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Navigating in ReSharper

In our August issue, we reviewed JetBrains ReSharper (Two Productivity Tools for Visual Studio 2010). I had to be careful because I was testing ReSharper in Visual Studio 2010, which is so new there was a real danger that I could mistake some cool new feature in Visual Studio for something that ReSharper has given me.

I could stick with what I know is supplied by ReSharper. My favorite feature of the tool is still present: if I type in the name of a class that I don't have a namespace for, ReSharper will volunteer to write out the Imports/using statement for me. Love that.

But, since I was reviewing the new version, I made sure to look at the new stuff. For instance, as an ASP.NET developer, I appreciate the new navigation feature that links Master Pages to content pages: I can right-mouse click in an aspx file, pick Edit Master and go directly to the Master Page for the content page I'm editing.

Wait: That's Visual Studio doing that.

What ReSharper offers is actually much better. From the popup menu, I can select Navigate | Related Files and get a popup box of all the files related to my current aspx file. That includes, the Master Page (of course), the code file, any ascx files on the page, any related style sheets, and more. That navigation box is so useful that I might actually learn the related shortcut key.

Equally useful is the ability to follow a variable's value through my application. I can select any variable, right-mouse click and select Inspect | Value Origin. That gives me a list of every place that the variable is set and what the variable is set to. Clicking on an entry in the list takes me to that line. When I'm trying to figure out where and how a variable is used, this navigation tool will be invaluable. In fact, as with any new tool, the biggest problem is going to be remembering that this tool is available.

Posted by Peter Vogel on 08/18/2010 at 1:16 PM

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