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Free Visual Studio 2010 Tools You Need: VSCommands 2010 Lite

I'm really enjoying going through the Extensions Gallery in Visual Studio 2010 to see what's available and, more importantly, what's available and free. Many of the extensions also work in earlier versions of Visual Studio and/or have versions that do. My latest download, however, only works for Visual Studio 2010.

VSCommands 2010 Lite adds about two dozen neat features to Visual Studio -- in fact, some are so essential I wonder why they're not included in Visual Studio out of the box. For instance, VSCommands adds a Locate in Solution option to Solution Explorer and the Editor window context menu. This option synchronizes the currently selected file in Solution Explorer with the file open in the Editor. I'm frequently working on a Solution with over a dozen projects, so the ability (after double clicking on an entry in the Errors window) to figure out what project I'm in is really worth something.

Speaking of the Editor window context menu, I also like the Add Guid option that lets me insert a GUID into my code without having to go to the Tools menu. And, speaking of solutions with over a dozen projects, my favorite feature is one that I never use explicitly: VSCommands terminates the build process as soon as even one project fails. As you can imagine, this feature saves me a lot of sitting around waiting for builds to complete when I have a problem with a project early in the build process.

That's just two or three of my favorite features among twenty-four in VSCommands 2010 Lite. And, as the name implies, there's a Pro version that costs money and throws in even more goodies. One warning: Install this package before you open a project -- installation requires restarting Visual Studio.

I'm going to have to find some way to control this addiction to Visual Studio add-ins, though. My pop-up menus are getting longer and longer as I keep adding new cool tools.

Posted by Peter Vogel on 01/21/2011 at 1:16 PM

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