Visual Assist build 2102 is available

Visual Assist build 2102 makes it three builds in four weeks, which is an unwanted record  for us. Microsoft prompted the last build because they issued Visual Studio “15” Preview 2 without notice, which deprecated our prior build. Build 2102 is our doing; it fixes two minor regressions in builds 2097 and 2098.

Visual Assist build 2102 reverts an attempt to fix some kerning in Windows 10. The attempt fixed kerning for some fonts but worsened it for others. If you encounter text that is difficult to read, e.g., in the VA Outline, install build 2102.

If you use Alt+M to navigate among methods in a file, you may notice the list excludes certain non-const template class methods. If this occurs for you, install build 2102.

Visual Assist build 2102 includes no other fixes and no improvements to functionality, and the build requires software maintenance through 2016.06.02.

Check out what’s new in recent builds, or download the installer for build 2102.

Visual Assist build 2098 is available

Visual Assist build 2098 arrives on the heels of build 2097 to provide support in Visual Assist for Visual Studio Enterprise “15” Preview 2, the IDE that Microsoft released while build 2097 was in the final stage of quality testing.


If you installed Preview 2, you should install Visual Assist build 2098. If you don’t use Visual Studio “15” and have our build 2097, you can skip 2098—it will do nothing for you. If you have a build of Visual Assist prior to 2097, install build 2098 and then read what’s new in build 2097.

Visual Assist build 2098 requires software maintenance through 2016.05.12.

You can find descriptions of this and our previous builds on our what’s new page. If you need build 2098, download the installer.

Visual Assist build 2097 is available

Visual Assist build 2097 introduces support for Visual Studio Enterprise “15” Preview 1, just in time for Microsoft’s posting of Preview 2.


If you use Preview 1, you can install build 2097 assuming you installed the IDE using its ISO or web installer. The Visual Assist installer for build 2097 won’t recognize your IDE if you installed it only using Microsoft’s new, “light” installer.

If you already switched to Preview 2, you should wait for the next build of Visual Assist, due in a few days. That build will officially support Preview 2. (We’ll drop support for Preview 1 at the same time.)

Also in build 2097, we implemented a suggestion that came to us from a customer at last month’s Build conference—to support an alternate location for roaming data. The customer envisioned a more efficient way to configure Visual Assist in multiple VMs and PCs. He wants to store data on OneDrive such that a VA Snippet created in one development environment will be available when starting an IDE in his other environments. Build 2097 makes that possible, and OneDrive should work just fine.

With build 2097, one can specify an alternate location for per-user data, e.g. VA Snippets. But, keep in mind Visual Assist won’t automatically write its registry settings in the alternate location; you need to force that with export/import when you setup a new environment. Export is available on the Performance page of the options dialog for Visual Assist, and “import” implies running the exported registry script in your new environment. (Edit your registry script if file paths of your two environments differ, and export/import works only to the same version of IDE.)

Also at the Build conference, we learned very few of our customers are aware of, much less use, VA Hashtags. We demo’d the feature regularly, and every viewer was duly impressed. They had no idea such a simple yet powerful feature of Visual Assist escaped them.

I mention VA Hashtags for two reasons: if you don’t know about them, you are in for a treat. If you do use them, build 2097 makes it a little easier to hide specific VA Hashtags from all of your solutions, usually the VA Hashtags created solely by and for another developer on your team.


Build 2097 also contains the typical slew of bug fixes.

Learn how to specify an alternate location for per-user data, introduce yourself to VA Hashtags, make global hiding a little easier, check out the complete list of what’s new in build 2097, or download the installer.

One final note, build 2097 doesn’t appear on our downloads page because the build throws an exception for first-time users of Visual Assist. If you are reading this blog post, it’s a safe bet you are not a first-time user; you won’t see the exception. Our next build will fix the problem and will appear on our downloads page for all users.

Visit Us at the Build 2016 conference in San Francisco


If you will attend Build 2016 in San Francisco this week, be sure to stop by our booth and say hello. Whole Tomato will demonstrate Visual Assist at the conference in an area dedicated to Visual Studio partners. We will have technical people on hand to answer questions about Visual Assist, walk through specific features, and listen to your wish lists. We will have a few giveaways as well.

Visual Assist build 2094 is available

Visual Assist build 2094 fixes only one bug of significance—sort of. The bug is actually in Visual Studio 2015 Update 2 and the “fix” in Visual Assist is to work around the bug. If you install Visual Studio 2015 Update 2, you need Visual Assist build 2094. If you use any other IDE, build 2094 offers very little.

The workaround in Visual Assist is a simple one. VA Snippets that prompt for input are typically expanded in-editor. Complex VA Snippets prompt for input via a dialog. The “fix” is to open the dialog for all VA Snippets that need input. Effectively, in-editor expansion is on hold in Visual Studio 2015.

Visual Assist build 2094 requires software maintenance through 2016.03.25.

Check out the small list of bug fixes in build 2094, or download the installer—especially if you use Visual Studio 2015.

Visual Assist build 2093 is available

Visual Assist build 2093 is our second build of 2016—the year—and includes official support for Visual Studio 2015 Update 2 RC. If you read the previous post in this blog, you know builds of Visual Assist that work in one flavor of an IDE, e.g. Visual Studio 2013 RC, “work” in all flavors, but a new flavor isn’t officially supported, nor do all features of Visual Assist necessary function, until we announce official support. That support is now available for Visual Studio 2015 Update 2 RC.

Our options dialog got another upgrade in this build. We added a clearly visible help box that refreshes as one navigates the dialog via keyboard or mouse. If you want to know more than the nugget presented, a link within the help box takes you directly to respective documentation.


Visual Assist build 2093 also includes better support for C++11 and C++14, with parsing and coloring of Unicode and raw string literals, constexpr, thread_local, and more.


Visual Assist build 2093 requires software maintenance through 2016.03.11.

Check out the complete list of what’s new in build 2093, including its numerous bug fixes, or download the installer.


Compatibility of Visual Assist with Releases of an IDE

A few days ago, Microsoft announced the release candidate (RC) of Visual Studio 2015 Update 2. If you are a user of Visual Assist in this newest Microsoft IDE, any build of Visual Assist beginning with 2073 should work for you. I write “should” because builds of Visual Assist made before the RC, for obvious reasons, have not been tested against the RC. (We can’t test what we don’t have.)

Builds of Visual Assist usually install to a particular IDE if you have any flavor of it: beta, RC, or RTM. Only when we announce full support for a flavor are you assured we have successfully run our full suite of tests against it. And, only then should you expect complete compatibility between Visual Assist and your IDE.

Visual Assist install dialog

As for timing, we don’t synchronize our builds and those of Microsoft. But because we issue six or seven builds of Visual Assist a year, one is destined to ship not long after every Microsoft release. That said, the next build we ship may or may not fully support the Microsoft release. Before tackling full support, we consider the readiness of our next build at the time of Microsoft announcement, the scope of delay to provide full support, the assumed quality of Microsoft’s release, and the estimated shelf-life of that release.

We give top priority to Microsoft RTM releases; the build of Visual Assist that follows an RTM almost always fully supports it. Other Microsoft releases are usually rolled into our normal development cycle, and they are also the releases that require the most development time.

We are already aware of two conflicts between the release candidate of Visual Studio 2015 Update 2 and Visual Assist build 2089, our latest. We expect to address these in our next build:

  1. line breaks are doubled during in-line expansion of VA Snippets. The behavior is likely due to a bug in Update 2. For now, don’t use your affected VA Snippets or edit expanded code.
  2. a new feature for C# users in Update 2 inserts * at the start of new lines when writing /**/ comments. That feature conflicts with the more powerful “Auto-extend Multi-line Comments” feature in Visual Assist. For now, disable one or the other.

If you subscribe to any of our social channels, you will learn about our builds and the IDE flavors they support. If you are ahead of us, meaning you use Visual Assist in a flavor of an IDE that Visual Assist does not yet fully support, we ask that you report incompatibilities between Visual Assist and your IDE. Your reports help us attain full support.