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Must have plugins / utilities for Visual Studio 2015

August 2, 2015 by Faheem Javed
Category: Microsoft


Visual Studio is a great IDE that comes with plenty of productivity  features OOB e.g. code snippets, page inspector etc. In this post I am going to list some must have plugins / utilities that every developer should use to further enhance productivity.

1. Web Essentials for Visual Studio

If you don’t have it already then go and get it right now then read rest of the post. It’s free. http://vswebessentials.com/

It comes with various shortcuts for writing code (C#, JavaScript, CSS …).


2. Bundler & Minifier

If you do web development then you must be maintaining several .js / .css files. Bundler & Minifier reduces the footprint of such files which improves performance.



3. Web Compiler

If you are using LESS for for writing css files and CoffeeScript for writing JavaScript then you should use web compiler.



4. Reflector / dotPeek / ILSpy

Useful for reverse engineering .exe and .dll files to look at the source code. It can convert MSIL to C# / VB.NET and other languages. Be careful, if you can look at someone else’s code then they can do the same to yours too. That’s where you should use the next utility…

5. Dotfuscator / Crypto Obfuscator

It obfuscates the code. Think of it as a paper shredder machine. No it doesn’t erase the code but it does make it so confusing that it gives person a bad headache when trying to understand the code.

6. Resharper / CodeRush

I am personally a bigger fan of Resharper. Other folks prefer CodeRush. It’s not free but it’s a must have plugin. It’s useful for refactoring code.


7. IDE – Visual Studio 2015 / Visual Studio Code / SharpDevelop

Well IDE is not a tool but you need a tool that comes with IDE. Visual Studio is definitely the best choice. There’s no excuse to not have Visual Studio now especially since there’s a free Community Edition which is more full featured than Express edition. If you want to use it on Mac or Linux then you can go for Visual Studio Code

8. LINQPad

If you like LINQ then LINQPad can be very handy.


9. XMLPad

This is to XML what LINQPad is to LINQ


10. Linqer

A very nice utility for converting T-SQL to LINQ.

There are several more plugins / utilities but that’s for some other day.

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