Codist is a Visual Studio extension which strives to provide better coding experience and productivity for C# programmers.
The new version enables you to change syntax highlight styles for any programming languages: select text in code editor window, then click the Customize Codist Syntax Highlight... command in the Tools menu.
The syntax highlight now supports C# 8 and compatible with the latest version of Visual Studio 2019.
Several crashes caused by Codist have been fixed.
More details are listed at https://github.com/wmjordan/Codist/releases.
Wanna try something cool before it is officially released? Take a look at Codist 5.7 in GitHub.
Check out this list to see what Codist can do for you?
Advanced C# Syntax Highlight
The advanced syntax highlight function highlights every aspect of C# language elements with diverse styles, including using various font families and text styles, enlarging or shrinking font sizes, changing foreground or background colors and transparency.
From version 5.6 on, it is possible to change syntax highlight styles in any languages, such as Visual BASIC, F#, SASS, and so on, even if they are not recognized by Codist.
The following screenshots of the
Default Syntax Highlight Themes
To quickly get started with advanced syntax highlight, open a C# project, then click the Customize Codist Syntax Highlighting command under the Tools menu.
A window will pop up, click the Light theme or Dark theme button at the left side of the dialog and see changes in effect. Don't forget to click the OK button to confirm the changes.
With the Save and Load buttons, you can backup and share your own syntax highlight settings.
If you mess up your syntax highlight styles, you can press the Reset button to reset all settings to default, or press the Light theme or Dark theme button to reapply predefined themes.
Note: There is a known issue in Codist that if you change the theme of Visual Studio, you may have to restart it to make syntax highlight settings to work properly.
Customization of Syntax Highlight Styles
To customize and tweak the desired syntax highlight styles, click or select the text in the document window, and click the Customize Codist Syntax Highlighting command under the Tools menu.
The customization window will pop up and listing syntax classifications applied to the active text.
Click the style in the Syntax Styles list, adjustment controls will be displayed at the bottom of the dialog, where you can change the style. As you change the style, you can immediately see how it appears in the code document window.
If you want to change another syntax element, you can click on the place where it is applied in the code document window. If the customization window is still opened, and the Selected Code section under Syntax Categories is selected, when you focus on that window again, corresponding syntax styles will be listed for the place you clicked.
You can explore other synta categories by clicking the list on the left of the dialog.
Syntax definitions in the All languages section will list all syntax styles for any languages installed; those under Tagged comments section apply to comment taggers (see below), others apply to corresponding languages accordingly.
Note: Font size is relative value to editor default font size. Halfly checked checkboxes denote default syntax styles are used.
A Side Note for Editor Font: You may consider subsituting the font used by Visual Studio code editor with professionally designed fonts for programming, for instance, IBM Plex Mono, Fira Code, etc. Employing MacType can also enhance systemwide textual display quality, especially for Chinese, Japanese and Korean programmers.
My Symbols and External Symbols
Codist can identify symbols which are defined in your source C# code and which are imported from external assemblies. This feature is so unique that you may not find it elsewhere.
You can customize it in the symbol markers section under the C# section in the Syntax Highlight Configurations dialog. Style C#: User symbol is used for symbols from your code, and C#: Metadata symbol is used for symbols imported from external assemblies.
Note: the predefined Light theme and Dark theme have defined external symbols with bold style, as the above screenshot shows.
Comment Tagger and Styles
Super Quick Info
The quick info (the tooltip shown when you hover your mouse pointer on your C# source code) can be enhanced by Codist.
General Quick Info
To customize the Super Quick Info, adjust the settings in the options page.
Options in the General page apply to all code editor windows.
C# Quick Info
Super Quick Info especially enhances programming experience for C# programmers. There are plenty of options available in the options page.
Additional Quick Info Items
A dozen of additional quick info items could be displayed in the Additional Quick Info Items options page.
Navigation bar locates at the top of the code editor window. It overrides the original navigation bar. When the Navigation Bar is loadeded, it hides two drop-down lists on the original Navigation Bar, but preserves the project drop-down list.
Basically, the Navigation Bar serves the same purpose of the original one, displaying symbol information where the caret is placed.
Note: From version 5.2 on, Navigation Bar not only works with C# code documents, but also Markdown documents.
Typically you can see three or four items on the bar.
Nodes on the Navigation Bar are clickable.
The Navigation Bar can be configure via the options page.
To customize drop-down menus of the Navigation Bar, change options in the Drop-down Menu tab.
Markdown Navigation Bar
The Markdown navigation bar introduced in version 5.2 lists all titles appear in a Markdown document.
Similarly, you can type in the search box to filter down the titles.
The Smart Bar is a context-aware tool bar that appears automatically when you select some text, or double tap the Shift key on your keyboard.
There are two toolbars on Smart Bar. The top bar contains general editing commands for all file types. Buttons on the bottom bar changes according to file types.
Buttons on the Smart Bar changes according to your selection, typical buttons are editing operations (e.g. Cut, Copy, Paste, Delete, Duplicate, Formatting, Find, etc.), code analysis operations (e.g. Go to defintion, Find references), refactoring operations (e.g. Rename, Extract method, etc.)
Each button on Smart Bar usually has multiple functions. Left clicking, right clicking, Ctrl+clicking and Shift+clicking trigger different commands. For details, see the tooltip for the buttons. Right clicking a button usually expands the effective range of a command to the whole line, or brings out a pop-up menu for more commands.
From version 5.2 on, there are multiple predefined web search commands in the menu when you right click the Find button, which will launch your browser to search the text you select in document window. So, it is handier to look for answers from the web or find code examples in GitHub.
You can specify what browser you prefer to use in the options page.
C# Specific Commands
When you select a symbol, you may probably see a Smart Bar like below.
The C# commands are on the second row.
The first one is Go to Definition, that behaves the same as the keyboard
The second one is the Analyze symbol... button, a menu will pop up showing possible symbol analysis commands for the symbol. Since some commands require considerable amount of calculation, items ending with "..." will require a mouse click to expand. For instance, clicking the Find Callers command in the following screen shot will search the source code and list at what places are calling the selected method in a symbol list. In the symbol list, you can filter items like the what you can do in the Navigation Bar, click items on the sub-menu and jump to the corresponding location.
Various commands will be conditionally listed under the Analyze symbol... menu. Here is a list of commmands for an interface.
The Find Members command under Analyze symbol... lists all members defined within a type. For some special types, for instance,
For Visual Studio extension developers, the preview offers more, for instances, it allows previewing images of
The Find Implementations command for an interface type will display all types that implement that interface. The same command will also appear for interface members, which finds out corresponding members that implement the specific interface member.
When we begin to work with new libraries, we usually have to learn new types and APIs. Two typical senario are that "what methods, properties return specific instance of a type?" and "what methods can an instance of a given type can be passed into?". Thus, Smart Bar provides Find Instance Producer and Find Instance as Parameter for type names. The following screen shot demonstrates the reslt of finding instance producers which returns an instance of
From version 5.2 on, there are two buttons on the top right corner in the result list of symbol analysis commands. The Pin button will keep the list on the screen. And you can use your mouse to drag those lists around.
Symbol marker draws markers for C# symbols.
Typically, you can double click a symbol in the C# source code, select the Mark Symbol command on the Smart Bar and choose the desired highlight marker on the drop-down menu.
After applying the command, all occurrences of the marked symbol will be marked with a different style.
To remove symbol marker, click the Remove symbol mark command in the drop-down menu of the Mark symbol command.
Symbol markers will be cleared when the solution is unloaded.
Note: The style of symbol markers can be customized in othe Syntax highlight Configurations dialog. The default colors are listed below. You also need to turn on the Syntax Highlight feature in order to make this feature work.
Behavior of Smart Bar
By default, Smart Bar appears after selection changes, you can alter the behavior in the options page by unchecking the Show Smart Bar when selection is changed checkbox.
Smart Bar automatically disappears when you move your mouse cursor away from it, or execute a certain commands on the Smart Bar, or click somewhere else in the code editor window, emptying the selection.
To make the Smart Bar reappear, you can tap the
Smart Bar in Other Windows
Smart Bar also works on Output, C# Interactive, Immediate (Debug), Find Results and some other text selectable window panes. If you select a path within those windows, extra commands will pop up allowing you to open it directly or locate it in Windows Explorer.
From version 4.4 on, some extra buttons will show up on Smart Bar in C/C++ code windows.
Scollbar Marker draws extra glyphs and shapes on the vertical scrollbar for the following syntax elements:
Please see the first screenshot of this article. The markers can be toggled via the options page.
In the Display tab of the General options page, several display enhancement options are offered.
Within the Extra line margins group box, you can adjust margins between lines to make code lines more readable.
Programmers who do not like ClearType rendering, which made text blurry and colorful, may want to try Force Grayscale Text Rendering options.
From version 5 on, it is possible to output a time stamp after each build.
For VSIX developers, there is also an option to automatically increment version number for your VSIX manifest file.
Open the Codist section in the Tools->Options dialog. In the General section you can toggle features of Codist.
I have learned a lot from the following extension projects (sorted by the time when I learned from them).
And every donaters, beta testers, feedback providers to this project.
Codist comes from the open source community and it goes back to the community.
Codist is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.
This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.
You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this program. If not, see "https://www.gnu.org/licenses".
Bugs and Suggestions
Your vote and feedback on the Visual Studio Extension Marketplace are also welcomed.
Support Codist by Donation
If you like Codist and want to support the future development of it, you can donate to the author.
You can donate any amount of money as you like. The recommended amount of donation is
4 donations have been received so far :)