(This post is part of Visual Studio 2010 series)
I am playing with Visual Studio 2010 for some time now and just thought to sum up some of the new features of Visual Studio 2010 that could enhance your productivity right away after you start using it.
Even though there are more new features in Visual Studio 2010 that can increase productivity, this post focuses on new features that can help productivity immediately, features that will be used by majority of developers frequently/day-to-day basis, than things that are helpful but not used every day(for instance, web.config transformations is not included).
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 didn’t have such a swift option.
You can do more cool things using Navigate To, like, you can type the abbreviation of the method to find it, as below..
or type the words itself like “get categories”, “search category”, etc.
Export/Import Break points
In Visual Studio 2010 we can Export/Import breakpoints this helps you in many ways, you can read more about this in my earlier article about Visual Studio 2010 new features in debugging.
Sticky DataTips - with Export/Import option
You know that we can see DataTips when we hover the mouse over variables when Visual Studio is in debug mode, but in Visual studio 2010 we can even pin/unpin datatips to the screen and Export/Import them, you can read more about this too in my earlier article here.
IntelliTrace (only in Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate Edition)
Intellitrace is an innovative new feature added to Visual Studio 2010 which helps debugging applications easier. 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 don’t need to worry about breakpoints.
I have written a separate article about IntelliTrace here.
Call Hierarchy(in C#, not in VB.net)
Call Hierarchy is a new window available in Visual Studio 2010. If you right click a method and choose View Call Hierachy, Call Hierarchy window will show what methods are calling the method and what methods are called by the method. This helps much in understanding existing code. For instance, this could help some one new to the team to a great extent. It can also give a clear picture of your own code (maybe)written a long time back.
If you place the cursor on a variable/object, all the places where that variable is used is highlighted as shown below. This also helps in understanding code faster.
Select any code and collapse(hide)
As you know, we can collapse a Region or Method in Visual Studio code editor. But have you ever wanted to hide some set of lines which you wouldn’t like to see when you scroll through your code, as for you it is a set of similar lines that appears in various areas in your current code file or for some other reason?
In Visual Studio 2010 code editor, you can select any set of lines of code, right click and choose Outlining –> Hide Selection to collapse it, you can expand as usual(by clicking the “+” near left margin of code editor). And you can right click on the hidden code and choose Outlining –> Stop Hiding Current to revert back.
Multiple monitor support
(This would apply only if you have more than one monitor)
It might be ridiculous for many when we talk about multiple monitors for developers, but multiple monitors is a proven productivity enhancing method and most developer geeks know about this, even if they don’t use. Addition of multiple monitor support in Visual Studio 2010 adds evidence to this fact. Visual Studio 2010 provides options to place any Visual Studio window including tool windows in multiple monitors.
I might add more features to this list in future, if I feel any feature suits this list.
If you like this article..