Tuesday, January 20, 2009

VS2008 Trick

My boss and I participated in an online training session regarding ASP.NET 3.5 hosted by Microsoft today.

I enjoyed it immensely as it formalized some ideas I had about functionality in 3.5, and told me about a couple of neat tricks for VS2008.

The first is the CSS tools. They are lightyears beyond what existed in previous versions of Visual Studio; and provides meaningful dialogs to utilize the styles.

The second revolves around Intellisense. See, when you're typing in the code editor, Visual Studio will provide useful options based upon the letters & words that you've typed on a given line. This is useful 95% of the time, and irritating the other 5%.

Now, that 5% irritation comes in two flavors. The first is where the Intellisense selects something for you, and it wasn't what you wanted. The second is when Intellisense is hiding the line you're trying to read as you write code.

For example, I'll write a line 1, which involves using a variable. Then I'll go a line above it and initialize said variable. Well, it used to be that I had to escape out of the Intellisense to read the line below.

In Visual Studio 2008, all one has to do is hold down the CTRL key, and the Intellisense window becomes about 98% transparent.

When we heard about this, we insisted that the guy giving the presentation stop and tell us the command to make that happen. Out of all the tips and tricks I've learned about Visual Studio 2008 I think that is my favorite.

Followed quickly by the ability to create side-by-side views of two different code files.

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