Lately I’ve been speaking at local user groups about many of the exciting new features in Visual Studio 2012. Since there is so much to know and learn about VS 2012, I decided to create a collection of blog posts with many of the tips. This collection of posts will include features that are new to VS 2012 as well as some existing features as well. To view all of the VS 2012 tips posted so far, click here.

A lot has been made over the colors (or lack thereof) within Visual Studio 2012. I wrote a blog post about it back in May, 2012. While many parts of VS don’t have color, there is one item that had color added. Did you notice the status bar at the bottom of Visual Studio? Is it purple? Is it blue? Or is it orange? The answer is yes, yes and yes. It simply depends on what you are doing.

When you first open VS, the bar is purple. This indicated that you have no solution open.

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After opening a solution, the bar will be blue.

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And if you are in debug mode, the bar is orange.

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If you are like me and often have multiple instances of VS open at once, you may find this useful!

 

I hope you find this tip helpful. To see more VS 2012 Tips, just click here.

 

Lately I’ve been speaking at local user groups about many of the exciting new features in Visual Studio 2012. Since there is so much to know and learn about VS 2012, I decided to create a collection of blog posts with many of the tips. This collection of posts will include features that are new to VS 2012 as well as some existing features as well. To view all of the VS 2012 tips posted so far, click here.

This features, as well as a lot of the cool features of VS 2012’s Solution Explorer, was carried forward from a tool called the Solution Navigator that was available as an add-on in VS 2010 as part of the VS Productivity Power Tools download. It was a good feature then but it is even better now.

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You can see the Solution Explorer in the screenshot showing the Controllers folder and the two source files it contains: AccountController.cs and HomeController.cs. But note the icon that indicates you can drill down further.

 

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Now you can see that the Solution Explorer is capable of displaying quite a bit more information. You can see all of the class level variables (a private field named _foo and a public property named Foo) as well as a bunch of methods. You can also see the details of two nested classes. Of course, clicking on any of the items will bring up the file location on the code editor. These details can be combined with other features within the Solution Navigator. If you want to see how to search through the class level details, please check out my blog post on that topic. If you want, you can also change the scope of Solution Explorer down to these class level details. For details, please read my post on that topic as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hope you find this tip helpful. To see more VS 2012 Tips, just click here.

 

Lately I’ve been speaking at local user groups about many of the exciting new features in Visual Studio 2012. Since there is so much to know and learn about VS 2012, I decided to create a collection of blog posts with many of the tips. This collection of posts will include features that are new to VS 2012 as well as some existing features as well. To view all of the VS 2012 tips posted so far, click here.

I love the little things that were added to VS 2012. The Image Preview is one of them. It’s one of those things that makes you wonder “That seems so simple, why wasn’t it there before.” But I’m not judging, I’m just glad it is here now. The feature is simple. When looking at a list of images that are included in your solution (in Solution Explorer, of course), just hover an image to get a preview of it. This can be a big time saver when you have a big set of icons that all have similar names.

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I hope you find this tip helpful. To see more VS 2012 Tips, just click here.

 

Lately I’ve been speaking at local user groups about many of the exciting new features in Visual Studio 2012. Since there is so much to know and learn about VS 2012, I decided to create a collection of blog posts with many of the tips. This collection of posts will include features that are new to VS 2012 as well as some existing features as well. To view all of the VS 2012 tips posted so far, click here.

Did you know that you can have multiple instances of the Solution Explorer open at once? It’s a feature that isn’t so obvious because there isn’t a button for it. It is listed on the Solution Explorer context menu but those menus have so many options it’s hard to notice them all. Here you can see that I’ve got a my Services project selected and I right clicked and chose “New Solution Explorer View”.

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Now you can see that in Visual Studio I have TWO copies of the Solution Explorer open:

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You can drag these windows around and dock them on opposite sides of VS or even drag the out or onto a different monitor!

Things can get really interesting here when you are working on really complex solutions. You can combine the various scoping and filtering options with the New Solution Explorer View feature too. In the next screen shot, I’ve got one Solution Explorer with my complete solution and one that is filtered to show only files that are open!

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I hope you find this tip helpful. To see more VS 2012 Tips, just click here.

 

Lately I’ve been speaking at local user groups about many of the exciting new features in Visual Studio 2012. Since there is so much to know and learn about VS 2012, I decided to create a collection of blog posts with many of the tips. This collection of posts will include features that are new to VS 2012 as well as some existing features as well. To view all of the VS 2012 tips posted so far, click here.

In a previous tip I talked about using some of the built in Filters in Visual Studio’s Solution Explorer. This is a similar feature. It’s one of those great ways to get rid of the “clutter” and focus on what is important. If you have a complicated solution, like I typically do, you’ll find this helpful.

In the screenshot you can see Visual Studio 2012’s Solution Explorer loaded up with the solution to my “Unit Testing Made Easy” demo. You’ll note that I’ve selected the Model project and right clicked to see the context menu. I’ve highlighted the option for “Scope to This”.

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After clicking it, my solution explorer will now have the scope of just that project.

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Presto… clutter removed. This doesn’t apply to just projects. You can “scope to” just about any item of folder in the solution explorer. As a matter of fact, once you have the Scope set, you can also applies those filters I mentioned before! And if you search (see my post on searching in Solution Explorer) in Solution Explorer, that search will have the new scope as well! There really are a lot of was to keep the solution explorer clean and clutter free.

Of course, the full solution can be brought back quite easily. Just click the home button to the solution explorer menu:

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I hope you find this tip helpful. To see more VS 2012 Tips, just click here.