Useful Tips & Tricks for Visual Studio

Introduction

For anyone doing .NET development knows that Visual Studio is hands down the best IDE that we can get. but the problem is it’s such a massive tool that most developers hardly scratch the surface when it comes to its capabilities.

So here i have listed some of the tips/tricks that i think would be helpful for the developers.

Quick Launch

  • Allows you to navigate to any feature by just typing it in.
  • Located upper right hand corner of the IDE or you can always just press Ctrl+Q.

1

For example:

  • If you want to enable or disable line number usually we will go to Tools-> Options -> Text editor -> General
  • Using Quick Launch you can just type in line number and you will possible options that you can navigate to

2

This saves us lot of time by avoiding to go through each menus to find some options.

Navigate To Window

  • You can get to this by Ctrl+,
  • This is similar to quick launch but instead of finding something within visual studio itself you are going to look for something within codebase.

Note: If you are using Resharper it also has a similar feature.

3

Peek feature

  • When we press F12 on a method call Visual Studio will take us to the class file in which the method has been defined. This is great for navigation.
  • VS2012 has simplified this further by when pressing Alt+F12 instead of taking us to the target file it brings the method code to the current file which you can edit and save if you need.
  • For example in below snapshot you can see HomeController.cs is a class file which calls the SomeMethod() in TraningsController class which is in a file called TraningsController.cs.
  • When pressing Alt+F12 visual studio brings the definition of the method to the HomeController itself and allows you to make a change.

4

This will also support nested peek if method SomeMethod calls another method you can go to that method by pressing Alt+F12 in the minimum window.

Debugging

  • This is most commonly used trick. While debugging Visual Studio will allows us to skip through some code if drag the debug pointer up and down.
  • We can also use this  feature to debug some reapeatedly without having to restart the application

Paste Special

  • At some point of time in every project we will need to convert an json or xml content as serializable classes.
  • Usally developers will use some kind of tools like xsd.exe to generate C# classes from xml files etc.
  • Visual studio has this feature inbuilt so we dont have to need any extra tools.

Lets consider we have a json text like below

5

  • Just copy the content Go to Edit -> Paste Special -> Paste json as Classes. You will get the code for classes as shown below

6

Find file in solution explorer

If you want to locate the current file in solution explorer it could be a daunting task to manually exploring the solution explorer especially if you’re project is large. To do this quickly just press Ctrl+[+S

Bookmarks

We can use bookmarks to mark lines in our code so that we can quickly return to a specific location and jump back and forth between locations.

  • To create a bookmark press Ctrl+K, Ctrl+K
  • To go to next bookmark press Ctrl+K, Ctrl+N
  • To go to previous bookmark press Ctrl+K,Ctrl+P
  • To View all bookmarks press Ctrl+K, Ctrl+W or go to View=>Bookmarks window

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