Add Guidelines to the Text Editor #10
Chapter 2, Master the Editor
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49
HACK
From the Regions Dialog, you can select the region you want to add the
selected code to or you can decide to add it to a new region and click the
Add New Region checkbox. This is particularly useful if you are adding a
new property to the class; instead of opening the existing region and
appending it to the end, you can write the property anywhere you want and
then select it and move it to that region.
The Regions Add-in is a valuable tool that makes working with regions even
easier than it already is.
HACK
#10
Add Guidelines to the Text Editor Hack #10
If you’ve got to have everything line up just right, turn on guidelines and get
everything pixel perfect.
One of the features missing from the text editor in Visual Studio is the abil-
ity to add vertical guidelines. Vertical guidelines are thin vertical lines that
can be used as visual guides when aligning text. This feature is not actually
missing though—using a simple registry hack, you can add up to 13 differ-
ent guidelines to Visual Studio’s text editor.
When editing the registry, you should always back up your
registry or use the alternative registry method
[Hack #30].
To add guidelines:
1. Close Visual Studio.
2. Open regedit (Start
Run type regedit).
Figure 2-20. Regions Dialog
50
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Chapter 2, Master the Editor
#10 Add Guidelines to the Text Editor
HACK
3. Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\VisualStudio\
<7.1>\Text Editor.
4. Right-click on the Text Editor key and choose New
String Value and
name it “Guides”.
5. Set the value of the guides to
RGB(128, 128, 128) 4, 16.
The first part of the value sets the color of the guidelines using common red,
green, and blue values. 128, 128, and 128 sets the color of the guidelines to
gray. The second numbers specify where the guidelines should appear. In
this example, guidelines will be shown at the 4-space mark as well as the 16-
space mark. You can add up to 13 different guidelines by simply adding
more numeric values separated by commas.
After you have created your registry entry, you will see guidelines in the
marks specified when you launch Visual Studio. Figure 2-21 shows an exam-
ple of the results from the example settings.
Removing these guidelines is simply a matter of deleting the Guides registry
key and restarting Visual Studio.
Guidelines are easy to add and can be very useful when trying to keep your
code organized. Thanks to Sara Ford for posting about this hidden feature
on her blog: http://blogs.msdn.com/saraford.
Figure 2-21. Guidelines in Visual Studio

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