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15 Must-Have and Best Visual Studio Extensions for Developers

The 15 Best, Must-Have Visual Studio Extensions for Developers

TL;DR: Boost your Visual Studio development with these 15 must-have extensions! From code cleaning with CodeMaid to AI-powered IntelliSense with Visual Studio IntelliCode, explore extensions that enhance productivity, improve code quality, and streamline debugging.

Visual Studio is Microsoft’s Integrated Development Environment (IDE). You can use it for the development of computer programs, websites, web applications, web services, and mobile apps. Visual Studio uses platforms such as Windows API, Windows Forms, Windows Presentation Foundation, and Windows Store to develop software. Here is a list of 15 must-have Visual Studio extensions that are important for developers:

Visual Studio Spell Checker

If you write comments, it is with the expectation that somebody will read them one day.  And it would be embarrassing if you misspelled words in those comments. This kind of situation can be handled by the Visual Studio Spell Checker extension. This checks the spelling of comments, strings, and plain text as you type or interact with a tool window. You can also customize it to perform spell-checking over an entire solution, a project, or selected items.Spell checking entire solution - Best Visual Studio Extension

Visual Studio Spell Checker


CodeMaid is a Visual Studio extension that has over a million downloads. This provides the ability to clean and simplify the code. Steve Cadwallader, the man behind CodeMaid, demonstrates code cleaning and reorganizing, visualizing and navigating through your code, comment formatting, and more in this video: in CodeMaid

Cleanup Active Document using CodeMaid

VS Color Output

This is a must-install extension. It enables individuals in development to stop on their first mistake, saving numerous hours of work while working with large projects. VS Color Output changes the color of a line emitted to the output window based on the rules specified. The rules are made up of regular expressions. Rule map classifications, in turn, map colors.Options in VSColorOutput

Options in VSColorOutput

Visual Studio IntelliCode

Visual Studio IntelliCode is a collection of AI-assisted skills that enhance developers’ productivity with characteristics such as contextual IntelliSense, argument completion, code formatting, and style rule inference. IntelliCode increases a current builder’s workflow with machine-learning facilities that provide an understanding of code and its context. It is applicable for C #, C++ (in preview), JavaScript/TypeScript (in preview), and XAML code, and is expected to be updated in the future to support more languages. By default, both base models of C# and XAML are enabled. You must manually enable the languages in the preview, as per your need.Visual Studio IntelliCode - Visual Studio Extension

Trailing Whitespace Visualizer

The Trailing Whitespace Visualizer extension highlights and wipes any trailing whitespace in any Visual Studio editor on any line. By executing the Delete Horizontal White Space command contained in Edit-> Advanced or by using the shortcut key combination CTRL+K, Ctrl+\, you can easily delete all the trailing white space in a file.Detected Trailing whitespaces

Trailing whitespaces highlighted in the code

Magical C# Debugging—OzCode

OzCode is a Visual Studio Extension that cuts down debugging time and increases productivity by detecting and isolating bugs, making them easy to fix. OzCode makes C# debugging simple and efficient. Omer Raviv, the author, demonstrates many magical debugging features, including a LINQ debugging experience, which makes learning and debugging functional code easier, in the video: - Visual Studio Extension


ReSharper is a popular Microsoft Visual Studio developer productivity extension. It automates most of what you can automate in your coding routines. It discovers and corrects compiler mistakes, runtime errors, and redundancies right as you type, and proposes smart adjustments for them. ReSharper enables you to study software by visualizing file composition, category and design hierarchies, call and value chains, and project dependencies. It lets you immediately cross your entire solution and leap straight to the precise folder and line you’re searching for. It also decompiles library code if needed.Options in ReSharper

Options in ReSharper


Glyphfriend is a Visual Studio extension enhancing the existing Intellisense to display preview glyphs for many of the common glyph-based font libraries. Some of the libraries supported by Glyphfriend are Bootstrap Glyphicons, Entypo, Font Awesome, Foundation, Ionicons, Material Design, and Octicons.Glyphfriend - Visual Studio Extension


The SlowCheetah package allows you to automatically transform your app.config (or any file) when you press F5 in Visual Studio. You can have different transformations based on the build configurations. This will easily enable you to have different app settings, connection strings, etc., for debug versus release. You can transform other files as well using SlowCheetah. When you have different projects with different configurations, the transformation from development to staging to production becomes unpleasant. I remember having app.config file with different commented configurations for each environment and struggling to comment and uncomment the right ones. Well, I’m happy those days are over after using SlowCheetah.slow cheetah - Visual Studio Extension

File Icons

File Icons is a fantastic extension that adds icons for files that are not recognized by the Solution Explorer.File icons - Visual Studio Extension

Image Optimizer

To offer customers the greatest feasible experience, we all want our applications to load as quickly as possible. One of the measures to accomplish this is to ensure the optimization of the images we use. The Image Optimizer extension for Visual Studio is very simple to use and is very efficient in optimizing the images. It uses industry-standard tools to optimize any JPEG, PNG, and GIF, including animated GIFs. It can do both lossy and lossless optimization.Optimizing image using Image Optimizer - Visual Studio Extension

Optimizing image using Image Optimizer

File Nesting

The nesting of files in the Solution Explorer of the Visual Studio is available for a long time now. But still, the rules it follows is not agreed by all. That’s not a problem anymore because File Nesting now gives you complete control over file nesting in Solution Explorer. You can both automatically and manually nest and unnest the files based on their names. File naming rules can be defined to automatically nest the files. You can then apply these rules to any file, folder, or entire project.File nesting - Visual Studio Extension


Almost 400 analyzers, refactorings, and code fixes for C#, powered by the new Roslyn compiler, are bundled with Visual Studio. What’s not to like? Roslynator works closest to the ReSharper, but the biggest advantage is that it is free to use. Roslynator - Visual Studio Extension

NCrunch for Visual Studio

NCrunch is an automated, continuous parallel testing tool for Visual Studio .NET. It intelligently assumes responsibility for running automated tests so you don’t have to. It provides you an enormous quantity of helpful inline data about your tests (such as code coverage and performance metrics) in your IDE while you are working.Options in NCrunch for running automated tests on a particular line - Visual Studio Extension

Options in NCrunch for running automated tests on a particular line

SideWaffle Template Pack

Let’s face it. The number of Visual Studio project templates available out of the box is pretty limited. SideWaffle fixes this with a lot of new projects and item templates.SideWaffle Template Pack - Visual Studio Extension


I hope this blog enriched your knowledge of Visual Studio extensions and assisted in the problems faced by developers in their daily lives.

Syncfusion provides more than 1,500 custom controls to ease the work of developers on various platforms. Please have a look and use them in your application development:

Happy Coding!


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Comments (20)

[…] on August 20, 2019by admin submitted by /u/prabakarinfo [link] [comments] No comments […]

Visual Assist is the best!
Just check this perfect extension for writing as well as debugging.

Hi Drazen,
Thank you for coming up with this tool, I will give it a try.

How about a list like this for Rider?

Hi Chris,
Thanks for the suggest.
We will be working on it in a separate blog.

Nice list, but it would be even better if you had included with each one whether it was free or paid.

Nice. Thanks mate. I already have quite a few of these installed but a good list of useful tools. Thanks

Thanks for the appreciation mate, this means a lot to me


I was just looking for this!!! You are a saviour sir!!! Thanks again!!!

HI Terry,
I am glad that this post helped you.

[…] 15 Must-Have Visual Studio Extensions for Developers (Joseph Christ Nithin Issack) […]

I already have most of these installed, but how on earth did you miss the best extension of all which is CodeRush from DevExpress?
Thanks anyway.

Hi Robert,
Thank you for coming up with this extension. Opinions differ, I personally prefer to list ReSharper over CodeRush.

[…] 15 Must-Have Visual Studio Extensions for Developers – Joseph Christ Nithin Issack […]

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The Live S erver extension provides you with a quick development Live Server, with live browser reload enabled for static and dynamic pages. The cool thing about this extension is it has a go-live button on the taskbar, so you can easily spin up a development server at any time and it works seamlessly.

Hi Olivia Horos,

The Live Server extension is for the Visual Studio Code, that is the reason why we hadn’t listed it in this blog.


This is really interesting, You are a very skilled blogger.
I’ve joined your rss feed and look forward to seeking
more of your magnificent post. Also, I have shared your web site in my social networks!

Thanks for sharing your thoughts about copy and paste.

Highly descriptive post, I enjoyed that bit. Will there be
a part 2?

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