I want to share a couple of useful Visual Studio plugins that I'm using daily when working on the ContextKeeper. Those are mainly fitting in the "deep work" category and help to move a little faster when you're in the zone. There is noticeable compound effect when you start using them.

Better visual cues during coding session

  • RockMargin - replaces VS vertical scrollbar with current text overview that works as scrollbar at the same time. Where magic happens: on source files with up to few thousands of lines its really easy to navigate through your code using thumbnail view of the file:
    • unfortunately, there is no official build for VS 2022 but someone prepared PR. If you don't want to compile it yourself you could use my VS 2022 build which already includes this PR. To get RockMargin looking better when using VS Dark theme, I recommend changing colors, Tools->Options->RockMargin
  • Git Diff Margin - displays live Git changes of the currently edited file on Visual Studio margin and scroll bar.
  • Viasfora - adds rainbow braces, keyword highlighting and some XML improvements. For VS Dark mode I recommend using Viasfora's dark light theme (Tools->Options->Viasfora->Export/Import->Load Theme)
  • Iconizer - shows icons on tool windows tabs (if possible) which greatly improves tabs discoverability. It's faster to recognize familiar icon than to read text.

More dense coding playground


Making context switching painless