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Visual Studio 2012 Tip: Improve Productivity using Quick Launch

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4 Jul 2012CPOL3 min read 14.3K   4  
How to improve productivity using Quick Launch in Visual Studio 2012

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“Quick Launch” is a new feature in Visual Studio 2012. If you used Productivity Power Tools in Visual Studio 2010, you might be familiar with this. In Visual Studio 2010 Productivity Tools, you can see this with the name “Quick Access”.

Now Microsoft integrated it as “Quick Launch” in Visual Studio 2012 and to use it, you don’t have to install any extensions. This 4th tip on Visual Studio 2012 will guide you to know more about this new feature. So, continue reading and let me know your feedback.

Introduction to Quick Launch

Visual Studio 2012 has a new addition in its feature named “Quick launch” which is available at the top right side of the Visual Studio IDE and can be focused by pressing the shortcut key: Ctrl + Q. Here is a screenshot of the Quick Launch bar from where you can search and launch anything:

Visual Studio 2012 Quick Launch - Toolbar

Using this, you will be able to search and launch any menu items and/or any option settings very easily. For example, if you want to search for “language” in menus and/or options page, just typing it there will list out all the items which has “language” in the text as shown below:

Visual Studio 2012 Quick Launch - Toolbar Search

Clicking any of the items which you desire to launch will open that in the screen for your easy access.

Category Search

Categorize search is another important feature in Quick Launch toolbar. It categorizes each items in a list. For example, if you search for “option” which is available in both menus and options page, you will see them categorized in two different sections as shown in the below screenshot:

Visual Studio 2012 Quick Launch - Options

You can also do a category specific search in quick launch toolbar. To search for an option in the menus, just add “@menu” at the beginning of the search term as shown below:

Visual Studio 2012 Quick Launch - Search for Options in Menu

This will list out all the “option” items in the dropdown. If you want to search for “option” in the options page, you can prepend it with “@opt” and this will list out the option available in the Tools->Options page.

Visual Studio 2012 Quick Launch - Search for Options

You can easily find out the “Quick Launch” settings by typing “@opt quick” in the Quick Launch toolbar and this will list out the item in the screen and from there, you can easily navigate to the said settings page.

Visual Studio 2012 Quick Launch - Options for Quick Launch

If you don’t want to use the Quick Launch bar, you have to manually go to Tools –> Options. This will open the options page in the screen. Then you have to navigate to the Environment –> Quick Launch to open the proper section in the options dialog.

Visual Studio 2012 Quick Launch - Options in Option

In the above screenshot, you can notice that the Quick Launch has four providers named Most recently used, Menus, Options and Open documents. Each of them has the shortcut which you need to prepend with a space to search in that section only.

End Note

As I already mentioned earlier, though it is a new addition to Visual Studio 2012, you can use this feature in Visual Studio 2012 by installing the extension named “Productivity Power Tools”. In the new version of Visual Studio, this comes inbuilt now and hence you don’t have to install it separately and this will really improve your productivity while developing your application.

I hope that this small tip will be helpful for you to improve your productivity. Stay tuned to my blog to get article updates in coming days. Also connect with me on Twitter, Facebook to get regular updates. Subscribe to my blog’s RSS Feed and Email Newsletter for immediate update.


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)

Written By
Technical Lead
India India

Kunal Chowdhury is a former Microsoft "Windows Platform Development" MVP (Most Valuable Professional, 2010 - 2018), a Codeproject Mentor, Speaker in various Microsoft events, Author, passionate Blogger and a Senior Technical Lead by profession.

He is currently working in an MNC located in India. He has a very good skill over XAML, C#, Silverlight, Windows Phone, WPF and Windows app development. He posts his findings, articles, tutorials in his technical blog ( and CodeProject.

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