The 5 best Visual Studio extensions, I can’t code without

Visual Studio Marketplace recently hit a major milestone – 1 million page views and 250K unique users! The community is expanding rapidly, with 740 publishers and 711 public extensions available in the marketplace today. Visual Studio is a great IDE, without doubt – the best one, if you ask me. But as always there is some room for improvement. These are my top 5 extensions that fill the gap:

1. ReSharper

The well known champion of Visual Studio extensions and the only charged entry in this list but is worth every penny. The popular coding helper from JetBrains identifies code adjustments, suggests LINQ writings, detects performance issues and always has a good advice for you. If you have used it once, you can’t believe how you could have written such a bad code before.

Download (30 days trial)

2. Indent Guides

Indent guide lines are a well known part of most IDEs and don’t ask me why Visual Studio does not bring them by default. Whatever, this extension adds them. To keep the overview when indenting your code, these lines can be incredibly useful and I personally don’t want to look at my code without them anymore.

Download

3. Whitespace Visualizer

If you you are as neurotic as I am when it comes to coding, this is the right extension for you. If I had to name one thing, I hate myself most for when coding, it would probably be leaving unnecessary white spaces. I don’t know why it happens, but I create them – when deleting lines, when moving code around, when rewriting things. I really try to avoid them but they always appear and I hate myself when finding them. This extension does not only highlight unnecessary white spaces, it also removes them whenever you save the document. Thank the gods for this!

Download

4. GitHub Extensions for Visual Studio

If you work with GitHub you might have your own ways and workflows for submitting changes, pulling things, merging branches and so forth. If you like Visual Studio’s built in Git support, you might want to take a look at the GitHub extensions, that integrates a bunch of GitHub functionality directly into the IDE. Especially in combination with Visual Studio’s merging view (which is the best one that you can find out there, in my eyes) it shows its power. It is worth the try, so tell me what you think!

Download

5. XAML Styler

XAML things might not might be that interesting for most of you but for me, as I work with it for all my windows projects, it is an essential part of my development process. Believe me – it is way better than its reputation and far ahead Android’s AXML or even HTML5 + CSS. Even if it is not as powerful as the last one, of course. But that’s not the point. So if you write XAML code and want to have it “beautified” automatically, this might be the right plugin for you. The XAML Styler not only indents everything correctly for you, it also applies your custom style to it. It sorts the attributes as you tells it to do, places them in separate lines if you want, closes tags for you and much more. If you are in clean code and in XAML, then this one is made for you.

Download  |  My configuration

Bonus: Visual Studio Spell Checker

This extension is so small that it does not really deserves an own step on the ladder, but I didn’t want to miss it out. I really don’t know why this is not built in but the Visual Studio Spell Checker (Surprise!) checks every string you type for spelling mistakes and typos, which can avoid embarrassing situations.

Download

Have fun trying them out and please let me know, what you think about my ranking. Please also tip me on other notable extensions that make your life easier everyday and I have missed out here.

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