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Visual Studio
VS 2010+

Visual Studio 2010 Intellisense Improvements

Visual Studio 2010 provides a feature named Intellisense, which displays suggestions for keywords, classes, structures and member names as code is entered into the editor. Visual Studio 2010 Intellisense offers several improvements over previous versions.


Intellisense has been present in many versions of the Microsoft Visual Studio integrated development environment (IDE). One feature of Intellisense is used in code editor windows. When you start to type, the IDE examines the characters added and provides a list of suggestions of keywords, class and structure names, member names and code snippets. You can select one of the suggestions by double-clicking or using the arrow keys to choose an item and tab, space or Enter to add it to the code. Used correctly, this can improve typing speed and productivity.

With Visual Studio 2008 and earlier, the list of suggestions contained all possible items, sorted into alphabetical order. The most likely suggestion was selected automatically. The ordering could cause a problem if you were unsure of the exact name of the class that you were looking for. For example, you may know that you want to throw an exception but not know which is the best exception type to choose.

Visual Studio 2010 improves the experience by providing a faster search that uses different logic. Instead of showing a full list of items in alphabetical order, the list is filtered and shortened with each keypress. Additionally, the typed text does not have to appear at the start of a keyword for that item to appear as a suggestion. If a possible code suggestion contains the entered characters, it will be displayed. This can be seen in the image below. The user has typed "exception" and all exception types and other elements containing the word exception are listed.

Visual Studio 2010 Intellisense

Pascal and Camel Case Intellisense

A second style of Intellisense searching is supported in Visual Studio 2010. This allows you take advantage of Pascal case and camel case type and member names. For this search style you can type the initial letter, followed by the letters that appear capitalised in the name. Items that match the pattern are then displayed as suggestions.

In the following image you can see Pascal case suggestions listed. The user has entered "AE" and all types that start with an "A" and include a capital letter "E" are listed.

Visual Studio 2010 Intellisense with Pascal Case

18 April 2010