Visual Assist build 2059 introduces a set of commands that extend/shrink the text selection. We implemented and tested numerous versions of the commands and settled on implementations we believe are rather clever. Our extend/shrink commands, collectively called Smart Select, should be valuable to all users of Visual Assist, in all Microsoft IDEs.
Four commands comprise Smart Select: Extend Block Selection, Shrink Block Selection, and non-block variants. The four commands install with default shortcuts.
For the times you need to select a block of code, use Extend Block Selection (Alt+]) and let Visual Assist guess your intent. If it’s not right, use any of the commands to extend or shrink the initial block. The block variants change the selection by a lot; the non-block variants by a little.
Alternatively, begin with Extend Selection (Shift+Alt+]) to select less code initially. Use successive commands to grow the selection by small increments. Visual Assist extends the selection in an efficient manner so you will likely need just a few key presses to select what you need.
Although we have tested our implementations on a vast amount of code, let us know if you discover scenarios in which our implementations of extend/shrink could be more clever.
As for other improvements, Visual Assist build 2059 is smarter in its placement of methods it creates; you shouldn’t need to move code after Create Implementation or Move Implementation to Source File. The build also has the typical slew of minor enhancements, bug fixes, and performance upgrades.
Learn more about Smart Select, check out the complete list of what’s new, or download the installer.
Could you please edit the article to explain what these features are? You mention they are available in other IDEs but I’ve never seen or heard of these features before. Some background explanation of what the feature is would help. This article makes no sense to me.
Extend and shrink make it easy to select common blocks, e.g. a parameter list or compound statement. Visual Assist provides the functionality—collectively Smart Select—via four commands: Extend Block Selection, Shrink Block Selection, Extend Selection, and Shrink Selection. (Prior to my edit, the connection between Smart Select and the commands was clear only in the snippet from the VAssistX menu.)