Productivity Power Tools introduces Find, Organize Imports for VB, Enhanced Scrollbar, Middle-Click Scrolling and more!

Abdullah Hamed

Reseting Your Extensions for the Last Time!

We’ve heard a great deal of feedback on how each update of the Productivity Power Tools re-enables all of the extensions when it installs. If you are careful about installing the Power Tools via the extension manager or as long as an instance of Visual Studio is running, this version of the Productivity Power Tools will be the last which resets the extensions.

Please note: If you are running Visual Studio 2010 SP1 (Beta) that you will need to uninstall previous versions of the Productivity Power Tools prior to upgrading due to a change in the digital signature for the Power Tools


There are many different ways to find within Visual Studio (Incremental Search, Quick Find, Find in Files, Find Toolbar, etc) and it often isn’t clear which is the best for a given task or worse these options even exist.  The find dialog itself also can obstruct code and jump around while users are searching. Our solution to these problems is the new Find extension. In the screenshot below, you will see that we’ve turned the quick find & incremental search experiences into a find pop-up that is available at top right hand corner of the editor. After hitting, Ctrl+I or Ctrl+F, it simply highlights the find results as you type.  From this small but powerful pop-up, you have access to most of the Quick Find functionality such as replace, options to match case and added support for matching .NET Regular Expressions!

Release notes:

  • As an extension, it was only possible to implement these changes for the code editor. You still must use Quick Find for searching in designers and other non-editor tabs.
  • .NET Regular expressions are only available in the Find extension. Find in Files will continue to use VS Regular expressions
  • Feel free to email us your feedback:

Enhanced Scrollbar

We’ve been looking into ways that we can improve the experience of navigating through code files.  Our solution is the source map which has three modes that will allow you to more easily see the interesting artifacts in your files (edits, breakpoints, bookmarks, errors, warnings etc) and make it easy for you to navigate between them.  The default mode is the “scroll bar only mode” which overlays icons onto the standard scrollbar to allow for viewing of these artifacts.  In the source map mode, we’ve replaced the default scroll bar allow you to click on any item on the scrollbar to navigate directly to it. This source map mode also provides a preview of the part of the document as you hover.  Finally, we have the detailed source map mode, which allows you to get a zoom out view of your entire file.  You can switch between any of these modes by right-clicking on the scroll bar or going to Tools Options>Productivity Power Tools>Source Map where we have a host of other options that you can configure.

Middle-Click Scrolling

The ability to do middle click scrolling in Visual Studio 2010 has been a top request from our beta customers that we weren’t quite able to get into the release. With this extension you can press down on your scroll wheel and the move the mouse to quickly scroll through your document!

Organize Imports for Visual Basic

As part of theco-evolution strategy for Visual Basic and C#, we continue to bring the best features from each language experiences to the other. With Organize Imports for Visual Basic we’ve added yet another feature to that list.  From the context menu, it allows you to sort the imports logically and remove the ones that aren’t being used.

Add Reference Support for Multi-Targeting

“How come I can’t add a reference to System.Web?”  Many users have scratched their heads trying to figure out why certain dlls aren’t showing up in the Add Reference dialog. The confusion has been caused by the logic in the Add Reference dialog which filters out assemblies that are not valid on the .NET Client Profile which many of Visual Studio templates target by default.  The Productivity Power Tools solution is to grey out the assemblies which are not available in the current framework profile. When you try to add them, it will automatically prompt you to re-target to a profile of the same framework which does support them.

Options in HTML Cut/Copy

Productivity Power Tool users have asked for the ability to tweak the html format which gets copied to the clipboard and with the release you now have the ability to customize that to suite your needs.  Simply go to Tools Options>Productivity Power Tools> HTML Copy

This release of the extension also fixes the commonly reported bug where Cut/Copy occasionally fail which was fixed in VS 2010 SP1 Beta but was present in the October release of the Productivity Power Tools.


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