Visual Studio has been my developing environment since the 2015 community edition and I really like it. I enhanced it with several extensions that I liked kept them through the visual studio iterations to what I use now, Visual Studio 2022. Some are no longer available for 2022 but most of them are. These are the tools that I like to use.
I choose it because I use it
That’s from an old Mastercard commercial with Robert Doval but it applies here as well. I installed these tools because I found them useful and saved me from some potentially embarrassing moments.
Let’s start with a must-have tool, a Spelling checker. Yes, the humble spelling checker saved my bacon many times. I’ve been using a spelling checker ever since a client pointed out spelling errors on one project review. Luckily the project was still in the Test environment and not Production but it was embarrassing to sit through the meeting with multiple typos jumping for attention.
I use the Visual Studio Spell Checker because it works and it is free. Be sure to get the right version that matches the Visual Studio version that you are using. Use the above link to find the one you need.
The other tool that I use is actually a collection of several tools all in one package. Now you can install the package get all of them or you can pick and choose and install only what you need. As for me, I install all of them as they do come in handy. Productivity Power Tools is the one I’m talking about.
Depending on what version of Visual Studio you have the list of tools changes. Seems like the 2015 version has the most tools and the 2022 version has the least but that is not necessarily a bad thing. After all these extensions were designed to plug any shortcoming of the IDE and each new version of Visual Studio would probably incorporate some of these tools.
My all-time favorite in this tool package is Align Assignment. If you are OCD in any sense this is a must. Usually, you have a block of code where you are just doing assignments and it’s all ragged. I hate that!
My other favorite is the Solution Error Visualizer. This extension adds the red squiggly lines under the filename that has an error in the Solution Explorer. Now you can see at a glance where the errors are located at.
It’s a simple tool that serves up helpful information at a glance. No keystrokes or clicks to perform; it’s just there.
Well, there you have it. A few Visual Studio extensions that I use on a regular basis to tidy up my work and help me troubleshoot. These tools are available for all versions of Visual Studio for Windows.
Drop me a comment if you use these or any other tools. I would like to hear what you are using.
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