Visual Studio – Tasks Lists
In this post, I will try to present one cool window in Visual Studio, the Visual Studio – Tasks Lists window.
First if this Windows is not visible we can turn it on from the View menu: View -> Tasks List
This window will allow You to create and manage a few different types of tasks. You can choose between different types of tasks from the dropdown menu shown on the image below.
First type of tasks are called User Tasks. You can create them as reminder to yourself. They can have text (description), priority level, and status. You can sort them by Description, Status and Priority. This part is just basic tasks, not very interested.
Then we have tasks comments. These tasks actually are comments in the code. But not all comments of course will be listed here. You need to start the comment with a sort of token in order to be listed here. Visual studio has some predefined tokens that can be used in our comments. We have ToDo, Undone and Hack as predefined tokens for comments tasks. When ever we start commenting with some of these words, we will have that comment listed in the Task List Window. That is not everything, the great part with this window is that this list is in direct relation with the code. In other words if You double click on some of the tasks listed here, You will be navigated in the proper comment in the code. This is great for notes related with some suggestions, improvements, or even new features. Now You don’t need to remember where they were, where they need to be added/improved or even extended. You were probably writing thousands of notes and leaving them everywhere on the desk to remind yourself on what line it was for some piece of code, and later when you accidentally added something at the top of the code; the previous note that You are going to look for, is not on that line that You left it :). With Task Lists that is part of the history already.
Of course since Visual Studio is the best IDE in the world, this is not it. Yes there is some more :). You can always go in the Tools -> Options. Under Environment -> Tasks list -> Tokens, You can Add/Edit items in the token list, assign priority with a token, and later use it in your comments.
The third type of tasks are called shortcuts. You are probably already guessing. These kind of tasks are not comment related, but instead they are directly linked with the code. To create a shortcut type of task you need to click in the line of the code that you want to be listed as a task. Then go to Edit -> Bookmarks -> Add Task List Shortcut. Or, you can simply use the shortcut for it: Ctrl + E,T. By default the description will be the code but You can click and change it in the Task List window to whatever you want. Note: It will not affect the actual code, but only the description for that task.
I really, really love this feature of Visual Studio as well as many others that I find are very helpful when developing. I use this on a daily basis and it is very useful indeed. Now, I can’t even imagine working in Visual Studio without it! :).