Visual Studio for Mac 17.4 Preview 2.1 is now available

Iain Holmes

We are pleased to announce the second preview release of Visual Studio for Mac 17.4. This release has been focused on addressing feedback from customers and on improving the overall experience. If you are already using the Visual Studio for Mac Preview release, use the Visual Studio > Check for Updates… menu to update. If you aren’t using it yet, download it now: 

This blog post summarizes the top changes in this release. You can check out the preview release notes to learn all about the changes we’ve made. 

 

Single Click to Restart Debugging 

Customers have long asked for a convenient way to restart debugging their applications in Visual Studio. We have added a convenient feature, enabling you to restart with a single click. To use this, click on the new restart button on the toolbar (circular arrow icon) when debugging. 

An image showing a portion of the toolbar. The window controls, run button, configuration selector and debugger controls are visible. The debugger controls have the four standard buttons, Continue, the Step Over, Step Into and Step Out as well as the new Restart button that sits between Continue and Step Over

 

Shell Improvements 

We have continued to improve the shell experience and have brought back the ability to drag and drop documents into side-by-side editors, or to drag them out completely into a floating window. 

An animated image showing the editor. Two tabs are open and the second tab is foremost. The second tab is dragged and detached from the tab bar. As it is dragged over the editor a split window indicator appears, showing 3 options, left, center and right. The center option is disabled. The tab is dragged over the right split indicator and dropped. A new editor containing the dragged tab opens beside the first editor

The Class tool window has also been missing for a few releases, and it has made a return. If it is not displayed it can be opened by the View > Classes menu. An image showing the class pad. The classes and methods are arranged in a tree structure underneath the root of the solution

 

Editor Improvements 

The editor has seen several improvements that customers have been requesting. We have enabled users to write and diagnose their code in C#11. This includes raw string literals, generic math support and all the other new features of the language. We’ve also made some improvements to the line numbers margin, highlighting the current line in a more apparent way. 

An animated image showing a portion of the editor. On the left are the line numbers. The current line number is highlighted in bold as the cursor moves from line to line

Additionally, we have now included a new UI to enable users to quickly see the current line and column position of the caret, as well as the ability to change the leading whitespace and line ending of a file. This information can be found in the lower right corner of each text file, but if it is in the way while reading a file, it can be temporarily hidden by pressing the Ctrl key. It can also be enabled/disabled from the Preferences > Text Editor > Markers and Rulers settings panel. 

An animated image showing a portion of the editor with some example code. In the bottom right corner is the Editing State Margin which contains the line and column indicators and buttons for the leading whitespace and new line characters. As the cursor moves the Line and Column indicators are updated. When the Line and Column indicators are clicked the Go To Line dialog appears. The leading whitespace button says "Spaces" and when it is clicked a menu pops up with the options "Spaces" and "Tabs" in it. The newline character button says "LF". When it is clicked a menu pops up with the options "LF", "CR", and "CRLF" in it

Finally in the editor, we have added a new accessibility feature to change the line spacing of the editor. Larger line spacings may help increase the readability of text for some people. The line spacing setting can be found inside the Preferences > Fonts panel and includes a text preview so users can see what the changes will be. 

Animated image showing the Line Spacing settings. There is a slider labeled Less on the left and More on the right. Below it is a text area showing some example code. As the knob of the slider is moved towards the right, the spacing between the lines in the text editor gets larger

Install Without Rosetta 

Users can now install Visual Studio for Mac without needing to first enable Rosetta. This enables many to be able to do .NET development without the need to first enable Rosetta on M1-enabled Macs. 

While the installer now supports installation on M1 without using Rosetta, some scenarios (especially mobile development) still require Rosetta to function due to limitations of dependencies such as Xcode. The installer will prompt when installing a component that will require Rosetta if Rosetta is not already enabled. 

 

.NET 7 is around the corner! 

This release of VS Mac includes improved support for the upcoming .NET 7, including .NET MAUI apps built with .NET 7. We’ve also added support for archiving and publishing your .NET MAUI apps, binding to native iOS libraries, and editing the project properties for your .NET MAUI app. Join us at .NET Conf 2022 (dotnetconf.net) in November for the release of .NET 7! 

 

Please keep sharing your feedback 

Please continue to share your thoughts and keep sending those suggestions or problem reports! You can use the Help > Report a Problem or Help > Provide a Suggestion menus to share feedback or go to the  Visual Studio for Mac Developer Community site to vote for your favorites.