VS 2012 Cool Features

A lot of Microsoft blogs have focused on the high level changes in Visual Studio 2012 but there are lots of small, but cool IDE changes.

Despite the new fifty-shades-of-grey interface (which I think is taking minimalism too far) here are some of the ones I like:

Solution Explorer – now with Go-Faster-Stripes

Multiple Explorer Windows

You have a big solution: say ten or twenty projects. You’ve got a great nested folder structure on each. But the thing you’re working on requires files in a subfolder at the very top project, and some others in the bottom project.

Working with the files in this situation makes solution explorer more like “solution disorienter” as you have to flick back and forth.

But now you can open more than one instance! Right click on any project or folder:


Note the new “New Solution Explorer View” – click this and a new window appears. If you clicked a project or a folder, the new Scope to This feature is used: the new window only has that scope showing. Now you can open two, three or more scopes on just the folders you need to work with, and not the whole project.

Suspend Work

Something I’ve not played with yet, as I think it requires TFS 2012, is the Suspend Work option. This saves not just the window states, but the whole workspace and the source control changes. It’s like Shelvesets-on-steroids. Hopefully it works better than Shelvesets.