Exploring Quick Launch in Visual Studio 2012

In my previous article we looked at some of the best and coolest features provided Microsoft to the Developer Community.

In this article we are going to explore the Quick Launch in Visual Studio 2012.

Note: These features are not something newly discovered by me but when in need I explored them using Google from various Microsoft sites and blogs. The main intention is to share only what I have learned and so there may be more features you can explore while programming.

Search for break points

Imagine the solution is very large with many projects and files. While debugging, you have put many break points in your code and you want to look for wherever you have put a break point. It is very easy to disable or delete the break points by going through The Debug menu in the toolbar. Using VS 2012, we can search for break points in all the files under the solution. Let us see this in practice:

Sample Solution with Quick Launch highlighted.jpg

Figure 1: Sample Solution with Quick Launch highlighted.

For testing purpose I have put break points in various CS files available in my solution. Now I want to search all the break points in my solution. So, now go to Quick Launch (Ctrl+Q) input control available on the top right corner of the Visual Studio 2012 and type "break".


Figure 2: Quick Launch showing various search results

If you note in Figure 2, the first section shows the most recently used options. The second section shows the menus available for break points and then the third section shows you the option. Finally, you would see the NuGet Packages available or the option to search for packages matching the search criteria you have typed.

Now select the first one in the menus listed and click on:


Figure 3: Selecting the menu "Debug" -> "Windows" -> "Breakpoints (Ctrl+D, B)"

You will find that all the files that have break points are displayed in the new window at the bottom of the Visual Studio as below:


Figure 4: Break point locations

Now I want to remove the break points in two files. Then just un-select the respective check boxes and the break points are disabled in the actual code.


Figure 5: Un-selecting the check boxes for removing the break points

Now when you debug your code, execution will not stop at those break points. This is one of the best features available.

Searching forgotten items

You can also search for forgotten items and see the options or locations by using the Quick search function available. Let us say that we forgot an Edit command and want to look for it. Just type "edit" and you will find the options available as below:


Figure 6: Figure showing all the options available (menus, options, NuGet Package search) for the word "edit".

If you also observe in Figure 6, there is a small tool tip saying "Shortcut: @menu". We will discuss this option next.

Search available menu items

If you want to search menu items, type the word "@menu" and the item name you want to search. Let us say that you want to search menu items for "delete" or "sql" just type "@menu" with the item and you should see the menu items.


Figure 7: Searching menu items

You can also change the Quick Launch options by clicking on "Tools" -> "Options" and select "Quick Launch". You will see a set of options available. You can check or uncheck the options and see the variations in the Quick search.

Enable-Disable -Quick-search-option.jpg

Figure 8: Enable/Disable Quick search option

Do not restrict yourself to just the features discussed in the article. I advise you to explore other features using Quick launch and share with others. Hope you liked this article.

Happy coding guys!!! I will share if I come across something new. Keep tuned.