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Visual Studio 2010 Tips and Tricks






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Visual Studio 2010 Tips and Tricks

An article by Slava Agafonov 3 Comments

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Share If youre a .NET developer like me, you live 75% of your work life at your computer, inside IDE Visual Studio, bug tracker or source control system (TFS, SVN, CVS). Coding is a lot easier when you know how to use your tools like Visual Studio 2010 more effectively. To optimize experience with this IDE, here these tips and shortcuts: Intellisense, Code Editor, Navigation, Debugging, Search Shortcuts... Search Shortcuts Beyond Navigate To and Call Hierarchy, Visual Studio 2010 doesn't include new search features, but existing features are wildly underutilized. Beyond a simple search, you can Find in Files, Find Symbols, use F3 and Ctl-F3 for the next and previous, and use the quick find box in the toolbar. Find in Files lets you specify the directory to search and the file types. Find Symbols lets you limit your search by platform and create custom component sets for searching as well as supporting both prefix and substring searches. And you can use RegEx in many search dialogs. For example how to create visual studio 2010 project from existing code folders? There are two additional keyboard search tricks. If you select a set of characters in your code and hit Ctl-F3 or Ctl-Shift-F3, you'll navigate forward and back through any matches. If you press Ctl-I or Alt-I -- depending on your keyboard layout -- you'll enter incremental search mode and the cursor will change to an arrow and binoculars. In this mode, Visual Studio will refine your search as you type, moving to the next matching value. You can also hit F3 or Shift-F3 to navigate to the next or previous matches. Hitting these keys also ends incremental search mode and places your search text into the quick search box for easy reference or reuse. Upgrade Tips Now for the caveats: If you move existing projects to Visual Studio 2010 from Visual Studio 2008 or 2005, your platform target is not updated. Visual Studio 2010 supports development targeting older framework libraries to aid in application deployment, but the project itself is altered to become a Visual Studio 2010 project and you won't be able to open it in Visual Studio 2008. On the surface the changes are just version number changes in the project and solution files. Beneath the surface, there's no guarantee that the structure of supporting files remains unchanged, so consider the move to Visual Studio 2010 a permanent one for your project, and keep backups in case you have a reason to revert. Changes to the workflow of data projects managed from Visual Studio (such as how you load scripts) are significant and may be confusing if you manage databases from Visual Studio. Visual Studio 2010 is a full rewrite. While it's effectively a 1.0 product, overall performance and stability are adequate. But you're much more likely to experience quirky behavior (such as the Clipboard ring sometimes not working as expected) and occasional crashes than in Visual Studio 2008.

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Hello world! My name is Agafonov Viacheslav. I'm a software engineer at Microsoft located in Bellevue next to Redmond campus and Seattle downtown, state Washington. I was born in Ukraine. My passion for programming is in my ability to create tools that make people's lives easier.

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Visual Studio 2010 Tips and Tricks

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camelCase / Substring Filters Suggestion mode [CTRL]+[ALT]+[SPACE] Undeclared types after new ( C# Only ) IntelliTrace is a feature previously known as Historical debugging, which is a major enhancement made to the Visual Studio 2010 debugger. When an exception occurs, you usually start debugging with breakpoints set in suspected areas and check variable/object values for correctness. But if an exception occurs when IntelliTrace is enabled, it allows you to just go back in time of your application execution and find out what events got raised and what were the values of various variables, etc similar to Call stack like approach. This helps you inspect all the events that finally triggered the exception. This helps in many ways, even you dont need to worry about breakpoints. The opinions and information that expressed here do not represent my employer's view in any way. Information in this blog is my own opinion and does not reflect on employer. Content on this site is licensed under a Creative Commons 3.0 license.


Code Editor Tricks Dev315-EditorTricks.wmv (12.50 mb) Call Hierarchy ( C# Only ) Find all references [SHIFT]+[F12] Metadata as Source ( C# Only ) Code Definition Window ( C# Only ) Highlight references and keywords Navigating Highlights [CTRL]+[SHIFT]+[UP|DOWN] Multi Line Edit Box Select ZOOM Mouse and Keyboard [CTRL]+[SHIFT]+[<|>]

Outlining Dev315-Outlining.wmv (6.19 mb) Ad-Hoc Regions Hide [CTRL]+[M],[H] Show [CTRL]+[M],[U] Collapse to definition

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Outlining preview on margin hover Double click margin to Expand/Collapse

Navigation Dev315-Navigation.wmv (13.62 mb) Go to Definition [F12] Go to Definition Stack ( C# Only ) [CTRL]+[SHIFT]+[7|8] Iterate List Window (IE. Find Results) [F8] Navigate To [CTRL]+[,] Navigate to open file selection [CTRL]+[ALT]+[DOWN]Next | Previous Method ( VB Only) [CTRL]+[UP|DOWN] You can use Navigate To(Ctrl + ,) to search specific methods, class, etc in your code. This helps navigating your code faster, code navigation speed in Visual Studio 2010 is increased highly because of this new feature. This also comes handy when you keep jumping between different methods of your code frequently. In previous versions of Visual Studio you didnt have such a swift option. Pin, Unpin(delete), add comment Also we can click the pin icon next to a variables DataTip and it will stick to your code window for you to drag & place as you like. Remove it by clicking the "X" in the DataTip mouse hover menu. Add comments and notes for a variable by clicking the double down arrow in the DataTip hover menu.

We can do more beautiful things using Navigate To, like, you can type the abbreviation of the method to find it, as below or type the words like get categories, search category.

Debugging KB Shortcuts F5 Run (Stop on First/Next breakpoint) F9 Set|Delete a breakpoint CTRL+F9 Disable (not Delete) CTRL+SHIFT+F9 Remove all Breakpoints F10 Step Over CTRL+F10 Run to Cursor Even if Debugger isnt started

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F11 Step Into SHIFT F11 Step Back We know that, in debugging mode, we can hover our mouse over a variables, objects and inspect, edit and explore it and we call this as DataTip. VS 2010, we can stick DataTips to our code window and drag and drop to any place and the DataTip will hang there. This new feature gives pretty easy view to monitor the variables for your current debugging.

Run to Cursor (Ctrl + F10)

Often I see people debugging applications by hitting a breakpoint early in their application, and then repeatedly using F10/F11 to step through their code until they reach the actual location they really

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want to investigate. In some cases they are carefully observing each statement they step over along the way (in which case using F10/F11 makes sense). Often, though, people are just trying to quickly advance to the line of code they really care about in which case using F10/F11 isnt the best way to do this. Instead, you might want to take advantage of the run to cursor feature that the debugger supports. Simply position your cursor on the line in your code that you want to run the application to, and then press the Ctrl + F10 keys together. This will run the application to that line location and then break into the debugger saving you from having to make multiple F10/F11 keystrokes to get there. This works even if the line of code you want to run to is in a separate method or class from the one you are currently debugging.

Extension Manager for downloading and installing plugins The Extension Manager in Visual Studio 2010 will allow you to download and install cool plug-ins for your VS IDE. You can bring up the extension manager window by clicking Tools->Extension Manager. Extension Manager will connect to Visual Studio 2010 online Extension library, and you can search and find cool plug-ins there.

Once installed, you may also Disable or Uninstall your plug-ins from the extensions manager. Architecture Explorer (Ultimate only) A cool addition in VS2010 is the Architecture Explorer (Click View->Architecture Explorer). The Architecture Explorer will provide you a very friendly interface to browse through and navigate to your solution assets. You can right click on an item

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(Namespace, Class Name, or Class Member etc) and select View Content to navigate to the definition as well.

Also, you can export the selected items to a graph document from the Architecture explorer. You can do this by selecting the members, and clicking the Create new graph document button (in top left corner) of the Architecture Explorer. Let me export some of the members in my OrderViewModel class, and have a look at the generated graph. You can also use the graph document to understand your code members in a better way, to analyze circular references, un referenced nodes etc (see the image below.)

Generating Sequence Diagrams To Inspect And Document control flow Another cool feature in Visual Studio 2010 is the ability to generate Sequence diagrams. You may right click inside a method and select Generate the sequence diagram from the pop up menu, to generate the diagram. In this example, you may see that my SubmitOrder method in OrderViewModel class is instantiating an OrderServiceClient, to call AddOrderAsync method inside the same.

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And here is bonus by Sandra from Microsoft, happy coding:

Tip #1 How to not accidentally copy a blank line TO Text Editor All Lang Gen Apply cut or copy commands to blank lines Tip #2 How to cycle through the Clipboard ring Ctrl+Shift+V (Edit.CycleClipboardRing) Tip #3 How to use the Undo stack Undo button on Standard Toolbar Tip #4 New! Automatic highlighting of symbols Hover over symbol, then Ctrl+Shift+Arrow to navigate Tip #5 How to navigate forward and backward w go-back markers View.NavigateBackward (Ctrl+Minus), View.NavigateForward (Ctrl+Shift+Minus) Tip #6 New! How to collapse a region with ease Hover over any part of region and dclick. Or Ctrl+M, Ctrl+M Tip #7 How to reach the navigation bar via keyboard shortcut Ctrl+F2 (Window.MoveToNavigationBar), type-ahead selection Tip #8 How to use Navigate To Ctrl+comma Tip #9 How to split a window and create new ones Window Split, Window New Window Tip #10 How to show line numbers in the editor Tools Options Text Editor All Languages General - Line Numbers Tip #11 How to enable virtual space TO Text Editor All Languages General Tip #12 How to view visible white space Edit Advanced View White Space Tip #13 How to change the color of visual white space glyphs TO Env Fonts and

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Colors Text Editor Visual White Space Tip #14 How to increase the editors ToolTip font size TO Env Fonts and Colors Show Settings for Editor ToolTip Tip #15 New! How to zoom in/out in Editor Ctrl+Mouse Wheel / Edit in zoom control Tip #16 How to change text editor font size via keyboard Macros.Samples.Accessibility.<increase/decrease>TextEditorFontSize Tip #17 Diff Automatic vs Default in Fonts and Colors Tip #18 How to print boldly TO Env Fonts and Colors - Show Settings for Printer Tip #19 How to use box/column selection in the editor Shift+Alt+Arrow, or Mouse+Alt Tip #20 New! How to use Multiline Edit Shift+Alt+Arrow, type Tip #21 How to format the current document Ctrl+K, Ctrl+D (Edit.FormatDocument) Tip #22 You can remove unused using statements in C# Context Menu Organize Usings Remove Unused Usings Tip #23 How to remove a project from Start Page Right-click project, select Remove from list Tip #24 How to set bookmarks and navigate among them Edit.ToggleBookmark (Ctrl+K, Ctrl+K ) Tip #25 You can bookmark your quick find results Ctrl+F, then press bookmark all Tip #26 How to increase Intellisense font sizes TO Env Fonts and Colors - Show Settings For - <item> Tip #27 How to increase Environment font TO Env Fonts and Colors - Show Settings For Environment Font Tip #28 Toggle Statement Completion tabs via keyboard All tab: Alt+. and Common Tab: Alt+, Tip #29 New! How to do Pascal / Sub-string matching in Intellisense Tip #30 New! How to enable Suggestion mode in Intellisense Ctrl+Alt+Space to enable Tip #31 You can insert a snippet by pressing Tab Tab Type in snippet shortcut word, then hit Tab Tab to insert Tip #32 New! How to browse new code snippets and add new ones Tools Code Snippet Manager, HTML and Javascript Tip #33 How to insert a code snippet around a block of code in C# Select code, then Ctrl+K, Ctrl+S. Command: Edit.SurroundWith Tip #34 How to behold the power of incremental search Ctrl+I (Edit.IncrementalSearch) Tip #35 Use Ctrl+F3 to search for currently-selected word Edit.FindNextStatement Tip #36 How not to search for the currently-selected word Tools Options Environment Find and Replace Tip #37 You can use F3 to search for the last thing you searched for Edit.FindNext Tip #38 You can customize what files to find in Find in Files Look in Choose Search Folders Tip #39 You can use a reg key for customizing search results HKCU\... \10.0\Find, String Find results format = $f$e($l,$c):$t\r\n Tip #40 Use Ctrl+Alt+Down to drop down the file tab channel Window.ShowEzMDIFileList Tip #41 Use Close All But This on files in the file tab channel File.CloseAllButThis Tip #42 You can copy a files full path for the file tab channel File.CopyFullPath Tip #43 Open a Windows Explorer browser to the active file File.OpenContainingFolder Tip #44 How to close just the selected files you want Window Windows Tip #45 How to use the IDE Navigator Hold Ctrl key, then press tab (or shift+tab) Tip #46 How to navigate all open tool windows Hold Alt key, then press F7 (or Shift+F7) Tip #47 How to disable the IDE Navigator Rebind Window.Previous/NextDocumentWindow Tip #48 How to disable statement completion TO Text Editor All Language Auto List Members Tip #49 How to customize what the tool window push pin does TO Environment General Tip #50 Show autohiding tool windows via autohide channel Right-click in the autohide channel to view context menu Tip #51 How to redock a tool window via keyboard Ctrl+Double Click Tool Window title bar Tip #52 You can maximize a tool window in the editor Window Tabbed Document Tip #53 New! How to move a file onto a secondary monitor Click-Drag a file out of

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File Tab Channel Tip #54 New! How to snap file windows to monitor edges Windows 7 feature: Win key+Arrow Tip #55 New! How to put file back into File Tab Channel Ctrl-DoubleClick Tip #56 New! How to reverse the order the file tabs open TO Doc insert docs to right of existing ones Tip #57 Customize the tool window x button Tools Options Environment General Tip #58 How to access a toolbar within a tool window Shift+Alt (note: Alt+Shift will not work) Tip #59 How to quickly access full screen mode Shift+Alt+Enter (View.FullScreen) Tip #60 How to enter the File window layout mode Open a file from a command prompt Tip #61 How to use the keyboard to jump to output window panes Window.NextSubPane. Need to create shortcut Tip #62 Drag and drop code onto the Toolboxs General tab Either drag and drop code, or use Cut/Copy shortcuts Tip #63 How to use Ctrl+Arrow to move among the Toolbox Tabs Tip #64 Switch between the Icon View and the List view in Toolbox On Context Menu, uncheck List view Tip #65 You can use Show All to find your hiding Toolbox controls On Context Menu, check Show All Tip #66 You can show custom tokens in the Task list TO Environment Task List, add custom token to list Tip #67 How to find what development settings you last reset to HKCU\Software \Microsoft\VisualStudio\10.0\Profile, LastResetSettingsFile Tip #68 You can create a macro for your import / export settings Tip #69 How to open a file without any UI Tools.GoToCommandLine Tip #70 How to have fun with the Find Combo Box Does everything from finding stuff to making coffee Tip #71 How to not show the Start Page on launch TO Env Startup anything but Show Start Page Tip #72 How to open to the last loaded project TO Env Startup Load Last Loaded project Tip #73 How to use solution folders to hide projects Solution Explorer context menu Add New Solution Folder Tip #74 How to create temp or throw away projects TO Projects and Solutions uncheck Save new projects when created Tip #75 How to hide or show the Project Location is Not Trusted message box TO Projects and Solutions Tip #76 How to show the Misc Files project in Solution Explorer TO Env Documents, show Misc project Tip #77 How to type-ahead selection in solution explorer Just type name of file and focus will jump to file that matches Tip #78 How to add a solution to a solution File Open Project, choose a solution (not a project) file Tip #79 How to have the Sln Explorer show active file TO Projects and Solutions General Track Active Item Tip #80 How to use tracepoints to log stuff in your code Editor context menu Breakpoints Add Tracepoints Tip #81 How to use DataTips to edit a variables content Click inside DataTip contents to edit Tip #82 New! How to leave comments in Data Tips Expand down arrow and type in comment Tip #83 New! How to export Data Tips Debug Export DataTips Tip #84 New! How to label breakpoints Right-click on breakpoint in Bp Window, Edit Labels Tip #85 New! How to export breakpoints Breakpoint Window Export Breakpoints button on toolbar Tip #86 How to select the startup project from the Sln Explorer Tools Options Projects and Solutions Build and Run Tip #87 How to make statement completion transparent Hold down Ctrl key. Tip #88 You can use Ctrl+. to show a smart tag Tip #89 Shortcut to go directly to the class view search bar View.ClassViewGoToSearchCombo Tip #90 How to bring up Code Definition Window in C# View Code Definition Window, Ctrl+\, D

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Tip #91 How to bring up the Call Hierarchy dialog View Call Hierarchy, Ctrl+Alt+K Tip #92 How to use Devenv /nosplash to speed up launch, maybe Tip #93 You can create project/item templates File Export Template Tip #94 New Project from Existing Code File New Project from existing code Tip #95 Edit project file within IDE Unload then select Edit Tip #96 XAML Visualizer Drop down arrow in DataTip to show XAML visualizer option Tip #97 How to see the caught exception in Watch Window Add $exception to watch window Tip #98 You can disable the Exception assistant Tools Options Debugging General Tip #99 New! How to use Historical debugging aka Intellitrace Up / Down arrows in gutter like DVR controls Tip #100 New! How to open IntelliTrace log Double-click .iTrace files to open in VS Tip #101 New! How to use Extension Manager Install VS Tips extension to get Tips in Start Page Word document with short description of 101 tips 101 VS 2010 tips.docx (23.63 kb) References: Microsoft Visual Studio Tips Twitter of Visual Studio tips and tricks Visual Studio Tricks What are you tips and tricks in Visual Studio IDE 2010. Do you understand how to create visual studio 2010 project from existing code folders?

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Comments (3)
Agafonov Slava
9/2/2010 4:20:53 PM #

What do you thinks about this tips, what else do you know?

Louis Vuitton
10/16/2010 7:47:49 AM #

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I just wanted to say a couple of words that it is such a great experience to start blogging and see how many people visit your blog. Google is live.

10/17/2010 6:46:02 PM #

Sorry man, but you in ban list. We discussing here Visual Studio 2010 Tips and Tricks, but not your staff...

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2009-2012 Agafonov Slava

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