Sunday, September 2, 2012

Visual Studio 2012 - Three New Features For Everyday Usage

Last week my employer started using Visual Studio 2012. For the most part, I like what I've seen. Although I haven't used it enough to get an idea of all its idiosyncrasies, I have noticed a few new features that will be useful in everyday situations.

One big new feature is the ability to open Visual Studio 2010 solutions without going through a conversion process. In previous versions, you would be forced to convert a solution, meaning that it could no longer be opened in an even earlier version. This scenario would force a whole team to upgrade to the new version of Visual Studio. With 2012, one or two developers can give the new version a shot, while the rest of the team continues to work with Visual Studio 2010.

Another nice new feature is the ability to have multiple tabs on another window on a second monitor. Being able to pull a tab of code over to a second window was a great feature in Visual Studio 2010, making it easy to do a side by side comparison of code. Visual Studio 2012 expands on this by allowing multiple tabs in a second window. This can be useful if you want to explore two separate areas of an application while organizing the source files in separate windows.

A third new feature resolves a previous pet peeve of mine. In Visual Studio 2010, right-clicking on a tab would reveal a context menu that included options for closing the current tab or all other tabs. Strangely, no option existed on the menu to close all tabs, although this was something I often wanted to do. It was nice to see a context menu item added in Visual Studio 2012 to close all tabs.

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