Continued Improvements for Breakpoint Configuration in Visual Studio 2015

Aaron Hallberg

By now you have hopefully heard that in Visual Studio 2015 we are introducing a new Breakpoint configuration experience. It features a Breakpoint Settings peek window that allows you to easily configure Conditions and Actions for a breakpoint by specifying a Conditional Expression, a Hit Count, a Filter, or by creating a Tracepoint. All of the links above point to blog posts that I have updated to capture the latest experience for breakpoints, and they also provide detailed examples of how to set and use configured breakpoints, so I recommend that you read them too. In this post, I will summarize only the changes in the experience between CTP6 and RC. Try it out yourself by downloading Visual Studio 2015 RC.

Breakpoint Settings

Based on your feedback from the pre-releases of VS, we have been able to make Breakpoint Settings even better.

You tried it out, and what you told us was:

  • It wasn’t clear whether your settings were persisted after you had entered them.
  • Clicking the ‘X’ in the top right of the peek window was too far away from the configuration content and too small of a target to use when you want to close the window.
  • The text fields for editing Conditions and Actions were too small for meaningful input, especially since there was still space available in the peek window.
  • You needed a one-click way to open the Breakpoint Settings peek window and immediately be able to start creating a condition or action.

So to address these, we:

  • Added a “Saved” message to confirm that your configuration has been committed.
  • Added a Close button for fast dismissal of the peek window.

Breakpoint Settings with Actions

  • Widened the edit boxes so you have more space to type complex Conditions or Actions.

Breakpoint Settings with conditions checked

  • Changed the context menu items to include options for “Conditions” and “Actions”. Selecting either of these menu items opens the peek window just as if you had clicked on the “Settings” gear icon in the breakpoint’s toolbar, but also acts as a shortcut to get you going faster by automatically selecting the corresponding peek window checkbox (either “Conditions” or “Actions”) and puts focus in the text field ready for typing or editing.

Breakpoint Settings context menu


Data and Address Breakpoints with a New UI

Configuring Conditions and Actions is not only for breakpoints that you set from the code editor. Now you can use a similarly consistent UI to configure them for Data Breakpoints (C++ only) and Address Breakpoints too. Visit those links to read details about how to set and best use these breakpoint types.

New Data Breakpoint

Thank You for Your Feedback

Updates to this experience were driven from feedback received from developers like you. We appreciate all of the feedback you continue to send us. If you have any questions or comments, please let me know in the comments below, or through Visual Studio’s Send a Smile feature. You can also send us a tweet or visit the MSDN Diagnostics forums.


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