Visual Studio 2017 – Structure Visualizers

Structure Visualiser is one of the  popular features from Productivity Power Tools in 2013 and 2015 versions. Good news is that with Visual Studio 2017, the Structure Visualiser comes out of box without need to install anything.

In case you don’t know what is the Structure Visualiser, it is defined as follow here:

Structure Visualizer adds visual cues to syntactically signify blocks of code. The blocks allow you to quickly figure out the scope of a class, method and many other code scopes. Hovering over the block visual cues brings up a preview tooltip to help you visualize the scope you’re in.

To understand this, let’s inspect the picture below where you can see that the class Foo is visible on the screen. However, the class above Foo is not visible on the screen although this class methods GetBarId and SetBarId are visible.

In simplest terms, Structure Visualiser provides an easy way to view the name of class or methods partially visible without need to scroll anywhere else on the screen. On the left side, you can see vertical dotted lines that could be used to get that type of information. For example if you hover your mouse over the middle vertical line, it shows the namespace and class name as shown below.

Similarly if you hover mouse over the vertical dotted line, it shows the method name as shown below.

If you don’t want to see these lines, it can be turned on-off from “Show structure guide lines” available  Tools -> Options -> Text Editor -> General menu item as shown below.

Until next, happy debugging!


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