As most of you know that Microsoft released the Visual Studio 11 Developers preview in BUILD Conference. In this article we are going to see the list of new features provided in Solution Explorer of Visual Studio IDE. Microsoft takes in to consideration of the most of the frequent requirements by the end users and has provided a rich set of enhancements which helps developers to be more productive in day-to-day work.
Let us see the list of new features of Visual Studio 11 IDE's solution explorer with a small example of each of the feature.
Enhancement 1 - Collapse All Button
This button is provided to collapse all the folders and documents opened in the tree view of the Solution explorer IDE. This button is available in the earlier version as a plugin. We need to use the button to unfold the list to explore the folders.
Enhancement 2 - Image Preview
This enhancement will be very useful for the designer and the developer who do a day-to-day update of their website. We can now preview the image right in the solution explorer itself rather to open and preview it. This enhancement will be more productive by providing the preview to the developer. To use this feature just move the mouse pointer to the image file and we can see the image preview as shown in the screen below.
Enhancement 3 - Preview Files
This enhancement is more amazing to see, we can now preview the content file before we open the file and do our changes. The file can be of any type we can simply use it to preview them. In our earlier enhancement we have seen the option to preview the image right in the solution explorer but here to preview a file just click on the file name it will open the file in the left side pane with a small button (Promote) once we are ok with the preview we can simply click the promote button to open the file for making changes. We can see the enhancement how it works out using the below screen's.
Now clicking on the promote button will open the file in the edit mode for the developers for their business requirements as shown in the screen below.
By default this option will not be enabled with the Visual Studio IDE, in order to enable the enhancement we need to Tools -> Options and select the Tabs and Windows menu and mark the changes as shown in the screen below.
Enhancement 4 - Integrated Search
This is a killer enhancement by the Microsoft product team, which will be very much productive for the application developers in the enterprise world. We had options earlier to search the whole solution for a particular string or an expression. But with the Visual Studio IDE 11 we have option to search the solution explorer for the list of files available. To use this search feature we can simply click on the Search Solution Explorer or press Control + ; as shown in the screen below.
Now let us search for the images with image name as logo, just go and type logo and we can see the search result as shown in the screen below.
Enhancement 5 - Renaming Project File
This enhancement is much more enhanced version, we can now select the project files and simply click on it once to directly edit the name of the file alone rather in earlier IDE's we will be selected with the complete file name including the extensions as shown in the screen below.
So in this article we have seen some of the new features/enhancements of the Visual Studio 11 IDE solution explorer. In our next article we will see some more new features to be explored.