Posts filed under 'Visual Studio'

Temporarily Disabling ReSharper

I have ReSharper installed and think it is a great tool for productivity, but occasionally I find it useful to temporarily disable it to speed up Visual Studio (especially so on my old slow laptop). This is achieved in two different ways, depending on the version of ReSharper.

In versions prior to version 5, ReSharper appears in the Add-in Manager dialog, accessed via the Tools menu. Using this dialog, you can uncheck the ReSharper add-in which will suspend it (the menu will still be visible, but its functionality will be disabled).

Suspending ReSharper v4

Checking it again will re-enable it. Both of these actions can be performed without restarting Visual Studio.

In version 5, ReSharper no longer appears in the add-ins dialog. At first glance, I though the ability to disable ReSharper was no longer available. As it turns out, it is now part of ReSharper itself and is accessed via the Tools -> Options -> ReSharper -> General dialog. Clicking the suspend button will suspend ReSharper and disable its functionality. Once suspended, clicking the resume button will re-enable it.

Suspending ReSharper v5

This applies to all versions of Visual Studio - the difference is based on the version of ReSharper only.

2 comments Permalink June 10th, 2010 Adrian Banks
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Useful Diagnostic Tools

I recently visited a customer site to diagnose some problems with an application deployed on a server. Because I was effectively “visiting blind” in not knowing what was wrong or even if I would have internet access, I had to pre-empt any potential problems and take whatever tools I would need to diagnose them with me.

The following is a list of the tools I took:

  • Active Ports
    This is an equivalent to running netstat -nabv 5 from the command line, but wraps a nice GUI around it with the ability to look up the host names for connected IP addresses.
  • BareTail
    This is a simple log file viewer that can “tail” a running log and apply highlighting based on custom searches.
  • CorFlags
    This is a tool that comes as part of the Visual Studio SDK and enables a .Net application to be forced to run as 32-bit on 64-bit hardware. Existing applications can be tweaked without re-compilation.
  • Culture Launcher
    This is one of my own tools that can launch an .Net application using a different culture/language. The culture and UI culture can be set independently of each other.
  • Error Lookup
    This is a small tool that comes with Visual Studio (when you install the C++ components). It enables Win32 error codes to be translated into “meaningful” English error messages.
  • Managed Stack Explorer
    This is a tool that can preiodically capture stack traces from running .Net applications. It also shows a variety of information about the managed processes and threads running on a machine.
  • Red Gate Diagnostics Tool
    This is a tool from Red Gate that collects lots of system information from a computer. It is very useful because of the amount of data that it collects all in one place.
  • Snippet Compiler
    This is like a cut-down version of Visual Studio. It has an IDE-like editor (with only basic intellisense) and can compile and run .Net applications. The biggest plus is that it requires no installation.
  • SpaceMonger
    This is a tool that gives a visual representation of disk usage for a whole drive. This version is an older version of the tool, but is the last version that is free.
  • SysInternals
    This is the famous SysInternals Suite of tools, now owned by Microsoft, but still occasionally updated with new features and bug fixes. This contains lots of file, disk, network, process, registry and system utilities.

This toolset (along with a few custom-written SQL scripts) provided me with everything I needed to collect all the information I needed to get to the bottom of the problems.

2 comments Permalink July 8th, 2008 Adrian Banks
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Box Selection In Visual Studio

I was editing a large SQL script inside Visual Studio today and needed to insert several spaces into multiple lines to make the script more readable.

Turning something like this:

some text on line a
some text on line b
some text on line c
some text on line d


some text      on line a
some text      on line b
some text      on line c
some text      on line d

I thought of doing it manually by hand, but as there were lots of lines to alter, I thought there must be a better way. I then remembered a feature of a word processor called ProText that I had many years ago on the Atari ST that had a feature called "Box Selection". This enabled you to select text across multiple lines without having to select the whole line (a bit like drawing a box with the mouse).

A quick search later and I found the instructions on how to do box selections in Visual Studio in an article on Sara Ford's blog.

Just hold down the Alt key whilst selecting text with the mouse and Visual Studio will switch from its normal "stream selection" mode into "box selection" mode. Once selected, you can indent the text using the tab key as normal and it will insert space to get the desired effect.

Add comment Permalink May 28th, 2008 Adrian Banks
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Building Solutions Without Visual Studio

When working with several source control branches, especially with a large solution with many projects, it is not always practical to open Visual Studio to perform a quick build. Using NAnt is one alternative solution, but this requires creating and maintaining a build script. Using MSBuild from the command line is another option, but this involves getting the command line arguments correct, and working with command line output is not easy to visually filter. The same goes for using Visual Studio from the command line.

Gaston Milano has created a simple tool called Build Console capable of loading both MSBuild and Visual Studio solution files, and building any of the available build targets.

It's main features are:

  • The ability to choose which target/project to build.
  • A build report in a tree structure to show the status of each project built.
  • The ability to choose the verbosity of the build output.
  • A coloured build output log to distinguish different types out log output.
  • A 'quick history' to load recently built solutions.

Whilst a little rough around the edges, it comes in very handy for those times where you just need to compile quickly without the overhead of loading Visual Studio.

Add comment Permalink October 18th, 2007 Adrian Banks
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Microsft Icons

Microsoft's Brad Abrams and Somasegar both posted about a set of standard Microsoft icons that ship with Visual Studio 2005. They can be found in a zip file in the Visual Studio 2005 installation directory (usually C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 8\Common7\VS2005ImageLibrary\ There are over 600 icons in total with a mixture of Windows, Office and Visual Studio icons, and are licenced for reuse in your own applications.

Add comment Permalink June 29th, 2006 Adrian Banks
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