Visual Studio 2015 comes with many new features and improvements in the IDE, the debugger or language compilers. Obviously, there are more than three things I like in the new IDE, but three things have caught my attention from the very beginning.

The Error Window

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One of the things that bothered me the most about the error window was the mixture of errors/warnings/messages from both MSBuild and IntelliSense. But I don’t usually care about the later and their presence in the error window is usually annoying me. This is now fixed and you can select to see messages from Build, IntelliSense or both.
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In addition to this you can apply even more filtering:

  • You can select the source of the messages: Entire Solution, Current Project, Open Documents or Current Document.
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  • You can search the error list, and the search includes the text in all the output list columns (Code, Description, Project, File or Line).
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  • You can individually show or hide Errors, Warnings and Message (but this feature has been available for many years).

The Find in Files Append

I’m working with large source bases and I often need to do find in files, usually going from search to search until I find what I need. The problem was there were only two output windows for the search results and when you need to do a 3rd you had to discard one of the previous searches while you might still needed the results. I have requested for many years that Visual Studio should support more than two find results windows. I actually created a User Voice request a few years ago.

In Visual Studio 2015 they have implemented an append feature, were you could append your search results to one of the existing two windows.

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As a result the old search results are not discarded, but aggregated in a the form of a tree list in the search results window.

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Though this is not what exactly I was expecting it provides the feature I was looking for with probably minimal changes to the Visual Studio IDE.

The Inline Create Definition (for C++)

I’m not sure how this feature is actually called, but what it does is creating a definition for a function in the source file from the declaration in the header and displays it in a boxed document inside the header document. Here is an example:

You declare a function/method in a header file. Visual Studio figures out the definition is missing.
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Use the Quick Actions (CTRL + .) to create a definition of the symbol in the source file.
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The definition is added to the source file that is opened as a document in a box just below the function declaration.
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I find this very useful to get going with a new function. Of course for writing larger functions you’ll probably switch to the actual document tab where the source file is opened.

With these new features only Visual Studio has become much more productive for me. And there are plenty more.

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Go to definition (F12 in Visual Studio) is such an intensively used command, but it opens a new window for the document. Visual Studio 2013 adds a new go to definition command that actually displays the definition inline, in the same window. It’s called Peek Definition and the shortcut is ALT+F12.
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It opens an embedded window inside the current window, displaying the definition.
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However, it is possible to peek another definition and so on. All peeked definitions are displayed in the same window in a tabbed manner (the little circles on top are the tabs).
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It is possible to re-size this window’s height and promote a particular tab to a new document window.

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Here is a list of new things in Visual Studio 2010 for unmanaged development.

Visual Studio IDE:

Visual C++

Visual Studio Tools:

Additional readings:

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A few days ago, Microsoft, through Jason Zander, General Manager of Visual Studio, has revealed the new look of Visual Studio 2010 at the VSLive conference. Several screenshots and description of the new look you can find on Zander’s blog.

The new editor is using WPF and makes extensive usage of .NET 4.0. Here is a screenshot.

Visual Studio 2010 new WPF look

One of the important new features is support for multiple monitors. One can now put code or designer windows onto multiple monitors.

The New Project dialog allows you to view online templates and provides search options. Moreover there is an Extension Manager that allows you to search for online templates and tools, like add-ins or macros and install them into Visual Studio.

Other features offer support for working with multiple UML digrams and will allow arhitects to enforce the intended architecture. As Doug Holland explains,

When a developer checks in code within Visual Studio 2010 to the Team Foundation Server the developers code will be parsed to ensure that the developers code complies with the layer diagram. Within the layer diagram, for example, architects can prescribe that the UI code must communicate with the business layer and not directly with the data layer. If developers use types from the data layer within the UI layer then the checkin will not be allowed to proceed.

I think that will be a quite cool feature, and I’m looking forward to testing that.

Here you can read more:

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