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5 Visual Studio Extensions you Definitely need as a .NET Developer

If you use Visual Studio every day (like me), these extensions would help you develop faster and make your workflow better than it is now. I've used them for a long time and highly recommend them.

Although Visual Studio is very complete, it doesn't cover all needs. I particularly like working with .NET and there will always be small parts that we will need to cover with other tools. I researched and tested the most recent and amazing extensions, and these are the greatest ones for 2022 👇


NDepend

NDepend is my favorite .NET code analyzer. It generates browsable reports with objective metrics about the quality of the analyzed code. Each metric is documented, monitorable and editable.

The tool also evaluates the technical debt of the project in development-days and hours: you can create an history of metrics and evaluate your progress, whether or not the added code has generated more technical debt.

ndepend visual studio extension

The main functions are:

  • Alert you about code that is essential to fix before sending the application to production.

  • Detect the most complex parts of the application so that you pay more attention to them.

  • Help you to manage legacy code.

  • Generate an objective estimation of the technical debt of the project and monitors it over time as you add more code.

  • Generates visual graphs of project dependencies.

  • Visual Studio integration, Azure DevOps integration and Reporting within CI/CD integration.

download ndepend for visual studio

📦Get NDepend for Visual Studio


Visual Assist

Visual Assist is an extension developed by Whole Tomato Software. The extension primarily enhances IntelliSense and syntax highlighting. It also enhances code suggestions, provides refactoring commands, and includes spell checking support for comments. It can also detect basic syntax mistakes such as use of undeclared variables.

This extension also has built-in support for Unreal Engine with new features that run faster, allowing you to save a lot of time when developing games.

download visual assist extension for visual studio

The main features are:

  • Refactoring and improve code readability.

  • Generate code quickly with commands.

  • Debug assistance in Visual Assist.

  • Code mistakes correction.

📦Get Visual Assist for Visual Studio


CodeMaid

I love the simplicity of this extension. CodeMaid is just a Visual Studio extension which has been installed over two million times. It allows you to clean up and simplify the code.

It reorganizes the code of a class based on the StyleCop specifications. If we then run the StyleCop analysis, we will see that it takes a lot of work off the top. The main features are:

  • Code cleaning.

  • Code reorganizing.

  • Visualizing and navigating through your code.

  • Comment formatting.

Download CodeMaid extension for visual studio

It also has the ability to switch between related files, the most usual thing we usually do when editing WPF between XAML and XAML.cs.

📦Get CodeMaid for Visual Studio


VS Color Output

Best for customization. VSColorOutput can change the color of a line emitted to the output window based on specified rules. The rules consist of regular expressions. Rules map to classifications which in turn map to colors.

It hooks into the classifier chain of Visual Studio. This allows VSColorOutput to monitor every line sent to the output window. A list of classifiers, consisting of regular expressions and classifications is checked. The first matching expression determines the classification. If no patterns match, then the line is classified as BuildText.

Download VS Color Output extension for Visual Studio

Other features are:

  • Stop Build On First Error.

  • Show Elapsed Build Time.

  • Show Debug Window when Debug Starts.

  • Per Solution Settings.

From here, Visual Studio does the heavy lifting of mapping the classification to a color. Settings are stored in a separate file: %AppData%/VSColorOutput/vscoloroutput.json

📦Get VS Color Output for Visual Studio


Resharper

ReSharper is a popular extension for Visual Studio. It automates the majority of the things, you can automate in your code procedures. It detects and corrects compiler errors, runtime problems, and redundancies as you type, and makes intelligent modifications for them.

It supports with code exploration by showing file structure, type and style hierarchies, call and value chains, and project dependencies. It enables you to quickly browse your whole solution and navigate to the precise file and line you're searching for, decompiling library code as needed.

Download Resharper extension for Visual Studio

You may examine software with ReSharper by visualizing file composition, category and design hierarchies, call and value chains, and project dependencies. It allows you to quickly cross your whole solution and go to the exact folder and line you're looking for. If necessary, it also decompiles library code.

📦Get Resharper for Visual Studio


In conclusion, Visual Studio is a perfect standard code editor, but if you spend some time customizing it through its extensions, you will be able to get the most out of the editor and, most importantly, you will be able to squeeze and optimize your software development time to the maximum.

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