Installing and Using Visual Studio 2015 Extensions

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Knowing your tool is essential to being productive but who has time to watch long videos?  Get up to speed quick with short video lessons and get on to coding.  Check out the other videos at the video blog Visual Studio Shorts.

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Welcome I am James Sturtevant (@aspenwilder).

The best thing about visual studio is the extensiblity it offers and ecosystem that has been built up around it.  Today we are going to introduce Visual Studio extensions.  This is a simple but very important component to Visual Studio that will help you be more productive.

You can install extensions directly inside Visual Studio through the tools menu.  Once it is opened you might be surprised to see so many extensions already installed.  This is because In the last few version of Visual Studio a lot of the features, such as the Nuget package manger, have been shipped as extensions.  This enables the VS team to  update these features at a much more rapid pace than the pace at which Visual Studio shell gets updated, delivering you more value sooner.

It is pretty simple to view the installed extensions, as it is very similar to the project temples layout we saw in the previous video. 

To add new Extensions you can search for them after clicking the online node.  The most popular extensions are displayed initially and you will notice the green check box means they are already installed.  Searching for an extension is easy. 

Once you find it you can find more information through the links on the right. 

There are a number of must have extensions we have already seen the GitHub for Visual Studio extension and Side Waffle is a template extension that I suggest checking out.  Of course my personal favorite Ace Jump (which I authored).  You can find links to other extension on my blog.

Once you have install extensions you will notice that the extensions have different way to interact with them. Web Essentials has its own menu item.  Whereas the Python Tools have are embedded in an existing menu.  Other extensions such as my Ace Jump extension, simply have a key combination to activate the feature.

You can also install extensions by downloading them from the visual studio gallery.  Simply search for the extension you want to install, in this case I am going to check out the Roaming Extension Manager that lets me keep extensions synced across machines.  Download the VSIX file, and double click it to install.  The installer will install the extension on any compatible version of visual studio available.

Well there you have it.  A really quick introduction to the simple but very powerful Extensions feature in Visual studio.  We will see you next time when we learn the basics of debugging.   Leave any comments or feedback, especially around topics you want to see.  Happy Coding!

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    Andy

    What about the Using Visual Studio 2015 Extensions part, how do you USE these things??????????

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