• Editing project files in Visual Studio

    The standard way of editing a project file in Visual Studio is to first unload the project, and then right-click on the unloaded project in the Solution Explorer and choose ‘Edit Project’.

    Wouldn’t it be nice if this was just one step instead of two?

    Well one option is to install the Visual Studio PowerCommands or VSCommands extensions, both which add an ‘Edit Project’ option to the context menu for loaded projects. But if that’s the only feature you want then installing one of those extensions might be more than you need.

    Another option is to create a Visual Studio Macro and then add that to the context menu manually. Here’s how:

    1. First, go to the Tools menu and choose Macros Macros IDE.
    2. A “Microsoft Visual Studio Macros” IDE window appears.
    3. In the project explorer, right-click on ‘MyMacros’ and choose Add Add Module
    4. Name the module “Projects”
    5. Within the new module, add the following code:

      Public Sub EditProject() ‘ Ensure only projects are selected For Each item As SelectedItem In DTE.SelectedItems

           If Not (TypeOf item.Project Is Project) Then
               MsgBox("Can't open project(s) for editing as non-project items are selected", MsgBoxStyle.Exclamation)
               Exit Sub
           End If
       Next
      
       ' ensure solution is active
       DTE.Windows.Item(Constants.vsWindowKindSolutionExplorer).Activate()
      
       For Each item As SelectedItem In DTE.SelectedItems
           DTE.ExecuteCommand("Project.UnloadProject")
           DTE.ExecuteCommand("OtherContextMenus.StubProject.EditProjectFile")
      
       Next
      

      End Sub

    6. Save and close the Microsoft Visual Studio Macros IDE
    7. Now you can associate a keyboard shortcut with this new macro, and you can optionally add it to the project context menu.

    8. To add it to the context menu, go to Tools Customize
    9. Select the ‘Commands’ tab and choose ‘Project and Solution Context Menu Project’ in the Context Menu dropdown list.
    10. Scroll down the list of controls for this menu to find the location where you’d like this macro to appear.
    11. Select an existing control, and click on ‘Add Command’
    12. Select the ‘Macros’ category
    13. Select the new macro from the Commands list and click on ‘OK’
    14. Click on ‘Modify Selection’ to rename the menu item for the macro to ‘Edit Project’ Visual Studio Customize dialog window

    Now, when ever you use the keyboard shortcut or the new ‘Edit Project’ from the Solution Explorer’s context menu, the selected project(s) will now be opened in the text editor.

  • Asthma First Aid–Windows Phone app

    Screenshot of Asthma First Aid running in Nokia Lumia 800Asthma First Aid is a free app I’ve developed in conjunction with Asthma Australia. It informs you of the recommended first aid steps for someone experiencing an asthma attack.

    It features a one-click phone dialler to call ‘112’ – the international standard mobile emergency number.

    Everyone should know Asthma first aid, so if you have a Windows Phone, install it today

    Download from the Windows Phone Marketplace.

  • SQLSaturday #139 (on a Tuesday)

    PASS SQL Saturday LogoI think continuous learning is an integral part of being a professional. On the 24th April 2012, there’s an opportunity for everyone with an interest in SQL Server to further their knowledge at the first SQLSaturday event to be held in Adelaide – SQLSaturday #139 (even though it’s on a Tuesday!)

    As the number suggests, these events have been running around the world for a while, but this is the first (hopefully of many) to be held here.

    The schedule is now finalised and includes two tracks. Speakers include Paul White from New Zealand, Paul te Braak and Peter Ward from Brisbane, Raja N from Sydney, and local luminaries such as Rob Farley, Roger Noble, Andrew Butenko and even me!

    So what would you expect to pay for a conference featuring this kind of expertise and experience? $200? $500? $1,000? Well you could pay that if you wanted to, but actually the whole day is free, thanks to the generosity of the event sponsors and speakers.

    So run (don’t walk) to the registration page and sign up today. Then go and let your manager/boss/social secretary know where you’ll be on the 24th!

    See you there Smile