Creating a bug repro viewer in 5 minutes


One of my favorite books of all time is The Pragmatic Programmer.  A piece of advice I’ve always taken to heart is to take the time to make tools that will make you more productive. 


Today’s tool I can share with you – I didn’t want to flip back and forth between the repro steps in my bug reporting program and the program I was trying to fix. 


So I created a TopMost window that will always be there so I can see what the next step is. 



  • Open Visual Studio 2008 or 2005, create a new Windows Forms application.

  • Select the Form in the designer

  • Open the Property Grid and find the TopMost property.  Set TopMost=true.

  • Drag and drop a RichTextBox from the toolbox

  • Select “Dock in parent container” from the designer action panel, or go to the property grid and choose Dock=Fill

  • F5 to run the application

  • Paste in repro steps from the bug! 


    • (Tip – if the steps are in HTML, you may want to paste into word first, then the rich text box to get better formatting).

 And voila!




    Quick and simple repro-step viewer that stays on top of all applications.

Comments (1)

  1. Xan says:

    Other options :

    – use a text editor with always-on-top functionality (for example notepad++ – this is very useful also for code collage :))

    – use a tool like powermenu which can make any window always on top

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