Mark Miller

June 2009 - Posts

  • CodeRush Xpress for C# and Visual Basic inside Visual Studio 2008

    Download CodeRush Xpress - free from Dev Express!

    CodeRush Xpress is a powerful developer productivity tool from Dev Express. The product is free, licensed by Microsoft on behalf of all developers working in Visual Studio 2008 in all paid-for product skus (e.g., Standard, Professional, Team System). Note however that CodeRush Xpress will not load in the Express Editions of Visual Studio.

    CodeRush Xpress includes features that support common developer tasks in the following areas:


    CodeRush Xpress fully supports all language features of Visual Basic and C# in Visual Studio 2008. If a specific feature applies to only one of these two languages, it will be noted with one of these icons:

    VB     C#  

    More details on CodeRush Xpress functionality follow.



    CodeRush Xpress includes seven powerful navigation features to make getting to that important location fast and easy.

    Camel Case Navigation

    You can move among the lowercase-to-uppercase transitions using Camel Case Nav.

    To move right, hold down the Alt key and press the Right arrow key inside a camel case identifier.


    To move left, hold down the Alt key and press the Left arrow key inside a camel case identifier.


    Camel Case Nav is useful when you want to rename an identifier and change the name in a manner that keeps a portion of the existing camel case identifier. For example, if an existing identifier was called "StartTasks" and you wanted to rename it to "StartFilteredTasks", you could use Camel Case Nav to instantly get the caret between the "Start" and "Tasks" parts before typing in the new part.

    Collect Marker

    Whenever a CodeRush Xpress feature takes you to a new place in the code, CodeRush Xpress drops a stack-based marker at the original location. You can return to the original location (collecting the marker and popping it off the stack) by pressing Escape (when no other tool tip windows or context menus are active).


    When you press Escape, CodeRush Xpress animates a small locator beacon around the marker. This locator beacon is useful when your eyes are looking elsewhere on the screen, especially if you work with a large monitor. CodeRush Xpress also attempts to shift the code vertically so its position is roughly equivalent to what it was when you last viewed it.

    Structural Highlighting

    Structural Highlighting helps you visually navigate the structure of the code. Matching delimiters are connected with low-contrast lines that are easy to read when this information is useful, and easy to ignore when your mind is on the code.

    Structural Highlighting

    Structural Highlighting is useful for understanding the flow of large methods or third-party C# code using a different leading brace position than you might otherwise work with.

    Tab to Next Reference

    You can quickly jump to the active identifier's next reference in the solution file by pressing the Tab key (as long as the caret is somewhere inside the identifier). All matching references (and declaration) to this identifier will be underlined and the selection will move to the next reference. Continuing to press the Tab key will cycle through all identifiers in the solution. Shift+Tab brings you back. You can also press Escape to return to the starting location (where the Tab to Next Reference feature was first invoked on this identifier).


    Tab to Next Reference is useful when you want to quickly visit all references to a particular identifier or type.

    Highlight All References

    Highlight All References is visually similar to Tab to Next Reference, however it does not move the caret. Just press Ctrl+Alt+U to see all references to the active identifier.


    Quick Navigation

    Quickly find a type, member, class, field or variable using Quick Nav. Just press Ctrl+Shift+Q to bring up the Quick Navigation window.

    You can filter the list by entering a portion of the identifier text you are looking for. If you hold down the Shift key and enter uppercase letters, you can find all identifiers named with those uppercase letters, as in the example below:

    Quick Navigation - Smart Filtering

    You can preview the target location by holding down the Ctrl key. To jump to the selected symbol, press Enter. To return to the starting location, press Escape.

    Quick File Navigation

    Quickly find and open any file in your solution. Just press Ctrl+Alt+F to bring up the Quick File Navigation window. The filtering mechanism in this window is similar to what we've just seen in the Quick Navigation window. Just enter a few letters from the file name. CodeRush Xpress will filter down the list. Use the Up and Down arrow keys to select the file you want to jump to, and press Enter to go there (or Escape to close the Quick File Navigation window and return to where you were).




    CodeRush Xpress includes five intelligent features for selecting code more efficiently.

    Camel Case Select

    If you need to select one or more words from inside a camel-case identifier, just use the Shift key along with the Camel Case Nav keys.

    For example, to select from the caret to the start of the camel case part to the left, use Alt+Shift+Left.


    Selection Increase

    First, there is a command to increase the selection by logical blocks. For example, if the caret is inside an expression, you can quickly expand the selection so it entirely holds the expression. Being able to quickly define a selection around a logical block is useful for refactoring. You can also use it to quickly select code you want to move to another location. This command is bound to a shortcut: Alt+Shift+=.

    Selection Reduce

    If you accidentally overshoot the block you want to select, you can reduce the selection by logical blocks using Alt+Shift+-.

    Intelligent Cut, Intelligent Copy, and Paste Replace

    If you need to cut or copy an identifier to the clipboard, there's no need to select it with CodeRush Xpress. Just place the caret on the identifier and press the cut or copy key (e.g., Ctrl+X, Shift+Delete, Ctrl+C, or Ctrl+Insert). CodeRush Xpress will select the identifier before the cut or copy operation.

    Once you have an identifier on the clipboard, you can move the caret to a different identifier and replace it with the one on the clipboard using Ctrl+B. This Paste Replace command will select the identifier at the caret before pasting in the contents of the clipboard.

    If you need to cut or copy a larger structure, such as a for loop, a try/finally block, a member or a class, just place the caret at the start of the block you want to copy and press the cut or copy key. CodeRush Xpress will select the entire block before cutting or copying the block to the clipboard.



    CodeRush Xpress includes powerful features to intelligently declare classes, members, fields, local variables and so much more.

    Consume-first Declaration

    The consume-first declaration features of CodeRush Xpress are a quick way to generate the code you need. It starts with a call or a reference to something that doesn't exist yet (the consumption code). Just move the caret to the reference that needs to be declared and press the CodeRush key (Ctrl+` by default). CodeRush Xpress will do the rest, declaring the missing member, type, enum, or variable.

    Consume-first declaration is useful because it gets you thinking in terms of developers who would consume the code you write. This can improve the quality of the code and make it easier for developers to work with your code. Consume-first declaration is also almost always an essential component of Test Driven Development (TDD).

    However one of the most significant benefits of consume-first declaration is the efficiency gain -- you can quickly craft the code you need significantly faster than doing the same by hand.

    To illustrate, let's look at a practical example. Often developers will use Intellisense to discover the return type of an unfamiliar method call or property, by entering that expression right inside the code, like this:


    Typically what happens next is the developer's eyes move to the front of the tool tip and note the type (circled in red above). Then the developer accepts the suggestion and moves the caret to the beginning of the line to enter a variable declaration of the correct type (e.g., a variable of type "Module[]" in this example).

    Overall there's a great deal of caret movement and typing involved just to declare a variable. To save a little time, some developers avoid specifying the type to implicitly declare variables (using the var keyword in C#, for example), thus avoiding the discovery and text entry costs associated with explicit declaration.

    Fortunately, CodeRush Xpress makes it easy to explicitly declare variables in a way that exploits the power of Visual Studio's Intellisense and is likely to be highly compatible with how you already work:

    1. Create the expression fragment on an empty line using Intellisense or simply typing the expression by hand.


      CSharpSmall If you're working in C#, there is no need to end the expression with a semi-colon.
    2. With the caret at the end of the line, press the CodeRush key (Ctrl+`) and select "Declare Local" from the menu. CodeRush Xpress will generate the local variable declaration and select the variable so you can give it a meaningful name:


    So the steps behind exploiting consume-first features are:

    1. Write the call or reference to the member, type or variable that doesn't exist, OR enter an expression on an empty line (as in the example above).
    2. Place the caret on the part that doesn't exist.
    3. Press the CodeRush key (Ctrl+`). If a menu appears select the item you want to declare. For methods and properties, you may also see a horizontal red line appear (called the Target Picker) that allows you to select the insertion point for that member. Just use the up and down arrow keys to select the ideal location and press Enter to insert the declaration.
    4. Sometimes CodeRush Xpress will shift the view or take you to another file, to show you the code just inserted. This allows you to rename or edit the newly-declared code. When you're satisfied with the declaration you can press Escape to collect the marker and return to where you started.

    More details on specific consume-first declaration features follow:

    Declaring Members

    Want to add a member to a type? Just write the code as you would like it to appear. If it's a method, pass in the parameters you need (tip: if you're passing in parameters that are undeclared, declare those first before declaring the method). Place the caret on the member and press the CodeRush key.

    Here are the consume-first member declarations you get with CodeRush Xpress:

    • Declare Constructor
    • Declare Method
    • Declare Property
    • Declare Property (auto-implemented)
    • Declare Property (with backing field)
    • Declare Getter
    • Declare Setter
    • Declare Event Handler

    Declaring Types

    To declare a new type, add a reference to it. Usually when you want a new type, you also want a constructor for it. So it's usually most efficient to enter the constructor call like on an empty line:


    At this point you can press the CodeRush key (Ctrl+`) to declare a new local variable as we've seen before. You can also place the caret on the "FileLogger" text and press the CodeRush key to declare a class or struct.

    Here are the consume-first type declarations you get with CodeRush Xpress:

    • Declare Class
    • Declare Delegate
    • Declare Enum
    • Declare Enum Element
    • Declare Interface
    • Declare Struct

    Declaring Variables

    As we've already seen, declaring variables to represent an expression on a line is easy. Another way to declare variables is to simply place the caret on a reference to the variable name in an assignment, as in the "_StartTime" text in the assignment below:


    Press the CodeRush key (Ctrl+`) and select the declaration you'd like. A preview hint will let you see the changes to the code before you commit.


    Here are the consume-first variable declarations you get with CodeRush Xpress:

    • Declare Field
    • Declare Local
    • Declare Local (implicit)

    Create Method Contract

    Often inside methods, before you work with the parameters, you need to verify that those parameters are valid. Developers typically select one of three mechanisms to ensure the data coming in is correct:

    • Throw an exception
    • Call Debug.AssertXxxx()
    • Exit the method

    Regardless of which one of these you prefer, CodeRush Xpress makes it easy to build this contract code. Just move the caret to the start of the method, like this:


    Then press the CodeRush key (Ctrl+`). The Create Method Contract menu will appear, allowing you to select the ideal mechanism for validating any parameters that are without validation code.


    The preview hint shows you exactly what you're going to get. Create Method Contract makes the process of ensuring parameters are valid fast and easy.

    Duplicate Line

    Duplicate line lets you create a new line of code based on an existing line of code. You can duplicate variable declarations, constants, and method calls. The shortcut is Shift+Enter. For example, if the caret is on a declaration like this in C#:


    Pressing Shift+Enter will create a duplicate declaration that looks like this:


    Now it's simply a matter of typing in the new field name. Note that the Camel Case features , shown above, may be useful here if you want to change only a portion of the name (for example, changing _StartTime to _EndTime would be easy with Camel Case Nav and Camel Case Select).



    Refactoring is a powerful way to improve the quality and flexibility of your code, without changing program behavior. Well-refactored code costs less to maintain, is easier to extend, and is a more valuable asset than code that is allowed to accumulate technical debt (also referred to as design debt).

    CodeRush Xpress includes over 50 refactorings, and nearly all work in both C# and Visual Basic. A few refactorings are available in only a single language due to features of that particular language.

    VBSmall  For example, Inline With Statement and Create With Statement are both available in Visual Basic.

    CSharpSmall Similarly, refactorings to Add Block Delimiters and Remove Block Delimiters are only available in C#.

    In some cases CodeRush Xpress provides wrappers for existing refactorings in either language. These wrappers ensure a more complete experience, making all refactorings contextually available in one location, accessed from a single keystroke (Ctrl+`). In many cases wrappers will also implement a preview hint, so you can see the impact of the changes before you commit. Wrappers are indicated in the refactoring menu with a Visual Studio icon, as in the Rename and Reorder Parameters refactorings appearing in the refactoring menu below:


    In this section you'll find descriptions for all refactorings shipping inside CodeRush Xpress, arranged in the following categories:

    Changing Signatures
    Declaration & Initialization
    Lambda Expressions & Anonymous Methods
    Loops & Blocks
    Properties & Fields
    Moving/Extracting Methods
    Resource Files & Strings

    Consult the Visual Studio help after installing CodeRush Xpress for additional details and example code in both C# and Visual Basic demonstrating these refactorings in action.

    Changing Signatures

    Add Parameter

    Adds a new parameter to a method declaration and updates all calls accordingly.

    Create Overload

    Creates an overloaded method similar to the one at the caret, with fewer parameters. Applying this refactoring leads to an interactive phase where you can select which parameters to exclude from the new overload. XML doc comments are updated appropriately. You can even create overloads of constructors, as shown in the screen shot below:

    Decompose Parameter

    Replaces a single parameter with one or more new parameters, each standing in for a property access on the original parameter. For example, consider the code below:


    In the first constructor, only a single property of the parentGrid parameter, Children, is accessed inside the code (and aside from this property reference, parentGrid is never referenced or assigned to directly in the code). So we can replace this parameter with a parameter of the same type as the property referenced. The preview hint for Decompose Parameter shows the impact of this change:

    After applying this refactoring, all calls to the method are updated. The final code looks like this:


    Promote to Parameter

    Removes all references to the local declaration or field from the method, replacing it with a parameter. Calling code is adjusted to pass in the promoted field or expression.

    In C#, CodeRush Xpress simply adds a preview hint wrapper around the existing refactoring.

    In Visual Basic the refactoring is available as well, however in this case CodeRush Xpress actually implements the refactoring instead of handing off to the language service:


    Remove Unused Parameter

    Removes an unused parameter from a method declaration and updates all calls accordingly.

    In Visual Basic this refactoring is only available on parameters that are not referenced within the method:


    In C# the Remove Unused Parameter refactoring is not available, however there is a wrapper for the built-in C# refactoring Remove Parameters, and that wrapper is available when the caret is on any parameter:


    When you select the Remove Parameters, CodeRush Xpress calls the built-in C# refactoring, which allows you to select the parameters to remove:

    Note: The image above is a dialog from Visual Studio and is not part of CodeRush Xpress.

    Reorder Parameters

    Reorders parameters in the current method, and then updates calling code to reflect the new order.

    In C#, this refactoring hands control over to the existing C# implementation of Reorder Parameters:

    Note: The image above is a dialog from Visual Studio and is not part of CodeRush Xpress.

    In Visual Basic, the application of this refactoring leads to an interactive phase where parameters can be rearranged using the CodeRush Xpress in-source UI. A hint appears revealing available shortcuts in the interactive mode.


    Safe Rename

    Safely renames non-private methods and properties by creating a duplicate member to preserve the old signature, calling the renamed member from the old member. The old member is hidden from Intellisense and marked "Obsolete". References to the old member will generate compiler warnings directing developers to the new renamed member.

    After applying this refactoring, CodeRush Xpress selects and links the method name for an easy rename.


    Safe rename is useful if you want to change the signature of a public or protected method referenced by code outside of your solution (e.g., on a developer's machine in another part of the world making calls to your API). For example, after performing the Safe Rename on the code shown above, we can next apply Remove Parameter to the unused deprecatedData in the FindPlayers method, cleaning up its signature without breaking any code that calls the now-obsolete FindAllThePlayers method.


    Combine Conditionals

    Combines nested conditionals to into a binary expression performing a logical AND operation. For example, "if (e1) if (e2)" becomes "if (e1 && e2)". This refactoring is the opposite of Split Conditional. This refactoring can also combine two or more neighboring conditionals with identical bodies into a single conditional statement where each conditional expression is logically OR’d.

    Here's an example where nested conditionals can be combined:


    And here's an example where neighboring conditionals with identical bodies can be combined:


    Combine conditionals will also remove any redundancy that might appear in the newly combined expression. For example, notice in the preview hint for the following how the reference to the hasQualified parameter appears only once:


    Compress to Ternary Expression

    Converts an if/else conditional with assignments in each branch into a ternary expression. This refactoring is the opposite of Expand Ternary Expression.


    Expand Ternary Expression

    Converts a ternary expression into an if/else block. This refactoring is the opposite of Compress to Ternary Expression.


      column = cellPosition == CellPosition.Last ? _NumColumns - 1 : 1;


      if (cellPosition == CellPosition.Last)
        column = _NumColumns - 1;
        column = 1;

    Flatten Conditional

    Unindents all or a portion of the conditional statement. This refactoring applies one of the following refactorings: Replace Nested Conditional with Guard Clause, Remove Redundant Else, or Reverse Conditional followed by Remove Redundant Else. Flatten conditional can also recognize “if (E) return true; else return false;” and convert all of this to simply “return E;”.

    Here's one example for Flatten Conditional, where an indented code block (the last one of a method) becomes unindented by reversing the conditional and exiting the method:


    Here's another example preview hint for Flatten Conditional, where an else keyword and the corresponding braces are removed, unindenting the contents of the block:



    Reverse Conditional

    Inverts the logic in this conditional statement and swaps the If and Else blocks.


    Split Conditional

    Two behaviors:

    1. Converts a conditional with a binary expression performing a logical AND operation into nested conditionals. For example, in C#, "if (e1 && e2)" becomes "if (e1) if (e2)".

         if (fileName != null && fileName != String.Empty)
           PlayInCell(fileName, column, row);

         if (fileName != null)
      (fileName != String.Empty)
             PlayInCell(fileName, column, row);

    2. Converts a conditional with a binary expression performing a logical OR operation into neighboring conditionals.

         if (fileName == null || fileName == String.Empty)

         if (fileName == null)
         if (fileName == String.Empty)

    Declaration & Initialization

    Convert to Initializer

    Converts a default constructor call immediately followed by object initialization into an object initializer.


    Decompose Initializer

    Converts an object initializer to a default constructor call followed by object initialization. Available when the caret is on type reference in the constructor call.

      MediaPlayerPro mediaPlayerPro = new MediaPlayerPro { NumColumns = 3, StartingFolder = @"C:\Images" };


       Note the variable name is linked up after decomposing the initializer, allowing for a quick rename if desired.

    Make Explicit

    Converts an implicitly-typed local variable to a variable with an explicit type.


    Make Explicit (and Name Anonymous Type)

    Converts an implicitly-typed local variable to a variable with an explicit type, creates a named type to represent the expression on the right, and replaces the anonymous type with a newly-declared type. Other anonymous types in this project having the same shape will also be replaced by the new type.


    Make Implicit

    Converts an explicitly-typed variable declaration to an implicit one.


    Move Declaration Near Reference

    Moves the declaration statement for a local variable near its first reference.

    This refactoring is sometimes useful in preparing a block of code for Extract Method (if a selected block contains the variable declaration, the variable won't need to be passed in as a input parameter).

    Move Initialization to Declaration

    Combines a local variable's declaration with its first initialization.

    Name Anonymous Type

    Replaces the anonymous type with a newly-declared type.

    Additionally, other anonymous types in this project having the same shape (matching property names of the same types) will be replaced by the new type. For example, watch what happens when you apply this refactoring the first anonymous type assigned to the variable superCar1 below:

      var superCar1 = new { MaxSpeed = 250, Driver = "Speed" };
      var superCar2 = new { MaxSpeed = 250, Driver = "Racer X" };

      var superCar1 = new SuperCar(250, "Speed");
      var superCar2 = new SuperCar(250, "Racer X");

    The anonymous type assigned to superCar2 is also replaced by the new type.

    Remove Assignments to Parameter

    Removes assignments to value parameters, declaring a new local at the first assignment.


    Split Initialization from Declaration

    Breaks an initialized declaration for a local variable into a declaration and a separate initialization statement.

      string[] files = System.IO.Directory.GetFiles(_StartingFolder);

      string[] files;
      files = System.IO.Directory.GetFiles(_StartingFolder);

    Split Temporary Variable

    Splits a local variable which has too many assignments, declaring a new local at the first new assignment following the first reference. In this example where the local variable "i" has multiple assignments and references, the preview hint shows a new variable named "splitI" will be introduced, and all subsequent references to "i" will be replaced with the new splitI variable.



    Inline Temp

    Replaces all references to a local variable with its initial value.


    Introduce Constant

    Declares a new constant, initialized to the value of the string or number at the caret.

    Introduce Constant (local)

    Declares a new local constant, initialized to the value of the string or number at the caret.

    Introduce Local

    Creates a new local variable initialized to the selected expression. Replaces the selection with the new variable.

    After applying this refactoring, the new local variable name is selected and linked up...

    So it is easy to rename...


    Introduce Local (replace all)

    Creates a new local variable initialized with the selected expression. Replaces the expression everywhere it appears inside the code block with the new variable.


    Simplify Expression

    Resolves an expression to its simplest form. Simplify Expression will remove redundancy such as extra parentheses and sub-expressions that have no impact on the outcome of the evaluation. For example, consider the redundancy in the expression in the method below:

    To simplify this, select the expression and press the CodeRush key (Ctrl+`). The preview hint shows how the expression will be simplified. Notice that we lose the redundant reference to the hasQualified parameter, and we also lose an extra pair or parens, resulting in a cleaner expression that is easier to read.



    Extract Interface

    Extracts an interface based on public members in a class.

    Lambda Expressions & Anonymous Methods

    Compress to Lambda Expression

    CSharpSmall This refactoring is only available in C#.

    Converts an anonymous method to an equivalent lambda expression.


    Expand Lambda Expression

    CSharpSmall This refactoring is only available in C#.

    Converts a lambda expression to an equivalent anonymous method.

    Inline Delegate

    CSharpSmall This refactoring is only available in C#.

    Inlines the delegate, creating an anonymous method. If there are no other references to the delegate method, it is removed.


    Name Anonymous Method

    CSharpSmall This refactoring is only available in C#.

    Creates a new delegate method from an anonymous method which does not access any local variables from the parenting method body.

    After applying this refactoring the method names will be linked up allowing you to easily rename the new method.

    Loops & Blocks

    Add Block Delimiters

    CSharpSmall This refactoring is only available in C#.


    Embeds a child statement inside brace delimiters.

      if (files == null)
        files = Directory.GetFiles(_StartingFolder);

      if (files == null)
        files =

    Create With Statement

    VBSmall This refactoring is only available in Visual Basic.

    Creates a Visual Basic With statement for the specified instance within the selection.


    If more than one qualifying instance exists, a sub menu will allow you to select the instance to become the subject of the With statement.

    Inline With Statement

    VBSmall This refactoring is only available in Visual Basic.

    Inlines the object reference of a Visual Basic With statement into all dot-references.


    Remove Block Delimiters

    CSharpSmall This refactoring is only available in C#.

    Removes unnecessary brace delimiters in C#.

      if (files == null)
        files = Directory.GetFiles(_StartingFolder);

      if (files == null)
        files = Directory.GetFiles(_StartingFolder);

    Properties & Fields

    Convert to Auto-implemented Property

    CSharpSmall This refactoring is only available in C#.

    Removes the backing store and converts the active property to a C# auto-implemented property. Available when the caret is on the property name.


    Convert to Auto-implemented Property (convert all)

    CSharpSmall This refactoring is only available in C#.

    Converts all properties in the active C# type to auto-implemented properties, removing the associated backing store fields.


    Create Backing Store

    CSharpSmall This refactoring is only available in C#.

    Converts a C# auto-implemented property to a conventional property with a backing store.

      public string StartingFolder { get; private set; }

      private string _StartingFolder;
      public string StartingFolder
        return _StartingFolder;
       private set
        _StartingFolder = value;



    Encapsulate Field

    Encapsulates a field into a read-write property and replaces all occurrences of this field with the newly declared property. In C# control is passed to the built-in refactoring that encapsulates fields. In Visual Basic CodeRush Xpress implements this refactoring.

    Encapsulate Field (read only)

    Encapsulates a field into a read-only property and replaces all read-references to this field with the newly declared property.

    Method to Property

    Creates a property from the current method.

      public string GetStartingFolder()
        return _StartingFolder;

      public string StartingFolder
    return _StartingFolder;

    Property to Method(s)

      For read-only properties:
        Converts the property into a function.
      For write-only properties: 
        Converts the property into a method (or Sub in Visual Basic).
      For read/write properties: 
        Converts the property into two methods, creating a new function for the getter, and a new method for the setter.


    Moving/Extracting Methods


    Extract Method

    Creates a new method from the selected code block. The selection is replaced with appropriate calling code to invoke the newly-declared method.

    CSharpSmall In C# control is passed to the built-in refactoring that extracts methods.  VBSmall In Visual Basic CodeRush Xpress implements this refactoring.


    Extract Method to Type

    Creates a new method from the selected code block and moves it to the specified type, updating the selected code block appropriately. The selection is replaced with suitable calling code to invoke the newly-declared method through an instance of the target type. This refactoring is useful when you have a block of code that references several properties or methods on a variable of a type that is declared elsewhere in your solution.


    After extracting the code block above, the new method looks like this:


    And the calling site looks like this:


    Extract Property

    Creates a new property from the selected code block. The selection is replaced with appropriate code to reference the newly-declared property.

    After extraction the property name is selected and linked up for an easy rename.


    Replace Temp with Query

    Replaces each reference to this local variable with a call to an extracted method, which returns the initial value assigned to this local.


    Resource Files & Strings


    Extract String to Resource

    Extracts the string at the caret into a resource file.

    After extracting the string, the resource identifier is selected and linked for an easy rename.


    This refactoring is useful if you have text that needs to be translated into one or more target languages. Placing all text that needs translation into a resource file makes it possible to change and add foreign language support without changing the code.

    Extract String to Resource (replace all)

    Extracts all matching strings in the file to a resource file.

    Extract XML Literal to Resource

    VBSmall This refactoring is only available in Visual Basic.

    Extracts the active embedded XML literal to a resource file.


    After the extraction the resource identifier is selected and linked up for an easy rename.


    Use String.Format

    Converts a composed string expression into a single String.Format call.


    Notice in the preview hint how the formatting arguments passed to the ToString calls in the original expression (e.g., "listPrice.ToString("c")") are properly converted to the appropriate format strings (e.g., "{0:c}").

    This refactoring is useful if you have concatenated display text such as this that needs to be translated into another language. Complete sentences are more effectively translated than sentence fragments, as they can be grammatically rearranged as is sometimes necessary with translation, without touching the code.

    Use StringBuilder

    Replaces the selected string concatenation operations with corresponding method calls on a local StringBuilder instance. For example, consider the following code:

    To change these string concatenation operations to equivalent code that works uses a StringBuilder, just select the text to convert and press the CodeRush key (Ctrl+`).


    The preview hint gives you an idea of the changes this refactoring will apply to the code. Old string concatenation operations ("+=") are updated.

    Notice also the intelligent changes applied to the second line that had previously called String.Format. That call has been converted to an AppendFormat call.


    Move Type to File

    Creates a new file with the same name as the type at the caret, adds the file to the project, and then moves the type to that file, along with any leading comments, attributes, and XML doc comments. This refactoring is available when the caret is on a type declaration and the file contains two or more types.

    After applying this refactoring, the type is moved to a new file with a matching name, and added to the active project:


    The new file is activated so you can work in that file if needed. As always, when a feature in CodeRush Xpress takes you away from where you started, you can get back to the original location by pressing Escape.


    Widen Scope

    Moves a variable declaration up (out) in scope, increasing the area where it can be referenced within the method.


    Widen Scope (promote constant)

    Moves the local constant declaration out of the member and up to the type, replacing all matching values in the type with a reference to the constant.

    Widen Scope (promote to field)

    Converts a local variable to a field variable.


    More Information

    Documentation on all the features of CodeRush Xpress, including samples in both C# and Visual Basic, can be found in the Visual Studio help after installing. Just select the Help | Contents menu item:


    The help also includes sample animations for C# and Visual Basic, so you can see the features in motion.


    Download CodeRush Xpress - free from Dev Express!

  • Performance and Memory Milestones in CodeRush and Refactor! Pro - Preview of 9.2

    The IDE Tools team has been spending a great deal of time making CodeRush and Refactor! Pro run even faster and with less memory. With every release since 3.2.3, customers have noticed improvements in speed. And it's no different for CodeRush 9.2, expected later this quarter.


    Our primary focus for performance in this release has been solution load times. Specifically, we want to reduce the time it takes to go from specifying a solution to open in Visual Studio to the ability to refactor anywhere that a solution (we call this "zero-to-refactor" time). Refactoring anywhere means CodeRush has a full understanding of all the code in the entire solution.

    To give you an idea of what you can expect in CodeRush 9.2, we took some measurements of this zero-to-refactor time with three of our internal DevExpress solutions. Two of these solutions are among our largest: DX Controls (8000+ files, anyone? Holy crap!) and XAF. The third is a medium-sized project, XtraScheduler. The table below gives you an idea of their respective sizes using a variety of metrics:


    DX Controls



    # of Projects




    # of Files




    # of Types




    # of Members




    Lines of Code




    Source Size













    How do your solutions compare to these?


    Some details on the test machine:


    Intel Core 2 Duo E6400, 2.13 GHz


    2 GB

    Hard disk drive

    Seagate st3250824as, 7200 RPM

    (8ms average seek time,

    9ms average write time)

    Operating system

    32-bit Vista, SP1

    And it's Windows Experience Index:



    First Time Loads

    When you first open a solution, CodeRush 9.2 parses it and caches important information using a background thread. The cache later improves the zero-to-refactor time for subsequent loads of the same solution.

    The parse and cache-building times for first-time loads for each of the solutions in CodeRush 9.2 are about the same as the old parse times (and no cache building) for CodeRush 9.1:


    Even though CodeRush 9.2 performs additional functionality on the first-time load (e.g., parsing the code and building the cache), the team has actually found ways to improve the parsing speed sufficiently so as to have an overall effect of marginally reducing the zero-to-refactor time.


    By the way, if you are looking at that 200-second parse and cache-building time for the DX Controls project and on the verge of freaking out, you may find relief in the following:

    1. That time is from zero (no solution open) to the ability to instantly initiate a refactoring anywhere (no build required).
    2. This is all happening in a background thread. Visual Studio remains responsive during this time.
    3. The DX Controls solution declares over seventeen thousand types and over two hundred thousand members. It's 84MB of source code and nearly two million lines of code long. This solution is significantly larger than most solutions out there.
    4. This cache-construction stage only occurs once -- the first time you open a solution without a cache.
    5. This zero-to-refactor performance for first-time solution loads is actually comparable if not significantly faster than the competition.

    Subsequent Loads

    For subsequent solution loads after the cache is built, the story is even better:


    Notice that once the cache is built, subsequent times to load a solution and get from zero-to-refactoring for CodeRush 9.2 (middle row in red) approach those of Visual Studio's normal load time for the solution (front row in blue).

    The bottom line is CodeRush 9.2 gets you to that point of total code understanding where you can refactor anywhere significantly faster than CodeRush 9.1. In some cases up to five times faster.

    Memory Consumption

    Remarkably, the memory story is even more compelling than the performance story.

    The data below shows total Task Manager memory after loading one of these large solutions and reaching that point where we're able to refactor anywhere in the solution (all source code has been parsed). Measurements were taken with Visual Studio 2008 alone (no add-ins), and with CodeRush 9.1 and CodeRush 9.2.


    By the way, if you're using a competing IDE productivity tool and wondering how much memory that other tool might be consuming, it's likely to be very close to the memory consumed by CodeRush 9.1 (see the back row in purple).

    Notice the significant drops in memory consumption produced by CodeRush 9.2 (middle row in red) compared to the memory consumption of CodeRush 9.1 (or your other IDE productivity tool). The savings in memory is huge, especially considering the size of these projects and the fact that this memory also holds all the assemblies required simply to keep CodeRush (and Refactor! Pro) running.

    The percentage numbers in white near the top of each bar show how much additional memory is required by CodeRush (to represent the entire solution as well as its referenced assemblies) as a percentage of that needed by Visual Studio alone (if you didn't have CodeRush installed).

    Whereas CodeRush 9.1 (in purple) requires about double the memory Visual Studio needs, CodeRush 9.2 requires substantially less. We expect most customers with large solutions to see a reduction in memory consumption of at least 100MB. Customers with very large solutions (e.g., 2000 files and up) should see even greater savings.

    Can I Try This Now?

    Yes you can. Between now and the release of CodeRush 9.2, CodeRush customers can request a daily build of CodeRush 9.2 from


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