Visual Studio team has already delivered patches and fixes on areas in which you have had some concerns. In this article I want to walk you through some of the latest improvements that are currently available for you to download. Help Viewer Power tool, Insufficient Memory, Scrolling Context Menu, Find And Replace Dialog, and Color Printing fixes.
- Help Viewer Power Tool (Beta) - Since the release of Help Viewer 1.0, the team has been talking with developers and observing the use of Visual Studio help in our usability labs. You can download the Help Viewer Power Tool (Beta) from the VS Gallery. I recommend you check out Jeff Braaten's series of posts that includes a preview of the next set of improvements we're planning to deliver soon. This Power Tool adds keyword index capability to the Help Viewer with an option to display help in a standalone window.
- Insufficient Memory - We heard from customers they were running into issues while attempting to cut or copy small to moderate amounts of text. Downloading this patch will resolve these “insufficient memory” errors. The team also posted additional information about this patch if you'd like to learn more.
- Scrolling Context Menu - The team published a couple patches to this widely-reported problem where context menus contain scrollbars even when there is sufficient screen real estate. Information and links to the patches for Visual Studio and Windows Presentation Foundation can be found on the team's blog here. Visual Studio 2010 where context menus contain scrollbars even when there is sufficient screen real estate to show the menu without one.
- Visual Studio 2010 patch: http://code.msdn.microsoft.com/KB2345133
- Windows Presentation Foundation 4.0 patch: http://code.msdn.microsoft.com/KB2413613
- X86: NDP40-KB2413613-x86.exe.
- X64: NDP40-KB2413613-x64.exe.
- Find and Replace Dialog - The team released a patch for this top reported bug that fixes the issue with Find and Replace dialog growing 16px on each use.
- Color Printing - This extension was created largely in response to your feedback that omitting color printing was causing significant pain on a daily basis. You can download the Color Printing extension from the VS Gallery that addresses that issue. To learn more about the extension, check out the team's blog here.
Installation and Setup
Installing Color Printing requires Visual Studio 2010 Pro, Premium, or Ultimate (the Express editions do not support extensions). You should be able to simply download and install this extension from the VS Gallery or via the Tools menu->Extension Manager.
Using the Color Printing Extension
Once you’ve installed the Color Printing extension, you should be able to print as you typically would – simply use File->Print or press Ctrl+P. No extra steps are required. You might notice that the print dialog looks slightly different, but it should be very similar to print dialogs you would see in Visual Studio or other applications:
Although we believe this extension restores most of the color printing functionality available in VS 2008 and earlier, there are a few known issues with this version:
- There is no option to hide collapsed regions. In this version of the color printing extension, collapsed regions are always printed as though they were expanded.
- There is no explicit option in the print dialog to print line numbers. In this version, line numbers will be printed if and only if the line number margin is turned on via Tools->Options.
- The margins for the printed page (top/bottom/left/right margins) are not currently customizable.
- Printing in high contrast black modes may require users to manually update the background color for Plain Text in Tools->Options->Environment->Fonts and Colors->Printer. This is because the VS color settings for printers will use the black background color from the high contrast theme.
I encourage you to keep letting us know what you think as you continue to work with Visual Studio 2010. You can engage with us through our Visual Studio forums, team blogs and our Visual Studio Connect site.
New Features in Visual Studio SP1
We’ve made three major changes to the Help Viewer in SP1. First, we’ve abandoned the browser-as-local-help-viewer and implemented a simple client application for offline help. The help window is no longer lost in the set of browser tabs you have open and the help application icon can be easily located in the taskbar. F1 Help re-uses the currently active tab instead of creating a parade of open tabs that must be manually managed. The help application can be sized and placed anywhere on your desktop and retains its size and placement across sessions. The navigation panel width is resizable and it can be placed to the right or the left of the content.
Second, with the flexibility we gain from building a client application, we’ve re-introduced many of the productivity/efficiency features found in Document Explorer. The viewer features four navigation tabs: a fully-expandable table of contents that can be explored without reloading the current topic, a keyword index, a Favorites and History tab, and a search results pane. The search results pane allows you to refine your search queries without losing your current topic context. In addition, context menus and shortcut keys allow you to access features quickly without excessive need for a mouse.
Finally, without the security restrictions of the browser, we’ve improved the ease with which you can manage local content. A direct link to the Help Library Manager is built into the viewer window. We provide improved guidance if you’ve never downloaded local documentation or if you press F1 on a topic for which local help is not installed. Paul O’Rear, a Program Manager from the LEX team, has created a visual walkthrough of the new features in our SP1 Help Viewer. This is an early build but I want you to give you a look at what we’re working on:
While we were constrained in the amount of change we could introduce in a service pack, we believe these improvements will address many of the issues our power developers had with the RTM viewer. For users who prefer to consume online help, the help experience will continue to display in your default browser. The largest benefit over just consuming the online MSDN Library via your search engine of choice is that we enable F1 Help.
The Story of Help in Visual Studio 2010 (Part 3)
Help Viewer Power Tool (Beta)
Scrolling Context Menu
Find and Replace Dialog
All patches available for download and you can fix Visual Studio 2010 holes and bugs right now. Hot fixes for memory leak is most important, next is serach dialog and after it help viewer and scrollbar bugs.