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Suresh Mohan for Syncfusion, Inc.

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15 Must-Have Visual Studio Extensions for Developers

Visual Studio is Microsoft’s Integrated Development Environment (IDE). You can use it for the development of computer programs, websites, web applications, web services, and mobile apps. Visual Studio uses platforms such as Windows API, Windows Forms, Windows Presentation Foundation, and Windows Store to develop software. Here is a list of 15 must-have Visual Studio extensions that are important for developers:

  • Visual Studio Spell Checker
  • CodeMaid
  • VS Color Output
  • Visual Studio IntelliCode
  • Trailing Whitespace Visualizer
  • Magical C# Debugging—OzCode
  • ReSharper
  • Glyphfriend
  • SlowCheetah
  • File Icons
  • Image Optimizer
  • File Nesting
  • Roslynator
  • NCrunch for Visual Studio
  • SideWaffle Template Pack

Visual Studio Spell Checker

If you write comments, it is with the expectation that somebody will read them one day. And it would be embarrassing if you misspelled words in those comments. This kind of situation can be handled by the Visual Studio Spell Checker extension. This checks the spelling of comments, strings, and plain text as you type or interact with a tool window. You can also customize it to perform spell checking over an entire solution, a project, or selected items. Spell checking entire solution

Visual Studio Spell Checker


CodeMaid is a for Visual Studio extension that has over a million downloads. This provides the ability to clean and simplify code. Steve Cadwallader, the man behind CodeMaid, demonstrates code cleaning and reorganizing, visualizing and navigating through your code, comment formatting, and more in this video: Options in CodeMaid

Cleanup Active Document using CodeMaid

VS Color Output

This is a must-install extension. It enables individuals in development to stop on their first mistake, saving numerous hours of work while working with large projects. VS Color Output changes the color of a line emitted to the output window based on the rules specified. The rules are made up of regular expressions. Rule map classifications, in turn, map colors. Options in VSColorOutput

Options in VSColorOutput

Visual Studio IntelliCode

Visual Studio IntelliCode is a collection of AI-assisted skills that enhance developer productivity with characteristics such as contextual IntelliSense, argument completion, code formatting, and style rule inference. IntelliCode increases a current builder’s workflow with machine-learning facilities that provide an understanding of code and its context. It is applicable for C #, C++ (in preview), JavaScript/TypeScript (in preview), and XAML code, and is expected to be updated in the future to support more languages. C# and XAML base models are enabled by default. You must enable the languages in preview. Visual Studio IntelliCode - Visual Studio Extension

Trailing Whitespace Visualizer

The Trailing Whitespace Visualizer extension highlights and wipes any trailing white space in any Visual Studio editor on any line. By executing the Delete Horizontal White Space command contained in Edit-> Advanced or by using the shortcut key combination CTRL+K, Ctrl+\, you can easily delete all the trailing white space in a file. Detected Trailing whitespaces

Trailing whitespaces highlighted in the code

Magical C# Debugging—OzCode

OzCode is a Visual Studio Extension that cuts down debugging time and increases productivity by detecting and isolating bugs, making them easy to fix. OzCode makes C# debugging simple and efficient. Omer Raviv, the author, demonstrates many magical debugging features, including a LINQ debugging experience, which makes learning and debugging functional code easier, in the video: ozcode - Visual Studio Extension


ReSharper is a popular Microsoft Visual Studio developer productivity extension. It automates most of what you can automate in your coding routines. It discovers and corrects compiler mistakes, runtime errors, and redundancies right as you type and proposes smart adjustments for them. ReSharper enables you to study software by visualizing file composition, category and design hierarchies, call and value chains, and project dependencies. It lets you immediately cross your entire solution and leap straight to the precise folder and line you’re searching for. It also decompiles library code if needed. Options in ReSharper

Options in ReSharper


Glyphfriend is a Visual Studio extension enhancing the existing Intellisense to display preview glyphs for many of the common glyph-based font libraries. Some of the libraries supported by Glyphfriend are Bootstrap Glyphicons, Entypo, Font Awesome, Foundation, Ionicons, Material Design, and Octicons. Glyphfriend - Visual Studio Extension


The SlowCheetah package allows you to automatically transform your app.config (or any file) when you press F5 in Visual Studio. You can have different transformations based on the build configurations. This will easily enable you to have different app settings, connection strings, etc., for debug versus release. If you want to transform other files, you can do that, too. When you have multiple projects with many configurations, the dev->staging->production task becomes very unpleasant. I remember having app.config file with different commented configurations for each environment and struggling to comment and uncomment the right ones. Well, I’m happy those days are over after using SlowCheetah. slow cheetah - Visual Studio Extension

File Icons

File Icons is a fantastic extension that adds icons for files that are not recognized by the Solution Explorer. File icons - Visual Studio Extension

Image Optimizer

To offer customers the greatest feasible experience, we all want our applications to load as quickly as possible. One of the measures to accomplish this is to ensure the optimization of the images we use. The Image Optimizer extension for Visual Studio is one of the most popular extensions due to its simplicity of use and strong optimization algorithms. It uses industry-standard tools to optimize any JPEG, PNG, and GIF, including animated GIFs. It can do both lossy and lossless optimization. Optimizing image using Image Optimizer - Visual Studio Extension

Optimizing image using Image Optimizer

File Nesting

Visual Studio has been nesting related files in Solution Explorer for a long time now, but not everybody agrees with the rules it uses. That’s not a problem anymore because Visual Studio now gives you complete control over file nesting in Solution Explorer. File Nesting allows you to automatically nest files based on file name and to nest and unnest any file manually. File Nesting also gives you the option to automatically nest based on file naming rules. You can then apply those rules to any file, folder, or entire project. File nesting - Visual Studio Extension


Almost 400 analyzers, refactorings, and code fixes for C#, powered by the new Roslyn compiler, are bundled with Visual Studio. What’s not to like? Roslynator is probably the closest you will get to ReSharper for free. Roslynator - Visual Studio Extension

NCrunch for Visual Studio

NCrunch is an automated, continuous parallel testing tool for Visual Studio. NET. It intelligently assumes responsibility for running automated tests so you don’t have to. It provides you an enormous quantity of helpful inline data about your tests (such as code coverage and performance metrics) in your IDE while you are working. Options in NCrunch for running automated tests on a particular line - Visual Studio Extension

Options in NCrunch for running automated tests on a particular line

SideWaffle Template Pack

Let’s face it. The number of Visual Studio project templates available out of the box is pretty limited. SideWaffle fixes this with a lot of new project and item templates. SideWaffle Template Pack - Visual Studio Extension


I hope this blog enriched your knowledge of Visual Studio extensions and assisted in the problems faced by developers in their daily lives.

Happy Coding!

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Discussion (4)

netmailgopi profile image
Gopi Ravi

Solid article. I'm gonna give some of these a shot. Big fan of resharper, worth what it costs.

kaos profile image
Kai Oswald

IMO the biggest cost of resharper is perfomance.

dbarwikowski profile image
Daniel Barwikowski

I totally agree! I'm trying to stay away from it but it's not so easy after a while

anras573 profile image
Anders Bo Rasmussen

I'm gonna give Intellicode and Roslynator a shot!