Visual Studio Macro Balloon

I've always loved editors with built in macro languages. Once you have macro control of every facet of the editor you can pull off some really cool and time saving tricks. I gave up macros back in the early 90's for the graphical environment of Microsoft Quick C, Developer Studio and now Visual Studio. So I was overjoyed to see macros make a real comeback with the release of Visual Studio 2002/2003. I'm still a little bit miffed that the macro language is Visual Basic. Not that I have anything against VB, it's just not a language that I'm super fluent in, so it makes the task of writing macros that much more challenging.I was writing a macro the other day, and every time I ran it I noticed this little balloon pop up on the task bar. I couldn't read what the balloon said, it came and went so fast. Finally, I cranked up the macro debugger and while stopped on a breakpoint I got a good look at the little bugger.

It's hard to click on something that flashes up and disappears in the blink of an eye. There's two reasons that I can think of for showing this balloon at all. One is as an informational message to educate you about macro usage. The other is a security feature so that you know that a macro is running. Neither of which I find that compelling.

A few minutes work with Regmon and one can discover that setting the following value in the registry to one will disable this balloon for ever more.


Craig Skibo, one of the Microsoft experts on the VSSDK say that this security balloon was the subject of much debate, and that it is in fact coded to not show up after 5 or 6 times of being clicked on. Nice touch, if you could actually click on it. Hence the the value of 6 above.