Announcing the first Visual Studio Pro Power Tools!

Brian Harry

I’m VERY pleased to announce the latest addition to the Visual Studio Power Tools line-up – the Visual Studio Pro Power Tools.  Over the past few years, Power Tools have been such a successful way to deliver compelling value to customers quickly that more and more teams are adding it to their repertoire.  Today, we are releasing the first delivery for VS Pro customers.  These tools are focused on core developer productivity.  I think you will find some of them tremendously exciting!

To avoid barraging you with too many independent Power Tool delivery vehicles, we have standardized on the Visual Studio Gallery as the unifying way for delivering them.  Over time we’ll continue to improve the VS Gallery to make it an even more fantastic way to stay up to date.  In fact, check out the descriptions below and see that this Power Tools release is already helping with that by making it easy to find out about updates to extensions that you’ve already installed.

Of course, the other cool thing about all of this is that all of these tools just use standard VS extensibility mechanisms.  You could build cool stuff like this too if you want to.

As with other Power Tools, these Power Tools are available free of additional charge to users of Visual Studio 2010.  And don’t be confused by the name – they work with all Visual Studio Editions Pro and above (Pro, Premium and Ultimate).

Add Reference Dialog

There’s a new Add Reference dialog that takes the place of the one that shipping in VS 2010 that is way faster and provides simple searching.  From the Solution Explorer or Navigator, simply right click on the References node, select Add Reference…

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Configure the Document Tab Well

One of the key pieces of feedback that we have received over several versions of Visual Studio is that users want to be able to customize the behavior of their document tabs.  From the ordering of tabs to the position of the close buttons, user can now configure dozens of different options for their tabs.  Go to Tools -> Options -> Environment -> Document Tab Well to configure it as you prefer.

Extension Update


Provides a bubble tip when there are updated versions of the Pro Power Tools or any other extensions available on the Visual Studio Gallery.




This extension provides support for the HTML Clipboard format when 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.


Triple Click


It’s never been easier to select a line of code from the mouse by simple triple-clicking anywhere on the line.


Fix Mixed Tabs


Some developers prefer tabs, others prefer spaces, and nobody likes mixing tabs & spaces.  This extension promotes developer harmony by warning as they are open or save a file that has a mixture of tabs & spaces.  The information bar also provides an easy way to fix the file to suit your preference.


Highlight Current Line


As the resolution of monitors increases, it’s becoming more difficult to find the caret in the code editor.  The highlight current line extension makes it easy to find the caret by highlighting the line that the caret is on in the editor.  You can even configure the default color by changing the setting for “Current Line (Extension)” and “Current Line Inactive (Extension)” in Tools Options Fonts & Colors.


Ctrl + Click Go To Definition


This extension gives the editor a web browser by adding clickable hyperlinks to symbols in your code as you hold down the Ctrl key.


Align Assignments


This extension is useful for making your code a little more readable by aligning the assignments when you type Ctrl+Alt+] such that it takes this:

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And turns it into this:

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Please note: This may conflict with your formatting settings. E.g. in C# you will need to disable: Tools->Options->Text Editor->C#->Formatting->Spacing->"Ignore spaces in declaration statements"

Move Line Up/Down Commands


This extension maps the Alt+Up Arrow & Alt+Down Arrow keys such that they will move the current line of code or the selected lines up and down through the editor.


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.


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.


Please check them out and let me know what you think!



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