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Archive for June, 2010

I ranted a while back about how Visual Studio 2010 took one step forward, and 3 steps back with regards to the Add Reference Dialog. Well, Microsoft has released a Productivity Power Tool for Visual Studio 2010 that has almost gotten this down perfectly!

The dialog has received a complete makeover.

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Now the Assemblies information is cached. The first time I opened this dialog, I was presented with a progress bar as the cache was built. Subsequent usage has utilized the cache, making the dialog nearly instantaneous to display… even after shutting the IDE down and bringing it back up! Note, also, that there’s now a search option! Pretty much everything we were all asking for.

The only thing I’m curious about is how you refresh the cache. There’s no refresh button, and F5 doesn’t appear to do anything. We’ll have to see over time how this works out, but I’m very impressed.

The Productivity Power Tool is worth installing for this feature alone, but it contains several other features as well. The “Tab Well UI” gets a makeover, with lots of new features. I don’t think anyone can complain about how the tabs work after this puppy is installed, as you can configure it to work in just about any way you can imagine. HTML Copy will obsolete so many blog writing plug-ins, allowing you to paste an HTML representation of code copied from the editor. You can configure the editor to highlight the “current line”. Selecting a line can now be done with a triple click. Mixed tabs/spaces can be quickly corrected. Ctrl+Click will take you directly to the definition. Ctrl+Alt+] will align your assignments. IntelliSense gets a color coded syntax makeover. Alt+Up and Alt+Down will move code up and down. And finally, guidelines get first class UI support. Many of these features have been available in separate extensions, and I’ve been using most of them and couldn’t live without them.

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