Microsoft updates Visual Studio Productivity Power tools

The new tools allow developers to turn off individual extensions and navigate code files

Microsoft this week updated its Visual Studio 2010 Productivity Power Tools, adding extensions and fixing bugs.

Downloadable from the Visual Studio Gallery site, the tools serve to boost developer productivity in Visual Studio. Featured in this release is an ability to turn off individual extensions and a Solution Navigator tool for coders.

[ See InfoWorld's review of Visual Studio 2010. ]

"The number one feature request by far has been the ability to turn off the individual extensions in the Productivity Power Tools. In this release, we've added an extension, which adds a category to Tools Options, which allows you to toggle the extensions on/off and provides a single place to find the options for a particular extension," said Sean Laberee in the The Visual Studio Blog.

Solution Navigator, meanwhile, is a tool window that acts like an enhanced Solution Explorer project management tool, Laberee said. Users can use Solution Navigator to expand code files to navigate to classes and expand classes to navigate to members.

The tool also offers searching, project filtering, viewing of information about classes and previewing of images. But the tool still lacks capabilities of Solution Explorer such as multi-select and drag-and-drop.

A Quick Access capability in Productivity Power Tools features a tool window for searching for and executing common tasks within the IDE. Automatic Brace Completion, meanwhile, improves code-writing productivity by automatically inserting the closing code construct when the opening construct is typed for Visual Basic and C#.

Updates are offered to the first set of Productivity Power tools also, such as fixes for the Searchable Add Reference capability and colorized parameter help. HTML/Cut Copy capabilities are supported as well.

For developers looking to install the tools on Windows XP but had issues if their user name was too long, Microsoft has reduced the number of characters "considerably,"  Laberee said. But this might still be an issue for extremely long user names, he said.

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This story, "Microsoft updates Visual Studio Productivity Power tools" was originally published by InfoWorld.

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