Visual Studio 2013 RC and Send to FSI

Earlier this week, the Release Candidate build of Visual Studio 2013 was announced.  Like the Preview build before it, the RC contains a host of new features for F# developers, including F# 3.1 language updates and improved Visual F# tooling.  You can read the details in our earlier blog post.

The RC contains one brand-new F# feature, though, which we are pleased to announce today: Send to F# Interactive.

The same solution explorer context menus used to manage assembly references in F# projects now give you the option to send those references to your FSI session.  This is often much simpler and faster than typing out a full #r command.  There are three ways to use the feature:

  • Add individual references by selecting and right-clicking on them


  • Add all project references at once by right-clicking the top-level References node


  • Add the output assembly of a project by right-clicking the project node




In all cases, the result is equivalent to a traditional #r FSI reference:



Note that once an assembly is loaded into FSI, it is locked on disk and a new version of the same assembly cannot be loaded into the session.  Make sure to reset FSI (by right clicking the window and selecting “Reset Interactive Session”) when you want to load an updated version of an assembly, or unlock an assembly file on disk.