My Favourite free Visual Studio 2015 Extensions for .Net Developers

In the absence of ReSharper

ReSharper is often referred to as a “Must have” Visual Studio extension for .Net developers.  The problem is that ReSharper costs quite a lot of money and for many can impact the performance of Visual Studio to a negative degree.

 Productivity Power Tools

  • Format code on Save (Removing unused usings &  formatting code)
  • Tab Colouring (Colour Coding)
  • Copy & Paste project references across projects
  • Solution Error visualizer

The Productivity Power Tools extension offer a wide variety of useful tools to add to your Visual Studio tool-kit.  The most useful feature of this extension in my opinion is the ability to format the code on saving,  For anyone who is picky about how their code looks the ability of removing unused usings and sorting them without any extra work appeals immensely.  Tab colouring is another useful feature for some people.  For myself I prefer to keep my tab colours the same except for Shell files which helps me see my scripts more effectively.  The ability to copy and paste project references can also save time for people who are making new projects without having to go through the dialogue for adding references.  Lastly, the solution error visualiser can help to identify files that are causing build errors.

GoToImplementation

This is a very small extension that replaces the ReSharper feature for going to the implementation of a method.

SubWordNavigation

This is one of my favourite extensions as it allows to (Ctrl + Left/Right) in your code across “SubWords”.  An example would be the camel case:  “thisIsAnExtremelyLongVariableName” .  The SubWordNavigation extension allows you to navigate the variable name with respect to the camel case.  As you can imagine this is really good for people who don’t like to take their grubby fingers away from the keyboard to click on the part of the word that they’re trying to change.

VsColorOutput

VsColorOutput allows us to colourize all Outputs.  These include:

  • Error Logs
  • Find All References
  • Find All
  • Anything that goes into the Output window.

Refactor.It

I use this extension primarily for the ability to generate Guids in the code window without having to get them generated off the internet/with the Visual Studio inbuilt tool.  It replaces Resharpers “nguid” with the alternative “pg”.  I find this really useful and although it only saves a couple of seconds per Guid it’s a nice thing to have.  It also provides the ability to update a namespace to the default namespace (like ReSharper) simple by doing a (Ctrl + . ) and selecting update namespace.  However, this does NOT provide code analysis which highlights namespaces that are incorrect so you still have to keep your eye out.

Middle Click Definition

Middle click definition does exactly what it says on the tin.  It will take you to the definition of a method simple by pressing the middle click button.  This can be customized of course to (Ctrl + middle click) if it suits better.  Visual Studio DOES already have this functionality, however it will come up with a really intrusive error box if you miss the method where this extension will not.

File Path on Footer

Another extension that does exactly what it says on the tin.  For the currently open file this extension will provide the full path of the file on the bottom of your Visual Studio.  This can be very useful for people trying to locate files and I use this all the time.

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