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||As a programmer, one of the best feelings in the world is writing something that makes you want to call your programming buddies over and say, "This is cool! Check this out." Sometimes, it happens while developing a prototype or proof of concept. Sometimes, it's just a crazy idea you decided to experiment with.|
We have these moments at SlickEdit too, and decided to gather some of them up and put them out there for others to use for free. We call these SlickEdit® Gadgets. Some of the gadgets provide useful utilities, and some of them are just for fun. We hope that as you go through these, at least one of them will make you want to call your office mates over to check it out. Feel free to share these with as many people as you like, and be sure to stop by the SlickEdit Tools forum, to discuss the gadgets, and find out new and interesting ways to use them. These plug-ins are for Visual Studio® 2005 only.
Editor Gadgets is a collection of four small utilities to add spice to your Visual Studio editor. Each one may be enabled or disabled individually. These gadgets include:
- Line ruler - Places a "ruler" highlight across your current line (where the cursor is), and has tick marks to indicate the editor's indentation levels.
- Indentation guide - Draws a vertical bar in the editor indicating the indentation level of the current line.
- Auto-copy selection - Automatically copies text to the clipboard when selected with the mouse. Paste may be done by simply clicking in the editor with the middle mouse button (the scroll wheel on most mice). These behaviors are similar to XMouse.
- Editor Graphic - Allows you to place a graphic inside your editor, either as a single image or as a tiled background.
Green bar tiled background with the line ruler and indentation guide
Dancing banana and the line ruler
The Command Spy
Whenever you click on a menu item or toolbar button in Visual Studio, you are executing what is known as a "command". Unfortunately, it's almost impossible to tell what command is linked to which menu items or toolbar buttons. The Command Spy monitors command execution, and allows you to see exactly what commands you've run, how many times you've run them, and what key bindings are used to invoke those commands. The main purpose of this tool is to allow you to learn what commands are bound to which keystrokes, so that you can work faster within the IDE.
Using Visual Studio's Open File dialog to open files in Visual Studio can be very tedious, especially when you have to open files from several different directories. The File Explorer provides an easy way to open solutions, projects, or single files in Visual Studio. It also makes it easy to drag-and-drop files into an open Visual Studio project.
The Data Object Analyzer
|Drag-and-drop operations and clipboard operations both work with "data objects". Data objects contain [1...n] data items, which may be of any type, and are stored with an associated string-based key. There are some standards about what key/data pairs are used in clipboard or drag-and-drop operations, but for the most part, applications add whatever data they want. If you're writing an application that requires clipboard or drag-and-drop integration, it is important to understand what data is expected from other applications.
The Data Object Analyzer solves this problem by inspecting the contents of any clipboard operation, or drag-and-drop operation, from any other application. The Data Object Analyzer can then be used to automatically generate functions to handle any clipboard or drag-and-drop data.
The SLOC Report
The SLOC Report provides an easy way to count the lines of code. The line count is divided into three categories: code, comments, and whitespace. Once the lines of code have been counted, the results are drawn as a pie graph. SLOC reports may be generated for solutions, projects, or individual files.
Take it For a Spin
At SlickEdit, we are confident that you will be as excited as we are about SlickEdit® Gadgets. Download it for free, and try it out for yourself.