Editor Guidelines


Adds vertical column guides to the Visual Studio text editor. This version is for Visual Studio 2012 or Visual Studio 2013.

(23) Review
Visual Studio
2013, 2012
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Reviews (23)
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by Jonathan Karsh | June 27 2014

Well done. Does what it says and nothing else. Thanks!

by NobodysNightmare | June 18 2014

by TJ_a1234 | May 30 2014

Excellent extension. Does what it is supposed to do. Allows you to do it easily. Even allows some customization of colors that I did not expect would be possible. A+.

by Jopie Seimons | May 14 2014

Works as advertised

by Darth Basic | May 01 2014

YOUR EXTENSION KICKS A**! My man you would have made a killing with this extension. I read some of the negative reviews and all I could think was: "QUIT YOUR BELLY ACHING!", "You could have paid for this!" Thank you for giving this away. I've left the Order of C# to return to the Darkside of Basic and this has been my companion on both sides of the house. People, add this extension to your IDE. This is one of those must haves in the league of Notepad++, GIMP, VLC, etc. Once again thanks!

by serkan cakmak | March 15 2014

the reason is I come this page for how to remove the guidlines than I see first you need to come on the line than right click and remove while you are on the line thanks happy coding guys

by ValentinBadea | March 12 2014

by Cim Ryan - MSFT | February 14 2014

by jardous | February 05 2014

Thank you!

by M. Adams | January 02 2014

I have limited experience with IDEs, but- from my experience so far- these are the most perfectly implemented guidelines around. Easily added, easily removed; these guides are great, and the fact that I can have more than one is incredibly useful.

by ploeh | December 23 2013

by Eddy Quicksall | December 21 2013

Perfect. It is what should have been there since day 1 and it should be in the normal distribution. Looks like someone that works for MS had his head on his shoulders.

by Sebastian Ärleryd | December 16 2013

Works great! :)

by k4gdw | September 20 2013

I give it 3 stars because it is an incredibly useful idea and something that definitely should have been built into VS. However, at least on my machine, it has a problem that prevents me from being able to use it. Once a guideline is in place, it doesn't disappear from my screen when I remove it. I had to uninstall the extension to get rid of a guideline that was off by 1 character. I'm slightly OCD and things like that are like a paper-cut. Inordinately painful for their small size.

Paul Harrington September 22 2013
| Edit |

Thank you for the review. I've never seen that problem before. The "Remove guideline" command is position specific. So you must make sure to put the mouse pointer directly on the column to be removed. If that still doesn't work, then you can delete the "Guides" value from the following registry key:_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\VisualStudio\11.0\Text Editor

(Substitute 12.0 if you're running Visual Studio 2013)

by RennieP | July 18 2013

Works as advertised, very helpful, thanks.

PS. As for "the researcher", "I cannot work with this" is presumably his motto.

by TheResearcher | May 07 2013

This indent lines are very untidy. I cannot work with this. Lines should display up to the text and not through text.

Keep on at it ... i am sure you will get there :-) I have to give this a 1 star for the effort.

Paul Harrington September 22 2013
| Edit |

Thank you for the feedback. The guidelines are positioned to coincide exactly with the single-pixel blinking caret. Do you think they should go one pixel to the left? I'm open to opinions on the matter, but there are really only these two choices before the text begins to overlap the guidelines (there are only two pixels of horizontal space between a 10pt font at 100% zoom)

by ruslo | May 06 2013

by Jan Aagaard 75 | January 17 2013

The extension works exactly as advertised. Great! The only reason for not giving the fifth star is that I would have preferred an interface that did not clutter the right click menu any futher.

by Amid | October 18 2012

by Phil Barila | September 14 2012

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  • Guidelines Added Automatically
    6 Posts | Last post April 13, 2014
    • I seem to remember there being an add-in for VS2010 that added the guidelines automatically. This may have been in C# only but I'm not 100% sure. Can this extension or any other extension add the guidelines automatically? For the life of me I cannot find one that does this.
    • Figures that as soon as I submit my question I find the answer. This extension does what I was looking for: http://visualstudiogallery.msdn.microsoft.com/e792686d-542b-474a-8c55-630980e72c30
    • After the 4/9 update, my guidelines are gone and when i try to re-add them i get this error message: "No exports were found that match the constraignt: ContractName ColumnGuide.ITextEditorGuidesSettingsChanger RequiredTypeIdentity ColumnGuide.ITextEditorGuidesSettingsChanger". i've tried uninstalling/reinstalling a few times with no luck. any ideas what is causing this?
    • I also get the "No exports were found that match the constraint: ..." error.
    • I am also getting the same error message after updating on 4/9.
    • @Drew, @ypoissant, @workingmom2004,
      Sorry about that. It should be all fixed in the 4/13 update.
  • Context menu issues & solutions
    1 Posts | Last post December 31, 2013
    • I can't get the context menu to show up if I load an HTML or CSS file in the editor.  I can, however, see the context menu when I have .cs, .js or .xml file open in the editor.  Hope this helps.
  • VS2013: Extension does not work
    4 Posts | Last post December 10, 2013
    • Hello, I've installed the extension on VS 2013: Ultimate. However, I don't get the Guidelines options in the right-click menu and I don't see the extension in the Add-Ins Manager or Extensions manager. I've restarted VS several times to be sure. If I run the installer again, it tells me that the extension has already been installed for all the available editions on my machine.
      The only thing that is potentially different about my VS installation is that I chose to install VS on a different drive than C. 
      Any ideas?
    • Sorry to hear you're having problems, gorygregory. When installed, "Editor Guidelines" should show up in the "Extensions and Updates" dialog (reachable via the Tools menu). You can type "Guidelines" into the search box to see if it shows up either under "Installed", or under the "Online/Visual Studio Gallery" category.
      Indeed, if the installer says it's already installed, then that's likely correct.
      I don't believe using a different drive makes a difference. However, note that this extension, like most others, will be installed into the folder where your user profile lives. Specifically, a folder under %LOCALAPPDATA%\Microsoft\VisualStudio\12.0\Extensions. (If you're searching for the Editor Guidelines binaries under that folder, note that the extension is known as "ColumnGuide" internally.)
      Have you been able to install other Gallery extensions successfully?
    • Turned out that VS 2013 was not properly configured to work in my environment. I started having trouble with it outside of this extension. Once I corrected the environment configuration, the extension started working correctly.
      I also installed VS 2012 and the guideline extension works just fine with that too. 
      Thank you for taking the time, this extension is great!
      Thank you for your reply!
    • Glad you figured it out.
  • VS2013: No right-click menu
    3 Posts | Last post October 29, 2013
    • The right click menu where we could add guidelines in VS2012 does not show up in VS2013.
    • Piotr, I haven't seen this problem before. Can you try uninstalling and re-installing the Editor Guidelines extension?
      Verify that the extension is installed by looking for it on the "Tools/Extension and Updates..." UI.
      If it is installed, you can check that the command works by doing this:
      1. Create a new Text File (Ctrl+N, Enter)
      2. Show the "Command" window (Ctrl+Alt+A)
      3. In the Command window, type Edit.AddGuideline and hit Enter
      You should see a new guideline appear at column 0
      You can remove it again by tying Edit.RemoveGuideline in the Command window.
      If all of that seems to be working fine, then perhaps you have another extension that is modifying the right-click menu. Try disabling or uninstalling other extensions to see if the Guidelines menu comes back.
      - Paul
    • Hi Paul.
      Uh, I'm not sure why but after executing these commands (without reinstalling the extension) the menu came back... Maybe I was blind yesterday (though I double-checked), but oh well, it works now. Thanks for your feedback and a most useful extension :].
  • Multiple Guideline Colours
    2 Posts | Last post September 22, 2013
    • Is it possible to have a different colour for each column guide?
    • Thanks for the question.
      No, the current version uses the same color for all guides. However, it's a good feature request. I'll add it to the feature backlog.
      - Paul
  • VSIX Installer error
    1 Posts | Last post August 21, 2013
    • Hi Paul,
      I'm using Visual Studio 2012 in 64-bit Windows 7. When I installed this Editor Guidelines, I got the an error.
      It seams the VSIX - file is damaged. Could you check this, please?
      Here is the installation log:
      21.08.2013 09:30:19 - Microsoft VSIX Installer
      21.08.2013 09:30:19 - -------------------------------------------
      21.08.2013 09:30:19 - Initializing Install...
      21.08.2013 09:30:19 - Microsoft.VisualStudio.ExtensionManager.InvalidExtensionPackageException: Die Datei ist kein gültiges VSIX-Paket. ---> System.IO.FileFormatException: Die Datei enthält beschädigte Daten.
         bei MS.Internal.IO.Zip.ZipIOEndOfCentralDirectoryBlock.FindPosition(Stream archiveStream)
         bei MS.Internal.IO.Zip.ZipIOEndOfCentralDirectoryBlock.SeekableLoad(ZipIOBlockManager blockManager)
         bei MS.Internal.IO.Zip.ZipArchive..ctor(Stream archiveStream, FileMode mode, FileAccess access, Boolean streaming, Boolean ownStream)
         bei MS.Internal.IO.Zip.ZipArchive.OpenOnStream(Stream stream, FileMode mode, FileAccess access, Boolean streaming)
         bei System.IO.Packaging.ZipPackage..ctor(Stream s, FileMode mode, FileAccess access, Boolean streaming)
         bei System.IO.Packaging.Package.Open(Stream stream, FileMode packageMode, FileAccess packageAccess, Boolean streaming)
         bei Microsoft.VisualStudio.ExtensionManager.InstallableExtensionImpl.ReadVSIXManifestFromPackage(Stream vsixStream, CultureInfo preferredCulture)
         --- Ende der internen Ausnahmestapelüberwachung ---
         bei Microsoft.VisualStudio.ExtensionManager.InstallableExtensionImpl.ReadVSIXManifestFromPackage(Stream vsixStream, CultureInfo preferredCulture)
         bei Microsoft.VisualStudio.ExtensionManager.InstallableExtensionImpl..ctor(String path, CultureInfo preferredCulture)
         bei VSIXInstaller.App.InitializeInstall()
         bei System.Threading.Tasks.Task.InnerInvoke()
         bei System.Threading.Tasks.Task.Execute()
  • Doesn't it support 64-bit Windows 7
    7 Posts | Last post February 20, 2013
    • Hi Paul,
      I'm using Visual Studio 2012 in 64-bit Windows 7. When I installed this Editor Guidelines, I got the following error message:
      Installation Failed
      The installation was unable to install the extension to all the selected products. For more information, click on the install log link at the bottom of the dialog.
      This extension is not installable on any currently installed products.
      Could you please help me about it?
      Thanks a lot!
    • Hi, Kevin. I'm sorry you're having problems. I can confirm that 64-bit Windows 7 is supported. I haven't encountered this problem before. Is there any more information in the "install log" link?
      - Paul
    • Hi Paul. Thanks for your quick response. I post "Install Log" as below.
      BTW, I'm using VS 2012 "Express".
      I also found the following link, which mentioned your Editor Guidelines, said "Open the registry at HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\VisualStudio\11.0\Text Editor". However, I didn't find this item in my registry. In "11.0", I have only "(Default)", "UpgradeCheckScheduledTimestamp", and three folders called "DataProject", SQLDB", and "TeamFoundation".
      I'll have a try for "Productivity Power Tools" to see if it can work.
    • Install Log:
      2/15/2013 6:50:08 PM - Microsoft VSIX Installer
      2/15/2013 6:50:08 PM - -------------------------------------------
      2/15/2013 6:50:09 PM - Initializing Install...
      2/15/2013 6:50:10 PM - Extension Details...
      2/15/2013 6:50:10 PM - 	Identifier      : Editor_Guidelines.Microsoft Corp..123716ef-b2ed-4fab-bbcf-1d5f84856ca3
      2/15/2013 6:50:10 PM - 	Name            : Editor Guidelines
      2/15/2013 6:50:10 PM - 	Author          : Paul Harrington
      2/15/2013 6:50:10 PM - 	Version         : 1.11.50618.0
      2/15/2013 6:50:10 PM - 	Description     : Adds vertical column guides to the Visual Studio text editor. This version is for Visual Studio 2012.
      2/15/2013 6:50:10 PM - 	Locale          : en-US
      2/15/2013 6:50:10 PM - 	MoreInfoURL     : http://visualstudiogallery.msdn.microsoft.com/da227a0b-0e31-4a11-8f6b-3a149cf2e459
      2/15/2013 6:50:10 PM - 	InstalledByMSI  : False
      2/15/2013 6:50:10 PM - 	SupportedFrameworkVersionRange : 4.5
      2/15/2013 6:50:10 PM - 
      2/15/2013 6:50:10 PM - 	Supported Products : 
      2/15/2013 6:50:10 PM - 		Microsoft.VisualStudio.IntegratedShell
      2/15/2013 6:50:10 PM - 			Version : 11.0
      2/15/2013 6:50:10 PM - 
      2/15/2013 6:50:10 PM - 	References      : 
      2/15/2013 6:50:10 PM - 		-------------------------------------------------------
      2/15/2013 6:50:10 PM - 		Identifier   : Microsoft.VisualStudio.MPF.11.0
      2/15/2013 6:50:10 PM - 		Name         : Visual Studio MPF 11.0
      2/15/2013 6:50:10 PM - 		Version      : [11.0,12.0)
      2/15/2013 6:50:10 PM - 		MoreInfoURL  : 
      2/15/2013 6:50:10 PM - 		Nested       : No
    • Install Log (Continue):
      2/15/2013 6:50:10 PM - 
      2/15/2013 6:50:10 PM - 
      2/15/2013 6:50:10 PM - Searching for applicable products...
      2/15/2013 6:50:11 PM - Found installed product - Microsoft Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows Desktop
      2/15/2013 6:50:11 PM - Found installed product - Global Location
      2/15/2013 6:50:11 PM - VSIXInstaller.NoApplicableSKUsException: This extension is not installable on any currently installed products.
         at VSIXInstaller.App.InitializeInstall()
         at System.Threading.Tasks.Task.InnerInvoke()
         at System.Threading.Tasks.Task.Execute()
    • Hi, Kevin. Thanks for providing the extra information. Unfortunately, gallery extensions don't (generally) work on Visual Studio Express. Extensions are supported in Visual Studio Professional and above. Please see my answer to "whirlwin" below.
      Sorry about that. I should have realized that was the most likely explanation.
      - Paul
    • Thanks a lot for your answer! -Kevin
  • Visual Studio Express 2012 for Web
    3 Posts | Last post November 04, 2012
    • Hi.
      I recently downloaded Visual Studio 2012 (more precisely Visual Studio Express 2012 for Web).
      But it says that this is incompatable, and I can't find it via the extension manager. 
    • The Express editions of Visual Studio do not support non-Microsoft extensions. While I work for Microsoft, this extension was released as a personal project, so I can't make it work for Express. Sorry.
    • Paul, but you can give a clue how to modify the registry to make this enable. Even the most basic ascii text editors have this feature by default.
  • VS 2012 - unable to remove
    2 Posts | Last post August 20, 2012
    • Hmm, clicking to be close to guideline in editor, establishing an insertion point? But remove guidelines is never active, always grayed out.
    • oops, reopening a code window after closing all and then I could get 'remove'. 
      yep, that's it. had to close editor window and reopen to get 'remove'
  • Error loading this extension in VS 11
    2 Posts | Last post March 02, 2012
    • Hi Paul,
      I'm trying to use this extension in the VS 2011 preview, but I get an exception on launch of VS.  This is from the activity log:
      346 ERROR Could not load file or assembly 'Microsoft.VisualStudio.JavaScript.LanguageService.dll' or one of its dependencies. The system cannot find the file specified.
                C:\PROGRAM FILES (X86)\MICROSOFT VISUAL STUDIO 11.0\COMMON7\IDE\COMMONEXTENSIONS\MICROSOFT\WEBCLIENT\LANGUAGE SERVICE\Microsoft.VisualStudio.JavaScript.LanguageService.dll   Microsoft.VisualStudio.CommonIDE.ExtensibilityHosting.VsShellComponentModelHost 2012/03/01 21:29:28.558 
    • Please could you confirm which version of Visual Studio 11 you are using? The developer preview edition (from September 2011) or the Beta edition from February 2012?
      If it's the developer preview, then I'm sorry to say that this version is not compatible.
      Can you see if uninstalling the extension makes that error go away?
      Obviously, I haven't seen that error myself and none of my colleagues who've been testing it has seen that either. Editor guidelines also does not use the JavaScript language service, so it's hard to imagine how this extension has caused that exception.
      Let me know if you figure out what is wrong.