VS2010 Tools (These Are Awesome, Get em’)

I’m a little late to this party, but thanks to Somasegar’s “VS 2010 Productivity Improvements, Part IV” and Mathew Johnson’s “Changing Visual Studio’s Color Palette” on the Visual Studio Platform Blog.  I’ve now got Visual Studio looking like this:  (Click on the image to view full size)

Visual Studio 2010

I picked up the Embers Theme on studiostyles which I found easy on the eyes, but without some of the color bleed that the other theme Somasegar suggested.  However, everyone’s eyes are a bit different, so pick and choose as you will.

The classes and methods shown with color coding on the left hand side of the code window is done with VS10x Code Map.  The image below shows the code window with the code map showing.  This can be really handy when you have a large class file or are just trying to navigate around the file easily.   (Click on the image to view full size)

VS10x Code Map

The next tool that is a must have is the Visual Studio 2010 Pro Power Tools.  Some of the key features for this tool include:

  • Document Well – If you aren’t sure what this is, go check out the more info.  This is a pretty awesome feature, the download is worth this alone!
  • Searchable Add Reference – Everyone needs this at some point in time or another.  It is a huge pain in the ass to find references, this resolves 99% of that pain!
  • Ctrl+Click Go To Definition – Yes please, thanks!  I want my hands on the keyboard, not the mouse.  :/

Another tool, that sounds very very similar is the PowerCommands for Visual Studio 2010.  This adds must have right click features (yes, I know I just fussed about right clicking and using the mouse, but these features are needed regardless so I suppose a right click menu is acceptable.  But would rather have them as short cut keys).  Some of the key ones that are huge lifesavers are:

  • Show All Files – This isn’t the standard show all files that shows hidden files, it does that but does it for the entire solution!  🙂  I dig it.
  • Undo Close – Ever close a code file by accident, this will get that file opened back up ASAP.  In true keyboard short cut fashion it is available as Ctrl+Shift+Z.
  • Collapse Projects – Nuff’ Said!!!!!
  • Open Command Prompt – This is nice, again, keyboard only dictates that command prompts will be being opened!

They’ve absolutely improved my day to day coding and am sure they’ll be a great help for anyone that lives in the code regularly.  So go check em’ out, I promise you will not regret the time spent.

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