18.9. PowerToys for the Class Designer

While the Class Designer is a very useful tool for designing and visualizing a class hierarchy, it can be cumbersome when trying to work with very large diagrams. To ease this burden you can either break up the diagram into multiple class diagrams, or install PowerToys for the Class Designer.

PowerToys for the Class Designer is a free add-in to Visual Studio that extends the functionality of the Class Designer in several ways. It includes enhancements that enable you to work more effectively with large diagrams including panning and zooming, improved scrolling, and diagram search. It also provides functions that address some of the limitations of the Class Designer such as the ability to create nested types and new derived classes and display XML comments.

The add-in, including source code, is available from http://www.codeplex.com/modeling. The download includes an MSI file for easy installation.

PowerToys actually consists of two add-ins: Design Tools Enhancements and Class Designer Enhancements. The Design Tools Enhancements provide common features for both the Class Designer and the Distributed System Designer, which is only available in Visual Studio Team System.

18.9.1. Visualization Enhancements

PowerToys for the Class Designer provides some very useful enhancements for visualizing and working with large class diagrams. The diagram search feature is one of the more useful; it allows you to search the entities on a diagram for a specific ...

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