How Exactly ReSharper 7 Supports Visual Studio 2012

One of the larger efforts in ReSharper 7 was support for Visual Studio 2012, in terms of integration, enhancements of the Visual Studio experience, as well as new technologies such as WinRT. In this post we’re going to go over some of these.

Theming Support

Visual Studio 2012 provides support for theming, and ships with default Light and Dark themes. We have added support for this by updating all our menus, icons etc. to make sure it looks pleasant on both light and dark themes.

Visual Studio also introduced monochrome icons. We received a lot of feedback from our users asking us to not follow the same style and convert all our icons to monochrome. At the same time we also had other users saying that the color icons do not comply with the new VS look. With taste being so subjective, we decided to leave it up to you, the user, to decide what you would like your icons to look like.

Icon style settings

You can now choose how application icons appear such as those on refactoring menus, toolbar windows, etc. as well as source code symbol icons such as types, properties, etc. All of these are configurable via ReSharper | Options | General. In fact we’ve even given our own icons a face lift!

Asynchronous Solution Loading

Microsoft added support for Asynchronous Solution Loading in Visual Studio 2012, allowing projects to be loaded asynchronously when opening up a solution, which in turn helps us continue our work without having to wait for the entire operation to complete.

In ReSharper 7.0, despite some serious challenges that we faced with ASL and the API surface exposed, we have managed to provide 100% support for this feature, incrementing the startup time drastically, allowing you to benefit from ASL and all the ReSharper goodness.

Just so you get an idea of the performance gain, the same solution, consistent of 300+ projects, opened in Visual Studio 2010 using ReSharper 6 takes 5 minutes 12 seconds. In Visual Studio 2012 using ReSharper 7, it takes 1 minute 17 seconds!

Quick Launch

With Visual Studio 2012, if you are not sure under what menu a certain action is located or how it is exactly named, you can use the Quick Launch options (Ctrl+Shift+Q) to find it. As a plug-in to Visual Studio, we had to facilitate providers for this quick launch in order for our actions to also be available. As such, typing something along the lines of Go To should display all the ReSharper | Go To options.

ReSharper commands in Quick Launch menu

In a way, this is also a discoverability enhancer: If you want to discover things ReSharper offers you, just type ReSharper.

Preview Tab

Visual Studio 2012 introduces what’s called the Preview Tab, which is a tab that opens on the far right side of the editor window when browsing a file. As soon as you start editing, it will then become a “normal” tab, placed alongside the rest of the open files, starting from the left side. If you’ve not seen this before, try it: navigate through the Solution Explorer and see how files magically appear and disappear in a tab on the right. As soon as you edit, they’ll move to the left:

Preview tab

ReSharper supports this functionality via any of its navigation features, including Go To Type, Member, File, Declaration as well as through Find Usages and other tool windows that deal with files.

Solution Explorer Awareness

In the Solution Explorer, you can now expand a file and get access to its members. We provide context sensitive menus on these items so you can invoke ReSharper actions such as refactoring, find usages, etc. directly from them using the context menu or any of the refactoring shortcuts:

ReSharper commands in Solution Explorer

Architecture Explorer

In the Ultimate Edition of Visual Studio 2012, the Architecture Explorer allows a project view allowing drill-in to namespaces, types and members. Once again we provide context sensitive support here with options such as Navigate To and Refactor This:

ReSharper commands in Architecture Explorer

Dependency Graph

As well as supporting the Architecture Explorer in Ultimate Edition, we also provide access to functionality in the Dependency Graph, again allowing for refactoring, navigation and other goodies:

ReSharper commands in Dependency Graph

New Frameworks

Windows development has taken a new turn with Visual Studio 2012. With the appearance of WinRT, developers now can target Windows 8 with Metro style applications. ReSharper 7.0 adds support for framework references, compilation targets for C# projects and as well as JavaScript WinRT projects. We’ll cover these in more detail in another post. Suffice to say however that we are there, providing you with access to the latest technologies.

We hope that some of these features make your coding experience more pleasurable in Visual Studio 2012. Since ReSharper support for the new Microsoft IDE is pretty wide and stable, we’re committed to sim-ship ReSharper 7 with Visual Studio 2012 RTM.

Stay tuned for more detailed information about framework support and other new features in ReSharper 7.

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9 Responses to How Exactly ReSharper 7 Supports Visual Studio 2012

  1. Avatar

    Paul says:

    July 18, 2012

    I wish Microsoft gave us a choice of look and feel. Well done JetBrains for listening to your users.

  2. Avatar

    El Bruno says:

    July 18, 2012

    Great stuff !!! I’ll take a look at the Dependency Graph integration, I’ ve not seen this yet and seems so cool 😀

  3. Avatar

    Sean Kearon says:

    July 19, 2012

    Very good stuff indeed. Love the way that R# is there when I want it and where I want it.

  4. Avatar

    Eyal Shilony says:

    July 22, 2012

    Pretty amazing work, well done!

  5. Avatar

    Annoyed says:

    November 24, 2012

    Why dont previous versions work with new versions of visual studio? I dont need any new features, just compatibility.

    Grave robbers!!!!!

    Dumping it, its overrated

  6. Avatar

    Hadi Hariri says:

    November 24, 2012


    There is effort and work that goes into integrating ReSharper with every new version of Visual Studio and it’s not easy to just get things working. So while we understand your frustration, we have to continue to develop and maintain a product.


  7. Avatar

    Ninju Bohra says:

    December 20, 2012

    Does ReSharper 7 work with Visual Studio 2012 Express Web Edition? I only need C# support (for now)

  8. Avatar

    Jura Gorohovsky says:

    December 20, 2012

    Unfortunately ReSharper doesn’t work with any Express editions of Visual Studio, it’s just impossible to integrate in them.

  9. Avatar

    Em says:

    February 2, 2013

    @Annoyed: If you expect developers to maintain support for all versions of a product you fail to realise how difficult and expensive that is.

    Some excellent enhancements for VS2012 here guys! Shame I cannot afford 2012 yet and that we cannot use Express. For now I guess I will stick with 2010. 🙂

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