My Must-Have Add-ins for Visual Studio 2008

This subject is probably close to cliché but I’m doing it mostly for myself (and hoping someone else finds it interesting too), to keep a reference of my favorite add-ins so that I can find them again.

Following is the most useful add-ins for Visual Studio in no apparent order.

DPack

DPackDPack is one of the add-ins I use the most day-to-day. It allows you to use the shortcut ALT + U  to get a window where you can search for a file in the current solution and immediately given the file you were looking for – without having to wander around in the Solution Explorer.

A similar feature exists in the ReSharper add-in, with the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Shift + T, but I think it fails on the speed and file name matching.

 DPack

VisualSVN

VisualSVN VisualSVN is an add-in that makes it easier to manage SVN repositories through the Solution Explorer in Visual Studio. You can easily see which files haven’t been committed since changed, and it automatically adds files to SVN when you add them to your project.

A trial of VisualSVN exists that lets you run it for 30 days. A license is only $49. If you are looking for a free, equivalent add-in then AnkhSVN is a good bet, but it doesn’t meet up to the stability of VisualSVN.

VisualSVN

ReSharper

ReSharper I would have been crucified if I didn’t get this on the list as it’s one of the most awesome add-in. ReSharper does so many things I can’t write them all down here. Though, in summary ReSharper helps you become a better and more productive programmer, by giving you tips and quick refactoring shortcuts. If you haven’t already got it—check it out now!

ReSharper

PowerCommands

This add-in adds a number of handy context menu items to Visual Studio. A few of the best is Collapse Projects, Copy/Paste References, Open Containing Folder, Undo Close and an enhanced Show All Files button.

PowerCommands

Auto Build Increment Addin

This add-in might not be useful for the majority of users, but it is really handy when you want to keep track of build numbers for your project. Basically what it does is increase the version number of your assembly for you, on every build. It also allows you to customize how you want to format the version string. I am using this add-in for my blog engine project to identify which version I am running.

Auto Build Increment Addin

GhostDoc

Tired of writing XML comments in your code, over and over again? This add-in automatically does that for you based on how the method is written and named. Although it doesn’t get it right all the times, it saves you time writing it all from scratch.

GhostDoc

Markdown Mode

One I haven’t tried myself, but looks very handy when dealing with markdown documents is Markdown Mode. It adds syntax highlighting and a preview window to Visual Studio 2010 when viewing .mkd files. As if that wasn’t enough it also allows you to copy the markdown code as HTML. This one I will install for sure after Visual Studio 2010 is released in April.

Markdown Mode

Do you have an add-in you just can’t live without? Please share!

published in Visual Studio