Visual Studio 2022 for Mac Preview 4 improves window management and search – Visual Studio Magazine

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Visual Studio 2022 for Mac Preview 4 improves window management and search

The Visual Studio for Mac 2022 issue was released in Preview 4, which adds new window drag-and-drop functionality and improves code search and navigation.

The Mac version of Microsoft’s flagship IDE lags far behind the Windows version, which debuted early last month. And the development team has faced performance and reliability issues with VS 2019 for Mac dating back to 2018, as explained in the article “Visual Studio for Mac Get VS Code Internals in Reliability Revamp”.

Upgrading the Mac IDE with the Windows IDE is apparently still an ongoing process, as Microsoft’s website for the IDE, Visual Studio 2022 for Mac Preview, states, “We are moving Visual Studio for Mac to the native macOS user interface, which will address over 100 previously reported issues related to product performance, reliability, and quality. Using the native macOS user interface, the IDE now works more reliably with macOS’ built-in assistive technologies.

These issues and the native solution were discussed in a December 15 post announcing Preview 4: “Visual Studio 2022 for Mac Preview 4 release has arrived and continues our migration from the IDE to the macOS UI fully native, fixes many major issues, and introduces new experiences for arranging your windows and finding your source.”

And, while drag-and-drop functionality seems to be commonplace in any modern code editor or IDE, it leads to the short list of improvements detailed by Jordan Matthiesen, Senior Program Manager, Visual Studio for Mac.

“In this Preview 4 release, we’ve brought the ability to drag and dock tool windows from Visual Studio 2019 for Mac and gone even further to make it similar to the Visual Studio experience on Windows. Now when you drag a tool window, you’ll see icons on the screen that show you where the window can be docked,” he said.

animated gif showing moving the solution from the right side of the IDE to the left side
[Click on image for larger, animated GIF view.] Moved the Solution window from the right side of the IDE to the left side. (source: Microsoft).

The development team is also experimenting with other windowing features, in particular the ability for a developer to select the drop-down menu at the top of each tool window and then select a drop target to dock it into. “This makes it easier to move windows around without having to click and drag, which can be uncomfortable for some developers with motor control issues or repetitive stress injuries,” Matthiesen said. “This is a first preview of this feature, which you can enable with the “Enable snap control in tool windows” option from the Visual Studio > Preferences… > Feature Preview menu.”

Source code searching and navigation, meanwhile, is improved with the ability to group items in the search results window.

As for the continued move to a native macOS UI, recent progress includes porting these UIs:

  • Git > Manage Caches… menu
  • Window menu > Layout > Save Current Layout…
  • Project Preferences/Options > Code Formatting Settings and Standard Headers

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.

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