My 3 favorite extensions for Visual Studio I cannot live without

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I’ll show you 3 extensions that enhance and modify the behavior of Visual Studio for a better development experience.

Only 3 extensions? What is this?

Yes, that’s all I need because Visual Studio contains a lot of stuff right out of the box. However, these 3 extensions are necessary for my daily workflow as a C#/.NET developer.

Match margin

This extension highlights all occurrences of the current text under the cursor in the vertical scrollbar on the right of the editor. It is useful to quickly find variable usages with a glance for example. Of course, you could use the search function but I like this way because it’s faster.

Screenshot of Match Margin extension (Source)
Screenshot of Match Margin extension (Source)

VSColorOutput

With this enhancement, you can customize the colors of the output window and the find results window. It’s useful if you don’t like the default colors or if your current color scheme makes some text difficult to read. Another nice feature is a build report that can be enabled.

Screenshot of VSColorOutput extension (Source)
Screenshot of VSColorOutput extension (Source)

XAMLStyler

If you are developing with WPF, UWP, or MAUI, you will have to deal with XAML files. XAML Styler can help you reformat them according to configurable rules so that all files look identical. Attributes per line, indentation length and type, attribute reordering, empty line handling, dealing with self-closing brackets, … the options are enormous. It makes your XAML files look better and others can dive into the code faster.

Screenshot of XAML Styler extension (Source)
Screenshot of XAML Styler extension (Source)

Conclusion

Visual Studio is already well-equipped with features but the presented extensions are essential for my daily workflow. Do you have other suggestions? Let me know about it!


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