Microsoft’s Productivity Power Tools

Microsoft provided a great extension bundle also called as Microsoft’s Productivity Power Tools, that makes software development using Visual Studio IDE very effective and faster. This is an extension bundle installer that installs power tools for both Visual Studio 2017 and 2019. The extension is freely available in NuGet installer. After installing this extension you can see all the extension components related to power tools are visible under Visual Studio menu Tools > Options > Productivity Power Tools

Microsoft’s Productivity Power Tools:

Below is the list of extensions that the Powertools extension will install.

Align Assignments

Aligns the assignment statements using keyboard Ctrl+Alt+]. This makes your coding faster. Note that you would need to disable the configuration in VisualStudio IDE in order to function the Align Assignments component. To do that navigate to Tools>Options>Text Editor>C#>Formating>Spacing>”Ignore spaces in declaration statements”

Copy As Html

This extension component allows you to keep the clipboard text in HTML format when you cut or copy code from the editor. Users can customize the behavior in Tools > Options > Productivity Power Tools > HTML Copy.

Ctrl+Click GoTo Definition

This is one of the significant features for developers that helps navigate the function definition using the shortcut CRTL + mouse click. When we hit Ctrl + on any of the function calls in the editor, Visual Studio IDE will enable a clickable hyperlink. When the user clicks on that link, it will take you to the function definition. This feature is currently supported up to Visual Studio 2017.

Custom Document Well

This extension component allows users to change the behavior of their document tabs, such as scrollable tabs and vertical tabs. Users can also customize the Tab behavior, showing close buttons in the tab well. Using this component, users can customize and modify the tab UI.

Double-Click Maximize

The Visual Studio editor has many docking windows that provide various information during coding. Sometimes if we want to make the docking window larger, for example, the Watch Window, we would need to drag the dock panel to maximize the view. The visual studio power tools allow us to maximize any docking window by mouse double-click. The user has to double-click on the docking window title bar/header to maximize the docking screen fit to full-screen view. Double-clicking it again will restore it to its original position.

Fix Mixed Tabs

This feature allows the user to eliminate whitespace by replacing the tab inside the code document when there is any whitespace space found during indentation.

Match Margin

The Match Margin is a beneficial feature where the selected field of variable is highlighted in the code and the marker displayed in the vertical scroll bar. This helps users to quick navigation to reach the subsequent highlighted occurrences.

Middle-Click Scroll

The mouse has a middle button that enables scrolling features by clicking on the Google Chrome browser. The power tool extension provides a similar scrolling feature enabled on the code editor.

Peek Help

Peek Help option can be invoked from the code editor context menu or using the keyboard shortcut Alt+F1, which brings the browser controlled F1 Help content inline in the editor with navigation, find/search feature.

Power Commands for Visual Studio

Power commands provide a set of useful extensions for the Visual Studio IDE. The extensions including, Remove, Sort Using, Copy Path, Format document on saving, Open Command Prompt, Clear all panels, Email CodeSnippet, Insert guide attribute, Show all files, Collapse projects, Copy/Paste class, Copy/Paste references, Copy as a project reference, Edit project file, Open containing folder, Unload projects, Reload projects and many more.

Quick Launch Tasks

The Quick Launch Tasks extension provides easy access to commonly used options. Example, toggling line numbers.

Shrink Empty Lines

Syntactic line compression enables users to make better use of your screen’s vertical real-estate.

Solution Error Visualizer

This is one of the needy features for any developer to visualize the source files marked as squiggles in solution explorer for errors/warnings. This extension adds the error, warning, and message squiggles to Solution Explorer. The information is directly fetched from the Error List and directly displayed in the Solution Explorer tree view. Hovering over the nodes with squiggles brings up a pop-up with the error/warning/message information.

Time Stamp Margin

This extension adds the timestamp information to the Output Window in Debug mode (minutes. Seconds. Milliseconds), which helps keep track of running processes in the debug window.

Download Location

You can download Visual Studio Power tools from visual studio marketplace.

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