use the link below for labs with source files you can actually use:

    http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/virtuallabs/cc136637.aspx

     

    And here you can find related webcast/podcasts/etc...:   http://www.microsoft.com/events/series/msdnvs2008.aspx?tab=virtuallabs  ]

     

    Now to the good stuff!  here are the links to videos from the Dallas Launch.  Enjoy!

    Links to Session Videos:

    Ø  Keynote, Chris Sakolosky, Jon Roskill

    Ø  Virtualization and your Infrastructure, John Weston

    Ø  Exploring Windows Server 2008 Web and Application Technologies, John Weston

    Ø  Optimizing your IT Infrastructure with Windows Server 2008, Stephanie Doakes

    Ø  What is New in Windows Server 2008, John Weston

    Ø  Securing your IT Infrastructure with Windows Server 2008, John Weston

    Ø  Enabling Dynamic IT and Optimizing your infrastructure processes and people, Stephanie Doakes

    Ø  The Application Platform: Where IT meets business, Stephanie Doakes

    Ø  Exploring Business Intelligence and SQL Server 2008, Brad Nelson

     

    US Premier Launch Dallas MSDN Event Page:

    http://www.microsoft.com/emea/msdn/spotlight/event.aspx?id=101

    Ø  Keynote, Chris Sakolosky, Jon Roskill

    Ø  Simplify Management of Data Infrastructure, Sri Sridharan

    Ø  Breakthrough Challenges with Visual Studio 2008, Chris Koenig

    Ø  Creating Instantly Familiar Applications with Office System, Zain Naboulsi

    Ø  Mission Critical Application in SQL Server 2008, Sri Sidharan

    Ø  Next Generation Data Applications, Jonathan Swartz

    Ø  Reach end Users with Next Generation Web Applications, Chris Koenig

    Ø Defy Occasionally Connected Challenges with Smart Client Applications, Zain Naboulsi

     

  • The Ultimate Visual Studio Tips and Tricks Blog

    Win Some Swag: The Second Zain Blog Contest Begins!

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    Yep, it's that time again.  I feel the urge to purge some swag and what better way to do it than with a contest?

    (Seriously cool image from http://www.techshout.com/)

    To celebrate the coolness of Vista and Office 2007, I have decided do something around these products...but what?

    I think it would be cool to have YOU decide what the contest should be.  Hit me with YOUR suggestions for a contest that would be challenging yet fun to do. 

     

    [update 10/27/2008:  we have finally decided on what the contest will be and the details can be found here http://blogs.msdn.com/zainnab/archive/2008/10/27/contest-phase-ii-begins.aspx you have until Nov. 21st to submit your entry] 

     

    The prizes will be:

    1st Place:  4 vouchers for 50% off MS exams

    2nd Place: 2 vouchers for 50% off MS exams

    3rd Place:  1 voucher for 50% off MS exam

    Combined with the goodness I announced earlier (http://blogs.msdn.com/zainnab/archive/2008/10/15/microsoft-learning-love-get-your-test-on.aspx) I think this will be a VERY cool deal for some folks.

    So, the first phase is, based on your suggestions, I will create a contest and then the winners of that contest get the prizes listed above.  Sound cool?  Then get me some contest suggestions!!

  • The Ultimate Visual Studio Tips and Tricks Blog

    Using the Call Hierarchy (C# Only)

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    Keyboard:  CTRL + ALT + K (anywhere); CTRL + K,T (cursor must be on a member name)
    Menu:  View -> Call Hierarchy
    Command:  View.CallHierarchy; EditorContextMenus.CodeWindow.ViewCallHierarchy
    Versions:  2010
    Published:  1/19/2010
    Code:  vstipTool0005

    For the C# folks this is one heck of a great feature:  The Call Hierarchy.  It allows you to visualize all calls to and from a selected method, property, or constructor.  To see how it works just right-click on any method, property, or constructor in the Editor and select View Call Hierarchy:

    image

    You should get a window similar to this one (amount of information will vary):

    image

    Notice there are "Calls To" and "Calls From" areas related to your selection.  You can expand them out:

    image

     

    When you click on a node in the tree, the Call Sites window updates so you can visit the call if you want to:

    image

     

    You can continue expanding the hierarchy to see more "Calls To" and "Calls From" information:

    image

     

    The best part is you can right-click on a symbol and get all kinds of options:

    image

     

     

     

     

     

    Here are some options you may come across:

    Context Menu Item

    Description

    Add As New Root

    Adds the selected node to the tree view pane as a new root node.

    Remove Root

    Removes the selected root node from the tree view pane. This option is available only from a root node.

    You can also use the Remove Root toolbar button to remove the selected root node.

    Go To Definition

    Runs the Go To Definition command on the selected node. This navigates to the original definition for a method call or variable definition.

    You can also press F12 to run the Go To Definition command on the selected node.

    Find All References

    Runs the Find All References command on the selected node. This finds all the lines of code in your project that reference a class or member.

    You can also use SHIFT+F12 to run the Find All References command on the selected node.

    Copy

    Copies the contents of the selected node (but not its subnodes).

    Refresh

    Collapses the selected node so that re-expanding it displays current information.

  • The Ultimate Visual Studio Tips and Tricks Blog

    Using the WPF Tree Visualizer

    • 13 Comments

    Versions:  2010
    Published:  1/29/2010
    Code:  vstipDebug0004

     

    For those not familiar with WPF Trees, check out this article:  http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms753391(VS.100).aspx

     

    Now.  For those that ARE familiar with them have we got something for you:  WPF Tree Visualizer.  Yes, it started out as a CodePlex project and ended up in the product itself as a visualizer.  But how do you use it? 

     

    1. Enter debug mode using any method you prefer.
    2. Once you are there take a look at either a DataTip, the Watch window, the Autos window, or the Locals window.  For this example, I will use the Autos window.
    3. Choose any control in the Autos window and then click on the magnifying glass way over to the right of the control name.
      image
    4. You will see a drop down list.  Choose the WPF Tree Visualizer to get this dialog:
       image
    5. This thing has a lot of different parts so let's take a look at each one.  First, the Visual Tree shows you the hierarchy of the controls:
      image
    6. Clicking on any particular node of the tree will show you the Rendering view just below:
      image
    7. Also, the selected control will have its properties displayed in the large area to the right:
      image

    8. In, both, the Visual Tree and the Properties area you can search/filter the results by typing into the "Search" or "Filter" textboxes respectively:
      image

    9. WARNING:  Watch out for the results as they may not be what you expect.  See the extra items in the list that don't have the word "context" in them?  How did they get there?  Well, if I scroll to the right and look at other properties you can see how it happened:
      image 

      Currently, there is no way that I am aware of to change this behavior.
  • The Ultimate Visual Studio Tips and Tricks Blog

    Announcing the Tips and Tricks SWAG Fest Beginning April 12th

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    ThinkGeek

     

    So, someone thought it would be a good idea to give me some money for SWAG to give to my readers.  Naturally, I loved the idea!  So I went and bought a whole bunch of $100 ThinkGeek gift certificates.  The problem is how to give them away?  After much thought (about 10 minutes, at least), I figured the best way was to give them away whenever I felt like it. 

     

    Okay so there you have it.  Beginning April 12th (Visual Studio 2010 Launch Day) I will be giving away ThinkGeek gift certificates.  I’ll be picking people who show love for the Visual Studio Tips and Tricks blog.  There are some basic ways you can do this:

     

    1. Leave some cool comments on the tip(s) you like the most
    2. Tweet about the Tips blog using the #vstips hashtag
    3. Show some blog love by cross posting to your blog if you have one

    Feel free to get creative and let me know about it.  That’s pretty much it.  Very simple really.  Look for the fun to begin on Launch Day.

  • The Ultimate Visual Studio Tips and Tricks Blog

    Select the Current Word

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    Keyboard:  CTRL + W
    Command:  Edit.SelectCurrentWord
    Versions:  2008,2010
    Published:  4/5/2010
    Code:  vstipEdit0039

     

    Download the seriously cool Tip of the Day Extension to get the daily tips delivered to your Start Page!

     

    You can easily select the current word in Visual Studio by simply putting your cursor in the word to select:

    image

     

    Then press CTRL + W and it will automatically select the current word:

    image

  • The Ultimate Visual Studio Tips and Tricks Blog

    Split Your Windows

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    Menu:  Window -> Split
    Command:  Windows.Split
    Versions:  2008,2010
    Published:  3/5/2010
    Code:  vstipEnv0004

     

    Did you know you can split your windows?  This feature has been available in a lot of Microsoft products for some time.  You can simply go to Window -> Split on the Menu Bar or you can use this mouse technique:

     

    1. Go the upper right-hand corner of a document window and look for the splitter control:
      image
    2. Click and hold on it and drag it down to begin the split process:
      image
    3. You can now see different places in your code to, for example, call a method while looking at the definition:
      image 
  • The Ultimate Visual Studio Tips and Tricks Blog

    Coding Faster: Give Me Your Thoughts

    • 13 Comments

    Folks,

    Just an update on the book.  It appears that it may be over 300 pages as originally planned so I am seeing if that is an issue with the publisher.  Would you have a problem if the book was larger? 

     

    Also, I've gotten another draft of the book as we move along and, just as I have always done, I would like to get your thoughts.  I've attached the PDF for your review.  Let me know your thoughts.  Bear in mind is it a rough draft and some things will change.  For example, "Free Your Document Windows" will become something like "Multi-Monitor Support" as I review the titles. 

     

    Also, I will most likely be trimming out the more trivial tips.  The tricky part is that one person's "trivial" is another person's "cool" so I'm erring on the side of too much information rather than not enough.

     

    Z

  • The Ultimate Visual Studio Tips and Tricks Blog

    Keyboard Shortcuts for the Book

    • 12 Comments

     

    Folks,

     

    We just had a meeting the other day and are getting closer to the final draft for the book.  The piece I am most concerned about is how best to convey keyboard shortcut information so it is easy for you to use.  Here is the table structure we were originally thinking:

    image

     

    Notice the actions are on the left and keyboard settings are along the top.  During the discussion I thought it would be more logical to put the keyboard settings along the left and the actions across the top.  My thinking is that when you use the table you will start with your setting and then want to move right along actions you can take.  What do YOU think?  Do you like it the way it is or with the settings and actions switched?

  • The Ultimate Visual Studio Tips and Tricks Blog

    The Immediate Window: Working with Members

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    Keyboard:  CTRL + ALT + I
    Menu:  Debug -> Windows -> Immediate
    Command:  Debug.Immediate
    Versions:  2008,2010
    Published:  9/28/2010
    Code:  vstipTool0095

     

    When using with the Immediate Window, you can work with class and object members directly:

     

    Debug

    You can use any method or property as long as it is in context.  So, for example, when you are in debug mode, you can call any method that is in scope:

    image

     

     

    Design

    A less-known feature is you can work with properties and methods while in design mode.  If you have static methods on a class, for example, you can just execute them right away:

    image

     

     

    For object members, obviously, you need to create an instance of the object before working with the members:

    image

     

    WARNING:  When working with members at design-time a build will occur.  This could have unintended consequences so make sure you have experimented with this feature a bit before you use it.

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