Yesterday, XamarinÃ‚Â released Xamarin Studio 6, full of fantastic new features to help you work more productively. IDEs by their very nature can be complex and itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s often difficult to discover and remember the features that will help you the most, so IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d like to share some tips to help make your development experience in Xamarin Studio more enjoyable.
1. Dark Theme
One of the most requested features in Xamarin Studio ever was a dark theme. We addedÃ‚Â this inÃ‚Â Xamarin Studio 6Ã‚Â andÃ‚Â you can seeÃ‚Â it today. Make sure you have the latest updates installed, and youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll find it in theVisual StyleÃ‚Â panel in theÃ‚Â Xamarin Studio Preferences dialog. Not only did we bring a dark theme to Xamarin Studio, we polished the whole UI for a sleeker, more modern look. OurÃ‚Â designers even createdÃ‚Â 5,727 new icons!
2. Global Search
One of my topÃ‚Â features is the global search box on the toolbar. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a great way to search for files, types, and members in your solution, or quickly navigate to things you already know about. Global search uses fuzzy camel-case matching, just like the code completion popup. For example, if you were looking for
UINavigationControllers in your code, you might search for Ã¢â‚¬Å“navConÃ¢â‚¬Â or Ã¢â‚¬Å“nav conÃ¢â‚¬Â.
Xamarin StudioÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s global search also searches the available commands. This is a super convenient way to run commands for which you donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t remember the keyboard shortcuts. I often open the Project OptionsÃ‚Â dialog from the keyboard by activating global search with Cmd-., typing Ã¢â‚¬Å“poptÃ¢â‚¬Â, and hitting Enter.
3. Key Bindings
For the commands you use most frequently, key bindings can vastly speed up your core workflow. In addition to the key bindings displayed in Xamarin StudioÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s menus, there are a lot of useful little Ã¢â‚¬Å“hiddenÃ¢â‚¬Â commands that you can find in the Key Bindings panel in the Preferences dialog, such as Transpose (Ctrl-T), which swaps the characters on either side of the caret. You can assign your own key bindings to your favorite commands and edit existing key bindings.
4. Source Analysis
My favorite feature in Xamarin Studio is source analysis. ItÃ‚Â was previously available as an experimental option, but now that Xamarin Studio 6 uses the Roslyn Compiler Platform, source analysis is more reliable andÃ‚Â is enabled by default.
Source analysis uses Roslyn analyzers to inspect the code you are working on to find problems and suggest improvements. The issues it finds are marked by underlines and are shown in the scrollbar. You can hover over them to display a tooltip explaining the issue and cycle between them using the Next Issue in FileÃ‚Â command (Alt-Page Down) or by clicking the indicator at the top of the scrollbar.
The best part is thatÃ‚Â source analysis can automatically fix many of the problems it finds. Right-click on the issue and if fixes areÃ‚Â availableÃ‚Â theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢llÃ‚Â show up inÃ‚Â a Fix submenu in the context menu.
The Fix menu can be opened directly from the keyboard with the Alt-Enter shortcut. This pops open a combined menu that shows any available fixes and refactorings. There are a huge number of contextual refactorings that can be accessed this way that can be combined in powerful ways, especially in combination with the Expand Selection command (Alt-Shift-Up) to select expressions and Move LineÃ‚Â (Alt-Up/Alt-Down) to move lines around.
Our existing built-in library of over 300 refactorings, analyzers, and fixes have been ported to Roslyn, and theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re now also available for Visual Studio as an extension called Refactoring Essentials. You can even write your own analyzers and fixes, as Kasey Uhlenhuth showed in her talk at Evolve.
5. Xamarin Studio Add-Ins
Xamarin Studio has a growingÃ‚Â ecosystem of add-ins that extend itÃ‚Â to doÃ‚Â even more. Add-ins can add Roslyn analyzers, new commands, new project types, and much more.
You can install add-ins that other people have created from the Add-In Gallery in the Add-In Manager.
ThereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s even an add-in that helps youÃ‚Â create your own add-ins!
Learn More About Xamarin Studio
There are so many features of Xamarin Studio to love, it was tough to pick just a few to highlight here. For more tips like these, you can watch my session Ã¢â‚¬Å“Become a Xamarin Studio ExpertÃ¢â‚¬Â from Evolve 2016 or install my Macaque Tip of the DayÃ‚Â add-in from the Add-In Manager.
WeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re always trying to make the development experience better, soÃ‚Â I would love to hear about any ways we could make using Xamarin Studio more enjoyable for you. If you have any suggestions, please contact me on TwitterÃ‚Â or file a request on the Xamarin Studio UserVoice.