AJ's blog

December 16, 2006

It’s christmas time…

Filed under: .NET, .NET Framework, C#, Design Time, Software Developers — ajdotnet @ 10:52 pm

… and Christmas means presents. Well, here’s my present for you:

I just finished a first version of my AddIn v2.0 for Visual Studio 2005. Its focus is on code navigation:

  1. navigate C# code files with cursor keys, e.g. Ctrl-Down to go to the next type, method or whatever (something I got used to under Eclipse).
  2. browse solution files or types and quickly jump to the one you need using filter criterions (similar to the respctive dialogs in ReSharper).

There are more details in the readme and help file.

The addin has been tested by me and some friends and should be reasonably stable. It is however a first version and may have some bugs, in this case please sent me the stack trace from the output window.

Also I decided to get it out (in order to get feedback) as early as feasible rather than trying to do the 110% implementation. Therefore there is “room for improvement” in several areas (e.g. showing method signatures, browse inherritance hierarchy, and other stuff). Any comments and wishes regarding future development are welcome as well.

Christmas also means even less time than usual; christmas dinners, visiting of relatives, etc. take their toll.

Since this is probably my last post for 2006 I wish you all a peacefull christmas and a happy new year.

That’s all for now folks,



  1. Thank God! I was looking for something like this for a long time!!! Having used Delphi with GExperts it was hard for me to give up pressing Ctrl+G, typing usually one of two letters, and being teleported into the right stop. There are two small things that would make this perfect.

    I am excited about this mainly because it allows me to find a method or file without having to use the mouse. So, when I press Alt+N for example, the “Browse Current File” window pops up and I can type stuff to filter the result set. What I would like is for the up and down arrow keys to work as if the tree control is focused. Let’s say I have two methods: GetMethodA and GetMethodB. If I type “get” only these two will show, with GetMethodA being focused by default. However if I want GetMethodB I have to either use the mouse (which I don’t want to) or press Tab and then the down arrow key. It would be so much nicer if could just press down (or up) without having to focus the control tree with Tab, and then another Tab if I want to search for something else.

    Another suggestion would be to search anywhere in the string, not just the beginning; so I wouldn’t have to type “GetMe” to filter everything out, I could just type “odA” and it would take me straight there (i.e. GetMethodA).

    I’m really hoping you will consider these two suggestions. It may sound picky, but it is small things like this that make it a joy to use.

    Thank you!!

    P.S. Is there a mailing list for updates? I’d like to be on it…

    Comment by Peter — January 24, 2007 @ 4:43 pm

  2. Thanks for the reply – if it’s that positive it’s allways welcome 😀

    And it gets even better:
    1. Use Ctrl-Up/Down to navigate in the tree while the focus is still on the editbox.
    2. Use an asterisk to search anywhere in the word (e.g. “*odA” in your example).

    I’m already working on a new version (better preselection of found elements, showing full signature, etc.), but given my current workload I can’t tell when it will be ready. My current guess is feb/march. Of course I’m going to announce it here, so one more good reason to stay tuned 😉 .


    Comment by ajdotnet — January 24, 2007 @ 6:46 pm

  3. This is a pretty good add-in. Thoughts:
    – The shortcut keys reuse Ctrl-N which is too common.
    – A selected item shows bold text and then gets cut off on the right side al ittle bit.
    – I like Peter’s first suggestion as well.

    Comment by John S. — February 7, 2007 @ 10:49 pm

  4. Is there any source available as I’ve run this up against a small project and it works well, but trying to use the type browser (I haven’t tried all other options yet) on a very large project ends up crashing Visual Studio after a long(ish) period where it appears to have hung.

    Also as stated in previous comments it would be nice to be able to reconfigure the shortcuts to assign one’s own preferred shortcuts.

    Comment by purpleblob — February 9, 2007 @ 12:17 pm

  5. A quick addition to my previous comment. It looks like both Browse Files and Browse Current Files appear to work with the large solution (5260 files) I’m testing against. With regards the “Browse Files” addin, I wonder if it might be better to sort the files instead of showing their position within the solution as when entering text the treeview is flickering away whilst I enter text and is less responsive than, for example the Browse current file which updates immediately.

    Otherwise it’s looking good – Nice job.

    Comment by purpleblob — February 9, 2007 @ 12:40 pm

  6. […] and the file comes up in the editor. The interface is clean and overall works a lot better than the other add-in I had been using for this. The only thing missing is a class browser, but I rarely use that since […]

    Pingback by Free Visual Studio Add-in: SonicFileFinder « Just Sayin’ More Words — February 23, 2007 @ 4:52 pm

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