Prevent cutting or copying blank lines in Visual Studio

I hope you know that we are not required to select a line to cut or copy it in Visual Studio, you can just keep the caret in a line and press Ctrl + C or Ctrl + X and the text in the line will be copied to your clipboard and you can insert this line anywhere in your code by pressing Ctrl + V.

It will also copy a blank line, but people use Ctrl + X command to delete blank lines and some may find this as an issue as they didn’t intend to copy the blank line and also it will clear the previously copied item in the clipboard.

It is surprising as usual to find that Visual Studio team has thought out this and provided a setting which prevents the copying of blank lines, and Cut command will just delete the blank lines.

I found this when I recently bumped into the setting in Visual Studio, in Text Editor > All Languages called "Apply Cut or Copy commands to blank lines when there is no selection".


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Code Snippets in Visual Studio

This post gives introduces code snippets in Visual Studio, how you can use them and helps you find out the list of built-in code snippets for each language easily. Code snippets in Visual Studio are useful in reducing typing effort required to input code. Code Snippets help in several ways to simplify your work if you can remember to use them instead of typing the actual code. Code Snippets are present in Visual Studio from ver 2005.

To use code snippets, instead of typing the code you will type a shortcut, which actually is a word and press Tab key to insert the actual code to which the shortcut is linked with.

For example, to enter the below code..

for (int i = 0; i < length; i++)


You can type "for" and then press Tab, you will then get the code inserted into the code window as shown below..



Now you can see that “i” is highlighted, this means you can type a name for the loop variable, once you renamed it, you can press Tab to select “length” and rename it or specify what should be there, like, list.Count, etc. Once done, press enter to place the cursor inside the for loop braces.

As you can see, whenever you need to write a for loop you can just use this code snippet and save time, there are many code snippets like this which you can use.

Also, you can right click in the code editor and select Insert Snippet...(Ctrl+K, X) and choose the snippet you need from the list. You can also select lines of code and right click and select Surround With...(Ctrl+K, S) option to put the selected code into the snippet that you will insert, like, inside a try..catch block.

Code snippets are actually customizable as like most Visual Studio features. A code snippet is loaded from a “.snippet” file and the below image shows the location of the built-in C# code snippets. You can find snippets for VB & other languages in the language specific folder.


(C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 10.0\VC#\Snippets\1033\Visual C#)

I will write a future post on how to create your own code snippet for frequently entered common code patterns in your project and how to distribute them within your team so that everyone can use them.

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