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Creating macros

From: Visual Studio 2010 Essential Training

Video: Creating macros

A Visual Studio macro is code that can be run by the Visual Studio IDE. A macro is usually used to automate some task in Visual Studio-- for instance, inserting Boilerplate comments, formatting or cleaning up portions of your code. Macros are written in a special version of Visual Basic. Plus, they are written and edited in a special version of Visual Studio. For today's demo, I'm in a solution called UsingMacros, and I've got the PixelSmithDesktop application open so that I can look at the source code. I'm going to double-click on MainWindow.xaml.cs.

Creating macros

A Visual Studio macro is code that can be run by the Visual Studio IDE. A macro is usually used to automate some task in Visual Studio-- for instance, inserting Boilerplate comments, formatting or cleaning up portions of your code. Macros are written in a special version of Visual Basic. Plus, they are written and edited in a special version of Visual Studio. For today's demo, I'm in a solution called UsingMacros, and I've got the PixelSmithDesktop application open so that I can look at the source code. I'm going to double-click on MainWindow.xaml.cs.

So to work with macros, you need to go to the Tools menu and then the Macros section. There are a number of menu items in here. The one we're interested in right now is the Macro Explorer. We're going to enable the Macro Explorer by clicking on this menu item. The Macro Explorer lives over here with the Solution Explorer and Class View, and it shows that we currently have two areas of macros. The top one is my RecordingModule-- we'll look at that in a minute--and at the bottom we have this Samples module.

Microsoft includes a number of samples for you to look at and learn from their examples. So, what I can do is click in my code and then come over here to this VSEditor Samples section and look at things like this BeginningOfFunction method, which I would guess--if I put my cursor here on line 30 and ran the BeginningOfFunction function, Run--it moves my cursor to the first line of the function. I'll put a comment in here in C#, and then I'll choose InsertDate.

It put the current date in there. Now, if you want to learn how these macros work, you can right-click and choose Edit, which will then launch the special version of Visual Studio, and here's the code that Microsoft wrote to insert the date. A good tool, if you're brand-new to macros, is using the Macro Recorder. Recorded macros go in this area. Let me show you how that's done. I'll come over here to my code, and I'll turn on macro recording: Tools > Macros > Record TemporaryMacro.

It's hard to see, but Microsoft has added a special macro recording toolbar up here. When I'm done, I'm going to click on the Stop Recording. Now, everything that I do in my code is being recorded and written as Visual Basic code. So I'll put a comment in, and then I'll draw a line across the screen. When I'm finished writing the macro, I can click on Stop Recording.

Now, if you'll notice over here in MyMacros, there is a TemporaryMacro now. And I can right-click on that and go learn how to write comments and text inside my code. So, over here, I can see that I've got this DTE.ActiveDocument, and so on. DTE stands for Design-Time Environment, and ActiveDocument obviously is where my cursor was, and the Selection.Text is meaning I'm writing some text into that selected document.

Then I'm writing a blank line and then some more text and a blank line and so on. So this is a great tool for learning how to write the Visual Basic code, especially if it's not your native language. You can also bring in your own macros. I have a series of macros I use all the time in Visual Studio. To bring in your own macros, you right -click and choose Load Macro Project. For today's demo, we're going to be using a VSMACROS file that's included in the Exercise Files folder and then the Assets folder. So, I'm going to click on this and then click on Add. And then up here, you'll see that I have two macros.

We're going to look at the Search for Google macro. To show you how it works, I'm going to come down here and click on this BorderBrush property, and then I'm going to invoke my macro. As you can see, Visual Studio loaded a copy of Internet Explorer within the body of Visual Studio. It passed my string to the Google search engine. So you can see it's says search question mark q=BorderBrush. Let's look at the code. I'm going to right-click here. Choose Edit.

I'm also going to show you that you can put a breakpoint in your code and run this later. So here, I'm getting the current selected text--that was my word BorderBrush. I'm trimming off any excess space and storing it in the string. I'm checking the length of the string to make sure that something is selected in the designer. Then I'm encoding that string, using the UrlEncode, so that it's safe to pass to a domain, and then I'm going to concatenate that on the end of this string here which is passing the string to the Google search engine.

And then Navigate, that's telling Visual Studio to load the browser in the designer. Now, you notice I have a breakpoint in here. So I'm going to return to my code, I'll choose a different word, and then I'll right-click and choose Run. Notice that I switched immediately over to Visual Studio, even though I didn't have it running before. This is that special copy of Visual Studio. And at this point, I can step through my code by using F11, hover over the variables to find out what's contained in them, rewind my code by grabbing the yellow arrow.

All the tools that work in Visual Studio's normal Debugger work in this special copy. I'm going to go ahead and remove my breakpoint and then press F5. And again, you see my query string pass to Google. So, a macro is just some Visual Basic code that can be executed from within the Visual Studio IDE, and I use it to automate common tasks. Let me show you one more thing. I'd like to attach this macro to a keystroke. I'm going to click on this Close button, and then I'm going to go to my Tools menu and choose Options.

Next, I'm going to look in my Environment section and find the Keyboard section. The name of my macro is called SearchGoogle. So, I'm going to come over here and type in "goo". There is my macro, and now I'm going to come down here and press the desired keystroke that I would like to use to invoke this macro. I think Ctrl+Shift+G would be good. When I choose that, I see that that's already assigned to a pre-existing function inside Visual Studio. I have to decide if I want to erase this shortcut and replace it with my own, or pick a different keystroke.

I never use this keystroke, so I'm going to go ahead and reassign it to my Google macro. Then I'll click OK, and then I'll come down here, and we'll try this one here, Canvas.SetTop. So, I'll click here, and then I'll press Ctrl+Shift+G, and it worked beautifully. So, let's think about this. A macro is just some VB code that can be executed from within the Visual Studio IDE, and I use it to automate common tasks. For more complex scenarios, we need to turn to other tools, but that's a topic for the next movie.

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This video is part of

Image for Visual Studio 2010 Essential Training
Visual Studio 2010 Essential Training

86 video lessons · 30131 viewers

Walt Ritscher
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 2m 3s
    1. Welcome
      1m 2s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 1s
  2. 7m 19s
    1. Understanding the Visual Studio versions
      3m 51s
    2. Setting up your developer computer
      3m 28s
  3. 58m 2s
    1. Creating a Visual Studio project
      4m 58s
    2. Working with Solution Explorer
      6m 32s
    3. Working with big projects
      3m 53s
    4. Taking a tour of the Integrated Developer Environment (IDE)
      8m 36s
    5. Introducing drag-and-drop UI design
      7m 38s
    6. Working with the Properties window
      6m 44s
    7. Looking at Server Explorer
      7m 4s
    8. Exploring the new Help engine
      6m 41s
    9. Setting options for the IDE
      5m 56s
  4. 39m 25s
    1. Creating a simple WPF application
      1m 32s
    2. Building the UI with the editors
      9m 14s
    3. Working with the application code
      3m 37s
    4. Communicating with the web site
      7m 15s
    5. Connecting your data
      8m 4s
    6. Binding to an RSS feed
      5m 4s
    7. Packaging and deploying the application
      4m 39s
  5. 39m 46s
    1. What languages are supported in Visual Studio 2010?
      1m 17s
    2. Exploring basic settings for the Code Editor
      5m 35s
    3. Writing a C# program
      6m 48s
    4. Writing a VB program
      6m 29s
    5. Working with C++
      6m 38s
    6. Working with F Sharp
      6m 9s
    7. Font and color options
      6m 50s
  6. 1h 5m
    1. Formatting your code
      6m 43s
    2. Navigating your code
      7m 44s
    3. Using the Task List
      2m 26s
    4. Commenting your code
      2m 45s
    5. Documenting your code
      8m 26s
    6. Using IntelliSense effectively
      7m 0s
    7. Working with code snippets
      6m 25s
    8. Refactoring your code
      5m 15s
    9. Understanding code generation
      2m 10s
    10. Generating code with T4
      6m 29s
    11. Using the Class View, Class Designer, and Class Diagram tools
      5m 51s
    12. Refactoring VB with CodeRush Xpress
      4m 33s
  7. 1h 11m
    1. Working with project and item templates
      8m 38s
    2. Creating a console application
      7m 5s
    3. Creating a class library
      6m 26s
    4. Creating a web site with ASP.NET
      7m 37s
    5. Creating a rich internet application with Silverlight
      6m 57s
    6. Creating a classic Windows application with Windows Forms
      10m 31s
    7. Creating a dramatic Windows application with Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF)
      4m 41s
    8. Creating a WCF service
      9m 1s
    9. Using an existing WCF service
      6m 38s
    10. Navigation UI designs with the Document Outline view
      3m 41s
  8. 33m 18s
    1. Creating a data project with SQL Project
      6m 24s
    2. Clarifying the confusion on .NET Data
      3m 31s
    3. Using ADO.NET in your application
      6m 50s
    4. Creating typed datasets
      7m 55s
    5. Using the data binding tools
      8m 38s
  9. 30m 13s
    1. Debugging code
      9m 32s
    2. Working with the Watch and other debug windows
      7m 46s
    3. Other debugging techniques
      6m 50s
    4. IntelliTrace historical debugging in Visual Studio Ultimate
      6m 5s
  10. 17m 56s
    1. Understanding Visual Studio editions and test tools
      2m 22s
    2. Verifying your code with unit tests
      8m 58s
    3. Running performance and load tests
      6m 36s
  11. 34m 5s
    1. Building your application
      4m 19s
    2. Customizing the build process with MSBuild
      6m 36s
    3. Setting assembly information
      2m 12s
    4. Deploying a basic Windows application
      2m 19s
    5. Creating an installer with Visual Studio
      7m 39s
    6. Creating a ClickOnce application
      5m 13s
    7. Setting up IIS for deploy
      2m 9s
    8. Deploying a Silverlight or ASP.NET application
      3m 38s
  12. 14m 0s
    1. Understanding source control
      2m 9s
    2. Setting up Team Foundation Server source control
      3m 5s
    3. Using Team Foundation Server source control
      8m 46s
  13. 17m 31s
    1. Understanding the .NET Office integration
      4m 16s
    2. Making a Word 2010 application
      7m 54s
    3. Making an Excel 2010 add-in
      5m 21s
  14. 31m 34s
    1. Understanding the extensibility model in Visual Studio
      2m 17s
    2. Adding external tools to the Tools menu
      4m 42s
    3. Creating macros
      7m 16s
    4. Using the Extension Manager
      5m 1s
    5. Creating an MEF add-in
      7m 9s
    6. Deploying and installing an add-in with VSIX
      5m 9s
  15. 25m 34s
    1. Working with configuration files
      5m 37s
    2. Using the Settings Editor
      7m 30s
    3. Using the Resources Editor
      6m 59s
    4. Localizing your resources
      5m 28s
  16. 1m 17s
    1. Goodbye
      1m 17s

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