VS2010: My Favorite Extensions

VS2010 - My Favorite Extensions
VS2010 - My Favorite Extensions

My favorite feature of VS2010 so far is the excellent extension support, which allows me to add in my favorite plugins from the Microsoft Visual Studio Gallery.

Since there are thousands of plugins in the gallery right now, I thought it might be useful to share the most useful extensions I’ve found (and currently use) so far:

In alphabetical order…

  1. AnkhSVN
    AnkhSVN is a Subversion Source Control Provider for Microsoft Visual Studio 2005, 2008 and 2010.
    AnkhSVN provides source code management support to all project types supported by Visual Studio and allows you to perform the most common version control operations directly from inside the Microsoft Visual Studio IDE.
    The Pending Changes dashboard gives you a unique insight in your development process and provides easy access to the source code and issue management features. The deep source code control (SCC) integration allows you to focus on developing, while AnkhSVN keeps track of all your changes and provides you the tools to effectively handle your specific needs.
  2. Code4Blog
    Code4Blog is a Visual Studio 2010 extension that allows to convert any code supported by Visual Studio IDE to HTML format with the same structure and colors. Main purpose of this extension is to prepare a code snippet to be published in rich documents, for example in blog posts, Microsoft Word documents or Help files. Some additional styling could be applied: max width and height of the code block, custom background (per code line), font family and font size, line numbering and others.
    Code4Blog is now published on CodePlex. You are welcome to work with the source code directly!
  3. JSEnhancements
    This extension provides outlining and matching braces highlighting features for Visual Studio JavaScript and CSS editor.
    Works both in JS/CSS files and HTML script/style blocks.
    Outlining is like in C# editor. It outlines {}’s, []’s and #region tags
    Brace highlighting is made from MSDN example.
    CodePlex page: http://jse.codeplex.com/
  4. PowerCommands for Visual Studio 2010
    PowerCommands 10.0 is a set of useful extensions for the Visual Studio 2010 adding additional functionality to various areas of the IDE.
    Visit the VSX Developer Center at http://msdn.com/vsx for more information about extending Visual Studio.
  5. PowerConsole
    This extension provides an extensible VS command window with default PowerShell integration. You can now script Visual Studio interactively in PowerShell, and enjoy familiar VS style syntax coloring and tab-completion.
    Prerequisite: Visual Studio 2010 RC (or above) + Windows PowerShell v2 (or above). After installation, open the new tool window from View->Other Windows->Power Console.
  6. Productivity Power Tools
    A set of extensions to Visual Studio Professional (and above) which improves developer productivity.
    (Tons more info at the VS Gallery Page: http://visualstudiogallery.msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/d0d33361-18e2-46c0-8ff2-4adea1e34fef)
  7. Regex Editor
    This sample was built to ease your pain when working with regular expressions.  It rehosts the editor in a dialog box and provides a basic language service to provide colorization, brace matching, sample testing grouping and selection tracking.  It shows re-hosting of the editor in a tool window, and provides a nice starting point for similar projects.
  8. VS10x Code Map
    VS10x Code Map is a Visual Studio 2010 extension that displays a graphical nested representation of the current editor window code (C# and VB.NET). It helps the developer  visualize type nesting, implemented interfaces, regions, member type and scope, as well as  quickly navigate to their respective position in the code editor.
  9. VS10x Method Block Highlighter
    Highlight entire methods with a colored-marker-like (standard green, yellow, cyan or magenta) background.

KB971092 won’t install (Visual Studio 2008 Security Fix)

From Microsoft Connect:
(https://connect.microsoft.com/VisualStudio/feedback/ViewFeedback.aspx?FeedbackID=478117)

Until Microsoft come up with an official solution there is a working workaround for this problem.

This problem only appears to affect people who have not got Visual C++ Installed.

1.) Download VS90SP1-KB971092-x86.exe from here …
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?displaylang=en&FamilyID=294de390-3c94-49fb-a014-9a38580e64cb
2.) Start the installation VS90SP1-KB971092-x86.exe
3.) Wait for the error message to come up – DO NOT CLOSE THE WINDOW!
4.) Copy the temp. folder where the patch has been unpacked to a new folder, for example onto your desktop.
5.) Close VS90SP1-KB971092-x86.exe that you started in 2.)
6.) Navigate to <drive>:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 9.0\Common7\Tools and find vsvars32.bat.
7.) Change the permissions on the file to allow everyone to edit it.
8.) Start VS90SP1-KB971092-x86.msp from within the saved folder and the process should complete.

Visual Studio Incremental Search (Type-Ahead Find)

This is just awesome – with Ctrl+I, you can perform a type-ahead search within Visual Studio, just like Firefox!

Again, my buddy Sairama to the rescue. Just when I think I’ve pretty much got VS.NET down solid (only being use it since Pre-Beta days, right?) I’m thrown a curve ball called incremental search. I guess I just assumed that a feature that was so cool in so many other editors would never make it into VS.NET. Silly me.

So, lest I be the most ignorant, fire up Visual Studio.NET, get some code in there, hit Ctrl-I and start typing. After you’ve found something, use F3 to Find Next. In the words of Chris Sells – It’s pure sex.

via Scott Hanselman’s Computer Zen – My ignorance proceeds me: Visual Studio.NET Incremental Search.

Linkback: "Visual Studio 2008 C# IDE is Slow … Really slow."

Here’s a MSDN forum article that links back to my post about the VS2008 hotfix:

I believe there are known issues with VS2008 and web development.  This article contains a link to some hotfixes for VS2008 web development.  Maybe it’ll fix your problem: https://blog.wolffmyren.com/2008/02/11/performance-and-editor-fixes-for-vs2008/

(via forums.microsoft.com/MSDN)

Multi-Targeting VS2005 and VS2008 Web Application Projects, a Gotcha!

Great post on how to share a solution between VS2008 and VS2005, from stevenharman.net/blog:

One of the things I’m most excited about with Visual Studio 2008 is it’s ability to target various versions of the .net framework, a feature known as multi-targeting.

I recently rebuilt a (hand-me-down) laptop for use at developer group meetings, conferences, and coding from the couch. When building out the machine I decided to only install VS2008 and make use of multi-targeting to work on my various .net 2.0 projects… like Subtext. Today I finally got around to loading Subtext up in VS2008 and I was expecting some heartache.

But I did a little research first and luckily came across Rick’s great post explaining how VS2008 and VS2005 can be made to play nice together, allowing you to work with your projects in either IDE. The gist is, the project files (i.e.- your .csproj files) will work in either environment, but you’ll need to maintain separate solution files. Not a huge deal as most of the churn is usually in the individual project files, and not the solution.

(via Multi-Targeting VS2005 and VS2008 Web Application Projects, a Gotcha!)

…but its programmers are on the ball.

Shortly after I posted my last entry (Visual 2008…) and left a comment on this blog, two programmers from Microsoft left comments offering assistance in troubleshooting the speed issues with Visual Studio 2008.

Much thanks to David and Jason from Microsoft!