Get Update to Visual Studio Productivity Power Tools

A new version of Visual Studio 2010 Productivity Power Tools adds new extensions and fixing bugs. You can ability to turn off individual extensions and there’s a Solution Navigator tool for coders.

If you have the Productivity Power Tools installed already, you will get a notification that a new version is available the next time you restart Visual Studio. Otherwise, you can get the update from Productivity Power Tools in the Visual Studio Gallery.

The announcement was made on the Visual Studio Team blog posting, New Version of the Productivity Power Tools is Available.

Here’s a sample of what is offered.

Tools Options Support

The number one feature request by far has been the ability to turn off the individual extensions in the Productivity Power Tools.  In this release, we’ve added an extension which adds a category to Tools Options which allows you to toggle the extensions on/off and provides a single place to find the options for a particular extension.

Solution Navigator

Solution Navigator is a new tool window that acts like an enhanced Solution Explorer.  With it, you can:

  • Expand code files to navigate to its classes, expand classes to navigate to their members, and so on (C# and VB only)
  • Search your solution, all the way down to class members
  • Filter your solution or projects to see just opened files, unsaved files, and so on
  • View related information about classes and members (such as references or callers/callees for C#)
  • Preview images by hovering over them, or preview rich information by hovering over code ite

In other words, it merges functionality from Solution Explorer, Class View, Object Browser, Call Hierarchy, Navigate To, and Find Symbol References all into one tool window!

Quick Access

Quick Access is a new tool window that allows users to search for and execute common tasks within the Visual Studio IDE.

Auto Brace Completion

Automatic Brace Completion improves the productivity of writing code by automatically inserting the closing code construct when the opening construct is typed for VB & C#.

HTML Copy (More Info)

This extension provides support for the HTML Clipboard format when cutting or copying code from the editor.  This means that you’ll no longer have to go fix up the formatting of your code when you paste it into a TFS bug form or any other HTML based control.

Column Guides

Since Visual Studio 2002, there has been a not so secret registry key which allowed user to draw a vertical line in the code editor.  This is very useful to remind developers that their full line of code or comments may not fit one a single screen. Thanks to this extension this feature has returned with UI configure it.  Simply place the cursor at the appropriate column and select Add Guideline from the context menu 

Colorized Parameter Help

This extension improves consistency with the editor by applying syntax highlighting to the contents of the Parameter Help window for C# &VB.

And More

There’s more. See New Version of the Productivity Power Tools is Available.

Bruce D. Kyle
ISV Architect Evangelist | Microsoft Corporation

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