Last month I showed you a few of my favorite Visual Studio extensions that give great examples of how developers add new features to Visual Studio. With such a vibrant ecosystem around Visual Studio, new extensions are added almost every day—in fact, over 135 new extensions have been added to the Visual Studio Gallery already in 2016!
To help you enjoy this creativity from the community, every month or two I’ll be introducing some of the new extensions that caught my eye. Here are the highlights for this month:
- UWP Tile Generator (great helper for UWP developers)
- Open Bin Folder Extension (nice and simple)
- DocPreview (Preview XML comments)
After this I’ll also list the top 10 new extensions for January and February. And of course, let me know in the comments if I missed a great new extension that you love. At the end of this post I’ll also point you to information on writing your own extension—who knows, maybe you’ll be featured here soon yourself!
UWP Tile Generator by Shen Chauhan
Download UWP Tile Generator from the Visual Studio Gallery
If you are a Universal Windows (UWP) app developer, you know that part of making your app shine is having the right tiles and icons for all the form factors across platforms. Creating these images manually can be time consuming and cumbersome, which is where the UWP Tile Generator comes in handy. It generates all required sizes of tiles for your app right in Visual Studio and integrates them into your app manifest. Definitely a time saver.
Open Bin Folder Extension by John McBridge
Download Open Bin Folder from the Visual Studio Gallery
The beauty of the Open Bin Folder extension lies in its simplicity: all it does is add an item to the Solution Explorer context menu that opens your project’s bin folder. It doesn’t sound like much, but is a definite time-saver for a somewhat frequent operation! As an added bonus, the source is available on GitHub, so if you’d like to see what a Visual Studio extension is made of, take a look.
DocPreview by Olev Shilo
Download DocPreview from the Visual Studio Gallery
Do you document your code? I hope so 😉 XML comments are a great way to do this as you go, especially because the XML tags are picked up by the Visual Studio IntelliSense making it easy for others to reuse your code. The DocPreview extension gives you a live HTML preview of your comments in a Tool Window, as you write it. This extension has been open-sourced.
Top 10 Popular Extensions from January/February 2016
As I mentioned in the beginning, we added a great number of new extensions in January and February. Out of the new ones added, here are the 10 most popular ones, three of which we’ve already seen—give them a try!
- Ionic Pack
- SFML Template project
- UWP Tile Generator
- Dummy Text Generator
- Bootstrap Rifle
- UWP App Skeleton
- JSON ADO.NET Provider
Build your own
These few examples of simple integrations show a wide range of what you can build through Visual Studio’s extensibility framework. If that piqued your interest, we just launched a new site with some great tutorials and videos on how to get started with Visual Studio extensions: VisualStudio.com/integrate. Take a look and let me know how it goes. I’m also hanging out in our extendvs Gitter chat as @bertique. Come on by and give me a shout.
Michael Dick (@midi2dot0), Senior Program Manager, Visual Studio