Most professionals have a preferred set of applications, extensions, plug-ins, and shortcuts that make their workflow work for them. Sure, I know people who prefer to code in vanilla
vi, and people who feel that syntax highlighting is a needless frivolity, but I’ve never been so purist; I’m a Visual Studio guy. Here are the tools I use to make Visual Studio work for me.
Workspace Reloader - Nearly every time I get updates from my favorite repository, VS insists that I reload my project(s) from disk, and then unceremoniously closes the files I’ve been working on. I find this loss rather jarring. Workspace Reloader soothes this irritation.
Word Wrap with Auto-Indent - Word wrap in Visual Studio just plain sucks. This extension makes it suck less. By default, wrapped lines continue at editor column 0, flagrantly ignoring the current indentation. There is a mode switch buried within Visual Studio to (mostly) correct this, but “there is no way to activate it within the product” (Noah Richards). The solution to this is so mindbogglingly obvious that Microsoft PM Brittany Behrens put it together in her spare time.
Build Version Increment - When deploying small projects without a build master or a formal release policy, this add-in has become invaluable. Now when a customer calls with a problem, I can get the exact revision, build number, and release date from them before diagnosing their issue.
GhostDoc - It’s worth using any tool which encourages good habits. This extension encourages good XML commenting by saving tedious keystrokes; it automagically fills most of a method/function comment block, leaving you to revise the rest.
PowerCommands - Microsoft published this extension with a number of handy features omitted from vanilla Visual Studio, such as Open Containing Folder, Undo Close, Edit Project File, Insert GUID Attribute, Format Document on Save, and Email CodeSnippet.
Productivity Power Tools - Another add-in by Microsoft, this includes staples such as a replacement Find (Ctrl-F) box supporting Incremental Search, and enhanced tab features (think Firefox or Chrome). It also includes optional features, like a fancy new scroll bar which I thoroughly enjoy. I highly recommend it.
Is there a must-have extension that I’ve somehow missed? Let me know.