Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Creating our own 'Code Snippets' in Visual Studio .NET 2005

Code Snippets are useful in situations where you frequently implement the same code blocks in multiple places within your project.

One could find all existing snippets for C# in this folder:
C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 8\VC#\Snippets\1033\Visual C#

If you want to create your own snippet which is not existing in the above path then do the following:

1. In Visual Studio.NET, Create a New Xml File.
2. Place the following XML code into that file:

The root element for an code snippet is <CodeSnippet>. This would have two child elements <Header> and <Snippet>

<?xml version= "1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>
<CodeSnippets xmlns = "http://schemas.microsoft.com/VisualStudio/2005/CodeSnippet">
<CodeSnippet Format ="1.0.0">


<Header >
<Title> Title of the Code Snippet would come here </Title>
<Author> Vadivel Mohanakrishnan </Author>
<Description> Describe it in detail here </Description>
<Shortcut> vel </Shortcut>
</Header>

<Snippet>
<Code Language=" CSharp">
<![CDATA[
//Your code block needs to be placed here.
]]>
</Code>
</Snippet>

</CodeSnippet>
</CodeSnippets>

3. Using "Save As" dialog box, save it as 'MySnippet.snippet' on C drive (for example). Its because, Code Snippet is nothing but a XML file.

Now within your Visual Studio.NET 2005 do the following:

1. In the tools menu, select "Code Snippet Manager". Please note that by default "Code Snippet Manager" may not be visible. So go to Tools - Options and choose it for the first time.

2. Then, click on 'Import' button and locate the new snippet on your desktop. During that process if it throws an error like "The snippet files chosen were not valid" it means there is some error in the XML file. Fix it and try again.

3. Place the snippet under "My code snippets".

4. That's it you are done. Now open any file (.cs, class module etc.,) and right click and choose "Code Snippet". You could see our newly created snippet there. On click of it would place the code whatever we have written in our XML file.

5. Other way is to just type the shortcut (in this case its just vel) and press the TAB key.

For further reading on this topic I suggest you to go through these links: http://msdn.microsoft.com/vstudio/downloads/codesnippets/ and dotnetfun.com

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Awsome guide! thanks helped me alot to get my snippets working :)