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Tools cooperation – Visual Assist X and IDE Tools

December 9th, 2010

Here is the result of testing the Whole Tomato’s Visual Assist X and DevExpress’ IDE Tools co-existence for those, who prefer to use features of several Visual Studio productivity tools working side-by-side at once.

Tested versions:

  • VAX – 10.6.1833.0
  • IDETools – 10.2.3

1) First, here are similar features that exist in both products and don’t interfere with each other. You are welcome to disable one of them or leave them as is:

CodeRush feature

Visual Assist X feature

Spell Checker Underline Spelling Errors
Selection Comment/Uncomment Surround Selection

Spell Checker from CodeRush has more available options than VAX’s Underline Spelling Errors, such as the context where it is available (“Strings, “Comments”, “Html text”, etc), options to ignore e-mails, URLs, mixed case/upper-case words, repeated words and words with numbers within them. Both features can use other dictionaries for different languages, but CodeRush allows you to add a new dictionary using its options page.

As for Selection Comment / Surround Selection, here, VAX has additional option to comment selection using the multi-line comment (/* */) characters, but CodeRush’s Selection Comment does not allow you to use multi-line character for selection.

2) Now, some CodeRush features interfere with the features of Visual Assist X and make it difficult to use the VAX features, such as the listbox member (Enhanced IntelliSense) and automatic insertion of ) } ] and “:

CodeRush feature

Visual Assist X feature

Smart Parentheses Automatic insertion of )
Smart Brackets Automatic insertion of ]
Intellassist Suggestion Lists
Smart Enter N/A

These VAX’s features are probably more advanced with additional options available, so you might want to disable the CodeRush features. See how to disable them, below.

Disable any of these features, as you wish:


CodeRush feature

Visual Assist X feature

Alt+Down Scope Cycle Down Move to Next Scope
Alt+Up Scope Cycle Up Move to Previous Scope
Alt+Left CamelCaseLeft Navigate Back

3) Next, code editor visual features interference:

CodeRush feature Visual Assist X feature
Element Highlighting Enhanced Syntax Coloring
Line Highlighter Highlight Current Line
Right Margin Line Column Indicator

All these CodeRush visual features are disabled by default, so if you had them enabled earlier, you might want to disable them. To quickly disable them, use DXCore Visualize Toolbar.

The other issue is with Smart Tags – both CodeRush Smart tag and VAX smart tag appear at the same place:

DXCore Smart Tags conflict

Probably, you will want to disable one of them.

4) The latest and one of the worst issues (in my opinion) in the cooperation of these tools is the incompatibility of CodeRush’s templates and VAX’s Enhanced IntelliSense. After the CodeRush template is expanded, the VAX’s Enhanced IntelliSense may appear, and if you accept one of its suggestions, the expanded code/text will be completely removed and a suggestion from IntelliSense will be pasted into the code editor. As a work-around, just close the IntelliSense window using Esc.

Here’s the list of mentioned features and its path to the options page to disable them in the Options Dialog (for visual features use DXCore Visualize Toolbar):

Feature name

Path to options page

Spell Checker Editor\Spell Checker
Selection Comment/Uncomment IDE\Shortcuts (Selection\Modifying)
Smart Parenthesis Editor\Auto Complete\Parens & Brackets
Smart Brackets Editor\Auto Complete\Parens & Brackets
Intellassist Editor\Auto Complete\Intellassist\Setup
Smart Enter Editor\Auto Complete\Smart Enter
DXCore Smart Tags Editor\Smart Tags

Find the “Enabled” checkbox on every page, and uncheck it, to disable a particular feature.

Products: all
Versions: 10.2 and up
VS IDEs: any
Updated: Oct/18/2011
ID: T038

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  1. Przemyslaw Wlodarczak
    December 10th, 2010 at 03:04 | #1

    How to enable Element Highlighting feature of CR?

  2. December 13th, 2010 at 03:34 | #2

    @Przemyslaw Wlodarczak
    Hi Przemyslaw, you can toggle it on or off on the DXCore Visualize Toolbar. Or go to the “Editor\Painting\Element Highlighting” options page and click Enabled checkbox. I’ll try to describe Element Highlighting in detail today or tomorrow. Thanks!

  3. December 13th, 2010 at 09:57 | #3

    @Alex Skorkin
    OK, here you are: Element Highlighting.