VISUAL ASSIST - Filling Gaps in Visual Studio for C/C++ and C# Developers

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10 Compelling Reasons Why You Need Visual Assist For Visual Studio 2022

Visual Studio is a great code editor that comes with a lot of features, and it’s one of the most widely used IDE worldwide. However, despite being a powerful IDE, some areas still need improvement. Some Visual Studio extensions and code plugins may significantly impact developers’ productivity, and Visual Assist is one of them. Visual Assist always provides swift support for new versions of Microsoft Visual Studio. 

Visual Assist extends Visual Studio to improve the development experience by providing tools for understanding, checking, and writing code. Its benefits include code inspection, fast navigation, refactoring, code assistance, code correction, and more. This article will discuss the top 10 reasons to use Visual Assist for Visual Studio 2022

What are the Benefits Provided by Visual Assist for Visual Studio 2022?

Visual Assist has several features to enhance developer productivity. These features virtually improve every Microsoft IDE with great benefits. Visual Assist helps fill gaps in Visual Studio for C/C++ and C# developers. Let’s discuss the reasons why developers need Visual Assist for Visual Studio 2022.

Write Code Faster With Assistance

VAX coding assistance helps write code faster, especially when on a roll. It suggests completions to avoid typing errors and quietly fixes mistakes in your wake.

  • Acronyms: Write code faster using acronyms. Visual Assist extends the acronyms into the valid symbols in current content. Continue typing the lowercase letters if uppercase fails to isolate a symbol. 
  • Auto-extend Multi-Line Comments: You can quickly expand multi-line comments from anywhere. Divide a line, and VAX opens a new line using an appropriate comment token at the right indent level.
  • Enhanced Listboxes: Hover over the list boxes and control the content with a toolbar from VAX. Reorder Listbox content, or you can filter it by type. Find the required member by investigating a class without leaving your position.
  • Multiple Clipboard: Quickly paste the copy-before-last using Ctrl+Shift and Enter because VAX always preselects the second clipboard in the menu. 

Reduce Code Complexity

Refactoring helps reduce the code complexity, enhance its readability, and extend it without changing the external behavior. This feature allows refactoring the legacy code, inherited code, or the first version of your work.

  • Access to Refactoring Commands: These commands are available in menus accessible by mouse and keyboard, and the menu contents may vary with the context. 
  • Extract Method: Move a code segment into a separate method and then replace the segment using a call to the extracting method.
  • Introduce Variable: Replace an expression using a variable that explains the purpose of replaced code.
  • Move Implementation to Header File: In C/C++, move a method implementation from the source to the class declaration or a header file.

Faster Code Generation

Visual Assist helps you generate code faster than you think, even only using a few features. You can write and update code faster once you become a proficient user.

  • Forward Declaration: Add a forward declaration for a referenced symbol. For example, a pointer to a class from the current location.
  • Add Member: Quickly add a member variable or method from any class reference without interfering with your normal flow.
  • Add Similar Member: Open a refactoring menu from a reference to create a member similar to the existing reference. This top-down programming style doesn’t interrupt your normal flow.
  • Add a Directive: In C/C++, add a directive quickly to the current file for making a symbol known. 

Makes Complex Code Easier

Make complex code easier with various tool windows, fields, and browsers, providing information where and when you need it.

  • Column Indicator: VAX displays an indicator at the trailing edge of the specified column.
  • Context Field: Glance at the Visual Assist navigation bar contact field to determine the definition and scope of the current symbol.
  • Definition Field: Glance at the VA navigation bar right portion to determine the definition of the current symbol.
  • Highlight Matching Word: It automatically highlights words that match the symbol at the caret as you move through comments and strings.

Fix Errors With Core Correction

Visual Assist quickly corrects mistakes as you make them, particularly errors in pointer notation and symbol case. Type in lower case and let Visual Assist correct the case symbol in your code.

  • Highlights Files in Output Window: Add a standout after files built in your solutions with errors. The code correction feature makes it easier to determine what needs to be resolved.
  • Repair Case: Type in virtually all lowercase or a mix of lowercase and uppercase. Visual Assist resolves the case symbol errors in the current context. Type definitions and declarations in camelCase.
  • Underline Spelling Errors: Recognize the misspelled words in the code and repair them. Misspelled words appear with similar squiggles. VA lets you browse code without distractions of squiggles, as they appear only in modified files.

Code Inspection

Inspect your code for resolving quality issues. Based on LLVM/CLANG, this Visual Assist feature detects and fixes programming errors, such as interface misuse, style violations, and bugs that can be inferred through static analysis.

  • Code Inspection Setting: Enable code inspection and quality checks in the Visual Assist options dialog box. The LLVM/CLANG parser executes in a separate process from Visual Studio to avoid degrading performance.
  • Code Issues in the Editor: When you enable this feature, it highlights code issues in the Visual Studio text editor. The first few characters of code issues are underlined in a dotted or solid fashion.
  • Quick Fixes in a Tool Window: Code issues are also available in a tool window identifying all issues for the current file. Apply fixes to all issues in a batch for a specified level.

Edit Custom Code Snippets

You can extend frequently typed code segments with a powerful version of like-named features. Include symbols from the current content and edit snippets in a custom editor.

  • VA Snippers: Insert common code snippets with the powerful and accessible version of the like-named IDE snippet.
  • VA Refactoring Snippets: You can edit various Visual Assist snippets bound to code-generation and refactoring commands and force new code adhering to the formatting preferences.
  • Smart Suggestions: It defines suggestions to speed typing and optimize accuracy while assigning a value to a user-defined or built-in type and building constructs, such as loop, switch and a class.

Reduce Debugging Time

Use the Virtual Assist memory view and the step filter to reduce the time required to debug native C/C++. 

  • Address Resolver: Debug native C/C++ while debugging information reaches in text form. Address Resolver reads DLLs, EXEs, and PDBs, and detects the symbols associated with the text version of visual addresses.
  • PDB Explorer: Browse and search for module symbols comprising executable code, whether or not the code is in the running process. Find symbols in DLLs and EXEs as you were detecting symbols in a solution.
  • VA Step Filler: Step directly into methods while stepping through native C/C++ without necessarily stepping into an argument list methods.

Efficient Tool Windows

View code from 30,000 feet and rearrange it to make it easier to understand and maintain. Visual Assist tool windows supply entirely new functionality to the IDE and bring together often-used built-in functionality for more efficient tool windows.

  • VA Hashtags: Access your VA hashtags in the single tool window. You can view bookmarks and defined tasks in the comments throughout the project. 
  • VA Outline: Inspect methods, classes, and file-scope declarations in the active document with VA outline. Modify the active document, and the VA outline stays in sync. 
  • VA view: You can browse and navigate code efficiently with the VA view, a window generally kept in the foreground while editing. You can access the best features of various IDE tool windows in the VA view.

Easy Configuration

You can adjust many features in Visual Assist that suit your programming habits and environment. Find your favorite features and use them for maximum productivity.

  • Context Menus: Use menus to access context-specific content. You can bind a shortcut to the VA context menu containing all features available for the current symbol, file, or position in the editor.
  • Custom File Extensions: Make Visual Assist parse files without extensions as header files and consider files with specific extensions as header files or sources.
  • Keyboard shortcuts: Learn the shortcuts assigned during Visual Assist installations, evaluate recommended shortcuts and assign them for the remainder of your favorites. 

Ready to use Visual Assist for Visual Studio 2022?

Visual Studio extensions are efficient tools to enhance developers’ productivity and efficiency. There are various extensions for Visual Studio, but developers find Visual Assist more productive than others. 

Visual Assist for Visual Studio 2022 helps you make coding easier with its unique and productive features. You can make the development environment more comfortable with the right practical measures. 

This article highlighted the most compelling reason showing that you need Visual Assist for Visual Studio. Visual Assist offers plenty of features to let developers code faster and more efficiently. Install Visual Assist to get a reliable extension for Visual Studio to increase code efficiency and speed. 

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