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How I've pimped my Visual Studio

·2 mins

Gøran Hansen just tagged me and asks what I have added to a plain Visual Studio installation. Lars Wilhelmsen started by presenting his favorites, and I’m happy to share my setup also.

Visual Studio Team System isn’t really an addon, but it adds a lot of great functionality to Visual Studio Professional. The most important features I use is source control, the testing framework, build system and code analysis, and the main benefit is that everything is integrated in Team Foundation Server. I haven’t spent much time with Team System 2008, but I’m attending Brian Randell’s pre-conference at PDC08 tomorrow and I expect I’ll have a deeper understanding of the product tomorrow. I also hope to see more of Team System 2010 at PDC in the coming days, but until then Channel 9 has a lot of great videos of some of the new features.


Keyboard shortcuts (with Visual Studio keyboard mappings in ReSharper)

  • Alt+Enter: Drop down ReSharper’s smart tag
  • Ctrl+.: Drop down Visual Studio’s smart tag
  • Ctrl+Alt+Space: ReSharper’s smart completion
  • Ctrl+Shirt+Enter: ReSharper’s complete statement function
  • Ctrl+Shift+F: Find in Files

Other tools

  • .NET Reflector and ildasm: Tools for inspecting assemblies.
  • WiX: Powerful framework for generating setup files.
  • fuslogvw: Great tool for debugging assembly load errors.
  • Visual Studio Theme Generator. I ended up with just a slight modification of the standard Visual Studio Theme, but this tool allows you to quickly generate color schemes that matches your preferred primary colors.
  • Sandcastle: An alternative to DocumentX! that I use when generating help files whit long file paths due to long and nested namespaces.

I probably have forgotten a thing or two, because I’ve recently reinstalled my laptop and from my hotel room in Los Angeles I don’t have access to my file server where I keep a copy of every thing I add on to Visual Studio.