What tweaks / addins / themes do you have rigged up to make your IDE awesome? For example, in Visual Studio I color themes, CodeRush draws lines between braces, I always install and use the Consolas font and I have it setup to sync my settings across computers for when I change hotkeys and whatnot with the help of FolderShare.

Also, this isn't Visual Studio specific, please feel free to mention what you do with Emacs or Eclipse or whatnot as many of us use a few.

+4  A: 

ReSharper 4.1 for Visual Studio 2008. It's a beautiful thing. It looks for all kinds of code errors, optimizations, etc. My code is cleaner thanks to this handy Visual Studio plugin.

+1  A: 

I dont care much for fancy visual addons, so I left my IDE (Visiual Studio) in the standard look (other than MS Reference Sans Serif font).

+2  A: 

I use Emacs. My .emacs file is only a few hundred lines long, but does customize settings based on my machine's hostname and operating system, so that I can use the same config file pretty much anywhere.

Just Some Guy
+1  A: 

Colorization - Custom - White Text on GreyishBlack, Consolas Font

HotKeys - CTRL+SHIFT+ALT+Z (Attach to Process) probably some others too...

Addins - DPack, Coderush, GhostDoc.

Toolbars Off All Windows set to collapsed

I am not doing presentations with this machine - If I was it would be barebones.

Brian Schmitt
+1  A: 

I usually change the color scheme to have a black background instead of white.

Dan Goldstein
+3  A: 

Optimizing the IDE will be the first step. Resharper helps a lot but sometimes some simple macros are more than enough.

+2  A: 

eclipse plugins make my ide exactly the way I want it of course.

eclipse plugin central

+3  A: 

First things first. Change the font from the default crappy one. Then start fiddling with the 'Options' dialog box.

+3  A: 

At the recommendation of a friend, I installed Visual Assist for Visual Studio 2008 -- it is awesome. I swear it can read my mind.

[Note: I have no affiliation with them -- just a very happy customer]

+1  A: 

I use the Zenburn color scheme with Proggy Clean for a font. It's like a comfy chair for my eyes.

+1  A: 

I kinda like the default setup of VS, I only make sure about Consolas as the editor font, and tabsize 2 (tabs to spaces), and change the color of numbers (red).

+1  A: 

Nothing. I hate dealing with all the breakages that inevitably result from updates, etc. So, I adapt myself to my IDE instead.

Brian Knoblauch
+1  A: 

I've using a combination of ViEmu and ReSharper with a dark theme.

Oh, and I also hide most of the toolbars and turn off the animations to try to speed things up.

David Mohundro
+3  A: 

I've done a lot, but I really shouldn't have. So in the last few years, I've toned down the number of macros, custom key mappings, custom toolbars, etc. For the most part, I'm of the opinion that developers should get used to the default behavior and appearance of their IDE. Then when you need to work on your colleague's machine, you still know how to get around and manage to help them out. Not to mention that a whole slew of customizations will get broken or rearranged or otherwise reset when an update comes out.

That said, there are a few things that I still do every time I set up an IDE to work on... for example, setting the number of concurrent builds in Visual Studio to be 1, because that feature is so broken that nothing will compile correctly with any greater setting. Apart from that, being an ace with the default behavior will ultimately make you more efficient than spending hours tweaking the software to make it just a little more fluid.

Nik Reiman
I make small modifications to my color scheme, but experience has shown me that sqook is right here. Keep your IDE standard, and your skills stay portable. It is an issue for me because I move between machines often, and would want to have to keep things sync'd.
+1  A: 

Silver background, 8pt Consolas, disable all toolbars and set tab spacing to 3 spaces. :)

Gabriel Isenberg
+2  A: 

For Java development using Eclipse I have a few plugins that are indispensable. The MyEclipse Workbench adds a lot of functionality to most of the built-in modules. It makes it very easy to deploy an application to multiple application servers, and enhances a lot of the built-in editors. The PMD plugin is great for searching for potential code issues. As mentioned in a previous post today, the Ganymede plugin really helps to highlight log entries.

Neal Swearer
+1  A: 

For Visual Studio

  • Most important - Resharper - I bought my own copy so I don't have to badger my employer about it.
  • Change the colourisation/font - choose whatever suits you
  • Optimisation (vote up Gulzar's post with the link in it)
  • Don't try and make the IDE do everything, just because you can. (Kind of ironic seeing I use emacs as well). I personally really dislike integrated source code management.
  • Change some defaut file associations so double clicking certain file types doesn't kick off Visual Studio

Aside from Resharper I've actually found most other beneficial thing is not customising the IDE, but customising yourself to learn the keyboard shortcuts. Start with the big gains like Ctrl -, Ctrl Shift -, Ctrl Shift V, Ctrl Alt L etc. etc. and then gradually learn the rest of the shortcuts in order of how often you'd use them

Gordon Hartley
+1  A: 

I like CodeSmart VB6 and CodeSmart VS.NET from Axtools for advanced syntax highlighting, drawing lines between parts of If..then..else..endif, Do While ... loop and all other constructs. It also has great code auditors and many add-in functions.

+1  A: 

Rather than customizing the IDE, I customized my error messages. I have a macro that expands to a #pragma warning statement that generates a compile-time message in the same format as MSVC++. Visual Studio can parse the resulting warning, so a double-click on the message opens the offending file in the IDE and takes me right to the line in question.

I've used the macro:

  • To "bookmark" a section of code, so developers will be nagged to fix it each time they build.
  • Within #if blocks to test for various compile-time conditions.
  • In headers, to see who #includes them, and where.
Adam Liss
+1  A: 

From vim you can set the makeprg (make program) variable to a command that will build your project, and the errorformat variable to a scanf-style string that describes the format of the build errors. From there:

  • :make will build your project
  • :cl lists all of the errors that match errorformat
  • :cc takes to you the current error
  • :cn takes you to the next error
  • :cp takes you to the previous error.

Out of the box, vim sets makeprg and errorformat to work with make and gcc, and all of the commands are documented within vim's built-in help.

Adam Liss
+1  A: 

I do Java development in Eclipse. Here are some of the plug ins I find useful:

  1. Mylyn - hides project elements not relevant to the current context.
  2. eUML2 - UML editor.
  3. FindBugs - Static analysis tool to find common bugs in Java.
  4. Crap4J - Another static analysis tool.
  5. EclEmma - Code coverage plug-in for unit tests.

Edit: I forgot one:

  1. Disable the spellchecker. :)
Jack Leow
+1  A: 

In visual studio 2005 I do these:

  • Bind F11 to fullscreen mode
  • Enable a vertical line at 80 characters: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\VisualStudio\8.0\Text Editor\Guides = "RGB(196,196,196) 80" (Guides won't be present in the registry.)
  • Add the "Start Debugging", "Break All" and "Stop Debugging" buttons after the "Help" menu.
Jasper Bekkers

Vi plugin!!


I am using Vim Cscope plugin.

Cscope is like 'ctags' on steroids and makes traversing code much easier. I usually use it along with tags to find where a function is declared and then go directly to whatever code is calling this function.

I also use Vim's Rgrep plugin (recursive search) to search for files in the code hierarchy.


Create some basic macro such as printing bug fix code comments:

 Public Sub WriteBugFix()
    Dim TS As TextSelection = DTE.ActiveDocument.Selection
    TS.Text = "'Edited for Bug Fixed By JK - " & Date.Now.ToShortDateString
End Sub