Visual Studio 2013 Cool Features!


At work today we updated all development machines that myself and colleague use to Visual Studio 2013 (not really update but we installed it along side 2010). I must say, I was a huge skeptic of the new IDE but after using it for 8 hours today… I am a huge believer!

Why? Here are four features that I love:

1. User settings are now synced with your account you use with VS2013… this will save me a huge amounts of time. Why? Well my department is also in charge of evaluating, testing and preparing new models of computers in the environment and every year it seems someone comes to me and hands me a laptop and says “use this now”… I comply and roll my eyes knowing that I will spend the next business day setting it up to be perfect (I like everything to be in a particular way). Now… I will install VS2013 through a deployment machine (automated), I will fire it up and log on with my live account and boom…. all settings are synced. No more turning on line numbers or changing the VS theme to blue. Its all done for me   🙂

2. Code Peeking, at first I didn’t know about this one, but in the afternoon I was in a WebEx meeting with our Microsoft go to person and I was running through the code for Hyper-V 2012 R2 integration and was clicking on methods and hitting F12 to jump to it, like any programmer would do. All I heard on the phone was “No, no, no… Alt+F12 Matt!”… my mind was blown. It showed me the code while still being on the same page!

Code Peeking, awesome!!
Code Peeking, awesome!!

3. Not really a VS2013 feature but one of my favorites that came along, 64 bit Edit and Continue – If you are starting any new projects of have the possibility to convert an existing one to .NET Framework 4.5.1, I highly suggest you do so for the sole reason of debugging on the fly. Just like the 32 bit .NET applications, you can now debug the application and make changes while still debugging… no more error messages!!


4. Code Map (this is only available in Visual Studio 2013 Ultimate), you ever wonder what code is talking to or linked together? Now you can right click and choose “Show on Code Map” and boom… A graph appears showing this exact information. I believe this was introduced in VS2012 but I never used that version (it was the Vista of Visual Studio, haha).

One word of warning though, do not go deleting or commenting out code just because it is not linked to something else. For example, WPF data binding does not show on Code Map… investigate the same way you would before before doing something stupid  🙂