Visual Studio 2010 Pro Power Tools Released Today

One of the great aspects of the Visual Studio 2010 release is the extensibility support. The VS 2010 Editor is re-written in WPF, providing rich IDE experiences in the box, as well as new extensibility APIs that enable the creation of more powerful extensions out of the box. To support these extensions, the Visual Studio Gallery website was launched, as well as the Tools->Extension Manager feature which allows you to search for extensions from right within Visual Studio 2010.

Today at TechEd North America, Jason Zander announced the release of the Visual Studio 2010 Productivity Power Tools. This is a Microsoft-supported release, shipping on the Visual Studio Gallery. It is a package of extremely powerful Code Editor extensions, including a number of very commonly requested features. You can download the Pro Power Tools for Visual Studio 2010 here:

Below is a list of the features included in this release.

Add Reference Dialog
The Add Reference dialog now includes a Search textbox in the top-right corner, which provides a great way to quickly find the reference you’re looking for. Furthermore, the Add Reference dialog now loads more quickly.


Document Tab Well
You can now configure dozens of different options for your Document Tabs, including the ability to sort and color Tabs by project, as well as modify the position of the close button. To display these options, go to Tools -> Options -> Environment -> Document Tab Well to configure it as you prefer. Or as a shortcut, right click in the Document Tab Well and select Customize to display the same options dialog.


Extension Update
Extension Update provides a bubble tip when there are updated versions of the Pro Power Tools or any other extensions available on the Visual Studio Gallery. 

This extension provides support for the HTML Clipboard format when copying code from the editor.  This means that you’ll no longer have to go fix up the formatting of your code when you paste it into a TFS bug form or a blog post or any other HTML based control. 

Triple Click
Rather than hitting Home, Shift, End or some other combination to select a line, just triple-click.

Fix Mixed Tabs
Some developers prefer tabs, others prefer spaces, but nobody likes mixing tabs & spaces.  This extension promotes developer harmony by warning as they are open or save a file that has a mixture of tabs & spaces.  The information bar also provides an easy way to fix the file to suit your preference. 

Highlight Current Line
The Highlight Current Line extension makes it easy to find the caret by highlighting the line that the caret is on in the editor.  You can even configure the default color by changing the setting for “Current Line (Extension)” and “Current Line Inactive (Extension)” in Tools Options Fonts & Colors. I really enjoy this customization option, since I like to use a lighter color to highlight the current line.

Ctrl + Click Go To Definition
This extension gives the editor a web browser by adding clickable hyperlinks to symbols in your code as you hold down the Ctrl key. This is one extension that I had installed on its own in the past, and am happy to see in the Pro Power Tools! Symbols become hyperlinks that you can click to Go To Definition. You can still use F12 to Go To Definition from the keyboard, but Ctrl+Click also provides a neat way to do this from the mouse.

Align Assignments
This extension is useful for making your code a little more readable by aligning the assignments when you type Ctrl+Alt+] such that it takes this:clip_image004

And turns it into this:


Please note: This may conflict with your formatting settings. E.g. in C# you will need to disable: Tools->Options->Text Editor->C#->Formatting->Spacing->"Ignore spaces in declaration statements"

Move Line Up/Down Commands
This extension maps the Alt+Up Arrow & Alt+Down Arrow keys such that they will move the current line of code or the selected lines up and down through the editor. This is an editing command that I use all the time in Office, and am happy to have available now as an extension within Visual Studio! (To invoke the related command in Word, Outlook, OneNote, or PowerPoint, use Alt+Shift+Up & Down Arrow.)

Column Guides
This extension allows you to draw a vertical line in the code editor, and includes UI to configure it.  This is very useful to remind developers that their full line of code or comments may not fit one a single screen. To invoke this command, right-click in the Code Editor and select Add Guideline.

Colorized Parameter Help
Read tooltips more quickly and easily by seeing them formatted as you would in the Code Editor. This extension applies syntax highlighting to the contents of the Parameter Help window for C# & VB.