There’s no secret that Visual Studio is the go-to IDE for C# developers — both Visual Studio and C# are Microsoft products and both proved themselves over the years.
One of the strengths of Visual Studio is represented by the powerful customization options (both design and functionality). There are literally thousands of extensions available in the Visual Studio Marketplace that enhance the editor experience and make the everyday life of C# developers easier.
The topic that will be approached today is that of the best Visual Studio extensions for C#. So without much further ado, let’s dive into the magic of productivity helpers.
With 50% of your time spent on debugging, it really pays to have Visual Studio’s capabilities improved in this regard.
OzCode for Visual Studio improves C# code debugging with many useful features that expand on the functionality of VS debugger. OzCode detects and isolates bugs, making them easier to fix. You can compare objects, search for properties, create tracepoints and breakpoints, evaluate expressions, and much more.
It’s an amazing time saver and hands down the best debugging tool you will ever use.
Keeping track of your C# projects and their versions is critical. For this purpose, you can use AnkhSVN, a subversion source control provider for Visual Studio.
You can perform the most common version control operations with AnkhSVN: view the status of your source code, update your Subversion working copy and commit changes. And you don’t even have to leave the IDE! Another cool feature is that you can hook up your favorite diff tool.
Just a heads-up: handling deletions is a bit capricious, so you might want to have another companion SVN access tool to go with it.
CodeMaid is an open source Visual Studio extension that helps you to reformat and rearrange code. You can use it to clean up and simplify C# coding.
It helps you with code cleaning, digging, and reorganizing, as well as comment formatting. It’s an excellent tool to be adopted by everyone on the development team, in order to avoid conflict for code formatting. Some coders suggest that it would have been even better to have a little more control over the formatting.
However, be aware that sometimes CodeMaid can get in your way of doing things.
2. Visual Assist
Visual Assist is another useful productivity tool for C# developers. It improves Visual Studio features related to navigation, code generation, refactoring, and coding assistance, filling important gaps in the coding experience.
It helps you to improve the readability of your code and reduce its complexity, generate code quickly, correct typing mistakes as you make them, and better understand unfamiliar or complex code.
The only downside is that on large projects Visual Assist becomes quite slow, taking a long time to refresh projects.
The first in the list is ReSharper. Simply put, this extension really “sharpens” your C# code. It’s one of the major productivity and refactoring extensions for Visual Studio.
It does an excellent job of finding compiler and runtime errors, redundancy, and things you just need to fix. The refactoring support is advanced, including the suggestions that you receive when you could or should refactor or improve your code, which in turn help you to write quality code faster.
However, you should bear in mind that sometimes ReSharper makes questionable suggestions and it can also be a bit slow.