Today we’re gonna take a brief tour of what’s new in Visual Studio 2019.


  • Start window
  • UI refresh
  • Search improvement
  • Document health and code cleanup
  • Debugger search and stepping improvement

Start window and UI refresh

Let’s go ahead and dive in to their start window and UI refresh.

With the enhanced start window you can quickly clone or check out code from Azure DevOps github or elsewhere. You can get started on one of your existing projects with open a project solution or folder buttons which will open the file explorer or you can pick up with a recent project or folder. You can also create a new project and checkout our new project dialog experience which allows you to search and filter your project templates. So you can quickly get to what you’re looking for.

If you’d like to just open the IDE without any code open go ahead and click continue without code here at the bottom, now let’s switch over to an instance of Visual Studio that’s already running. Here you can see it looks quite different from Visual Studio 2017. They reduce clutter by minimizing the chrome and compressing the menu bar up here to allow more space for what matters such as your editor window. You’ll also notice that the theme looks different as they’ve updated their classic blue theme.

Start window

  • Checkout repo
  • Open solution/project
  • Open folder
  • Create new project

UI refresh

  • More space and modern UX
  • Lower information density
  • Theme updates

So that, you can quickly tell the difference between visual studio 2017 and 2019 when you have them installed side by side.

Search improvement

Let’s dive in to the search improvements in the IDE.

You’ll notice I can hit this search bar up here by clicking on it or using ctrl Q as a shortcut as I type. You’ll notice I get results almost instantly and even though I’ve managed to misspell something I’m still getting relevant search results. If we take a closer look at any of these search results you’ll also notice that they have the shortcuts here quickly so that you don’t have to look through your menu commands in order to find those shortcuts and finally if you’re not seeing what you’re looking for you can always quickly do an online search with this button down here.

Search improvement

  • Activate with Ctrl + Q
  • Fuzzy search
  • Instant result
  • Shortcuts
  • Search the web

Document health and code cleanup

Let’s take a look now at document health and code cleanup.

So down here in the scroll bar you’ll see that I have this warning indicator this is my document health this tells me if there are any errors warnings or suggestions in my current open document right now. If I hover over it it’s letting me know I have 29 warnings and 18 suggestions which is why it’s this yellow yield sign. If there were errors it would be a red sign and if there are only suggestions it’ll be a blue.

This may change as we’re continuing to aerate on the design for this feature. If I right click you’ll see that I can actually navigate to the next issue in the file or the previous I can also do this with clicking on it or shift click to go back now. If I go ahead and right-click again you’ll see that I have the option to run code cleanup or configure code clean up.

With configure code cleanup I can actually look through and understand which rules I’d like to apply this is similar to format document except that instead of just taking care of your brace styling or margins or spacing. We can actually apply different refactorings and code cleanup fixes. You’ll see that I have this apply implicit explicit type references set here. So I’ll click OK now if I want to run code cleanup and get rid of all these warnings here and my error list I can do that by hitting this command or with the shortcut Ctrl + E, Ctrl + C. So if I run code cleanup it will ask me to verify which I’d like to run.

Now since I’ve already had apply implicit explicit type preferences checked I’m going to hit okay and you’ll notice that all of these change to var just as we’d like them to and our error list is clean and we’ve got a clean bill of health from our document health indicator.

Document health and code cleanup

  • Quickly understand health of the open file
    • Navigate between errors, warnings, suggestions
    • Run and configure code cleanup
  • Run code cleanup: Ctrl + E, C
    • Choose the rules to apply in Configure Code Cleanup
    • Change the direction of rule
      • Tools > Options > Text Editor > Code Style

Debugging improvements

Finally let’s look at their debugger improvements.

First you can expect step improvements by up to 50 percent. Depending on the size and complexity of your project. But hopefully for those of you who spend a lot of time stepping through. You’ll notice a significant improvement in the performance. Next let me draw your attention to this window over here in the autos locals and watch window all three of these now have a search bar which allows you to search through the items here instead of scrolling through. Which is especially useful if you have many many items in here.

So for example, I can search string just like that and you’ll notice that it takes me to the first time string is encountered in this case it happens to be a type. But if string were in value or name it would also return so search results. For that I can go to my next instance here or if I want to dig deeper and expand any of these elements in search there I can also search deeper.

Right now our default search depth is 3. So that means it will open items 3 times and expand three times in word before it ends its search. But you can change this to whatever you’d like. You can also limit this search by searching only currently expanded items. So if you have many many items or you’re trying to scope the search just to one particular object you can set that.

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