[ENG] Extensions for Visual Studio that every Developer must have

Hi everybody: this time I want to share the Visual Studio Extensions that I always use to make my daily work increasingly more productive. Sometimes just not only learn a handful of key combinations to be productive, many extensions have been created by thousands of developers, companies and also by Microsoft, this time I’ll use Visual Studio 2013 Community Edition:


It is very easy to install extensions to Visual Studio, go to the menu Tools and then Extensions and Updates and you will be shown the following window:


Be sure to choose the node Online (online) so that Visual Studio to locate all available extensions, icons marked with green are those that I have installed.

But first let’s go one by one, order does not necessarily indicate preference, everyone has equal relevance in this post and they allow us to be much more productive when working.

1 Productivity Power Tools:

This tool developed by Microsoft, adds a lot of new features to Visual Studio and will allow us to expedite the work.

Among the most noteworthy features (and which most use) are:

  • Ctrl + Click Go to Definition: If you always want to know the definition of a method, property, or class classic is to press F12, but and if you only want to take a look? By clicking on a particular method by keeping the key pressed Ctrl will see a small glimpse of the code in question, this thanks also to which enabled a feature of Productivity Power Tools called Peek Help.Snap1
  • Copy and paste references: you have gone? Yes, sure that Yes, when we have more than one project in a solution sometimes we want more than one project to exist the same references, by selecting an Assembly can copy such reference and then paste it into another project, it’s simple.Snap2
  • Remove and sort Usings per project (in C#): this is very useful because we no longer have to go to each code file, we can do it at the level of project or solution.Snap3
  • Copy as HTML: this is very useful when you want the code to be copied to the Clipboard as HTML, ideal to make technical documentation or to write lots of code in a blog (like this).

The list of features is very long, but I assure you that they will have an easy adaptation, I can hardly live without this extension, because I feel that my IDE is not complete.

2 DPack:

This extension provided by the company USysware, is one of my favorites, because the function that most use is to Backup Solution, is a feature that reads the contents of all solution and can be placed in a ZIP all our source code, very useful if we want to move the code to a colleague or have a backup in place. This extension is very customizable, let’s look at how to get a daily backup of our project.

Once installed, we go to the Tools Menu, then to DPack, and then Options:

In this window we headed to the node which indicates Solution Backup and configure as reference what I have:


First, make sure that the path of placed where their backup, otherwise, will be saved the zip file will be generated in the solution folder. Then they must define the format which will be the name of the file, I usually use this:


The which defines the solution name, followed by the current date with the format yyyy/mm/dd and an auto-incremental number, which will increase depending on the number of backups that you make on the day.

Finally configure to always save the files before the backup:


Once this step is done press the combination of keys Shift+Alt+B and this will be the backup in the indicated folder.


3. Web Essentials 2013 for Update 4:


There are several versions of this extension depending on the version of Visual Studio you have installed, it is a tool that adds many features to the IDE if you’re a Web Developer, one of the things that I love is that it comes included a shortcut to StackOverFlow that is the forum par excellence for solving doubts and complicated cases:


In addition this add-on, gives us a tool that allows us to create a palette of colors that we can visually modify:


And so there are many more features.

4 VSCommands for Visual Studio 2013:

This extension is not free but you’ve got a trial to try all their functions, to my I love to use it, for example, one of the things that stands out is that you can «colorize» the contents of the Output window, which allows you to see in green what is compiled well, Yellow warnings and Red errors It is highly recommended in my opinion.


They can continue to explore all the Visual Studio Gallery, there are numerous extensions for the type of programming that carried out, and as is that not all do the same, I wanted to collect the most salient to make our work easier.

By the way, if you have a version a previous Visual Studio, 2010 onwards, same extensions also exist, but with the difference that there is less features.

I hope they serve aid like me.

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