Thursday, September 13, 2012

Faster and Efficient Development with Visual Studio 2010 Extension Manager

In the last few years, Visual studio has been evolved much. VS 2010 has been shipped with pretty good features. Most of them are useful for developers to increase their programming efficiency, build better solutions on web space.
In this Blog post, I’ll show you how to extend the Development environment with Visual Studio 2010 Extension Manager and Stack of Tools that helps you for Coding, Best practices, Advanced Intellisense, Optimization, API reference and Deployment on web space.

Installing and Managing Visual Studio Tools and Extensions

The Visual Studio 2010 Extension Manager lets you install a range of tools and extensions for Visual Studio. To open Extension Manager, on the Tools menu, click Extension Manager as show in following figure
You can also download extensions from Web sites, or get them from other developers.
The Extension Manager window is divided into three panes. The left pane lets you select by group: installed extensions, new extensions from the online gallery, or updates to installed extensions.
The extensions in the selected group are displayed in the middle pane. You can use various filters to sort the list

Online Gallery

Extension Manager can install extensions from the Visual Studio Gallery on the MSDN website. These extensions may be packages, templates, or other components that add functionality to Visual Studio.
Extension Types
Extension Manager supports extensions in the VSIX package format, which may include project templates, item templates, toolbox items, Managed Extension Framework (MEF) components, and VSPackages. Extension Manager can also load and install MSI-based extensions, but it cannot enable or disable them. Visual Studio Gallery contains both VSIX and MSI extensions.
Dependency Handling
If a user tries to install an extension that has dependencies, the installer verifies that those dependencies are already installed. If they are not installed, Extension Manager shows the user a list of dependencies that must be installed before the extension can be installed

Visual Studio Tools and Extensions

NuGet Package Manager (Free)

This is a collection of tools to automate the process of downloading, installing, upgrading, configuring, and removing packages from a VS Project. You can download and install it via the Extension Manager (search for NuGet Package Manager to find it) as shown in following figure

Indent Guides (Free)

Adds vertical lines at each indent level. Displays indent guides in Visual Studio text editor windows.

Guides can be displayed at the indent specified in your settings, regardless of tabs or spaces, or wherever text has been indented to as shown in following figure

Indent Guides

There are three styles of guides: solid, dotted and dashed, available in thin and thick varieties and customizable color. The default is dotted teal, as shown in the image. Each indent level can have a different style and color.

The deepest guide that includes the block with the caret is displayed in a different color or a glow, to help you find the start and end of your code. Guides can be shown and customized for any language in Visual Studio. It reads the spaces, not the code.

PowerCommands for Visual Studio 2010 (Free)

PowerCommands 10.0 is a set of useful extensions for the Visual Studio 2010 adding additional functionality to various areas of the IDE

Web Standards (Free)

Web Standards Update provides the much wanted HTML5 & CSS3 support to Visual Studio 2010 SP1. It brings VS 2010 intellisense & validation as close to W3C specification as we could get via means of an extension. The most notable supported features by this extension are:.

HTML5 – Video, Audio, Input Type, Drag & Drop, WAI-ARIA, Microdata,
Browser API – GeoLocation & Local Storage
CSS3 – 2D Transforms, 3D Transforms, Animations, Background & Borders, Basic Box Model, Basic UI, Behavior, Color, Flexible Box Layout, Fonts, Paged Media, Hyperlink Presentation, Line, Lists, Marquee, Media Queries, Multi Column, Namespaces, Presentation Levels, Ruby, Selectors, Speech, Syntax, Template Layout, Text & Transitions. It also supports vendor specific prefixes like –ms, -webkit & -moz.

CodeMaid (Free)

CodeMaid is an open source Visual Studio extension to cleanup, dig through and simplify our C#, C++, XAML, XML, ASP, HTML, CSS and JavaScript coding

Image Optimizer(Free)

A Visual Studio extension that optimizes PNG, GIF and JPG file sizes without quality loss. It uses SmushIt and PunyPNG for the optimization

Adds a right-click menu to any folder and image in Solution Explorer that let's you automatically optimize all PNG, GIF and JPEG files in that folder. The optimization doesn't effect the quality of the images, but optimizes them using industry proven algorithms for removing EXIF and other metadata. The extension uses SmushIt and PunyPNG for optimizing the images

GhostDoc (Free)

GhostDoc is a Visual Studio extension that automatically generates XML documentation comments for methods and properties based on their type, parameters, name, and other contextual information

CSSCop (Free)

CSSCop helps you write better and more browser compatible stylesheets. It uses the CSS Lint ( rules engine and is completely customizable

CSS Is Less (Free)

Make .less files load with the CSS language service.

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