Indent Guides


Adds vertical lines at each indent level.

(135) Review
Visual Studio
2013, 2012
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by evgeniy.polonskiy | Tue 5:42 AM


by Gil Yoder | September 12 2014

Nice utility. Thanks for writing it, and for making the source available!

by jinek | August 08 2014

thank you! super!

by gwinsky | July 16 2014

very usefull !

by Martin Chisholm -- MSFT | June 30 2014

It does exactly what it says it does, but VisualStudio pegged a CPU when it was enabled. I profiled devenv.exe to find the cause, and IndentGuide.dll!IndentGuide.LineSpan::LinkedLinesInternal used up way too much CPU.

Maybe I have too many files open for the intended project size? Regardless, I ended up disabling it.

And I believe that this is now built in to the 'Productivity Power Tools' package.

by DwainBrowne | April 29 2014

Awesome plugin!!! Now I can see again :)

by KalininAndreyVictorovich | April 01 2014

by Cim Ryan - MSFT | February 14 2014

by Proco | January 27 2014

This should be part of visual studio

by jcal52 | December 11 2013

Such a simple idea.
Such a great addition to code development.
Why didn't someone else think of this long ago?
Well done.

by mijay | December 11 2013

by manojbavikati | November 21 2013

Simple, lightweight and easy to use... Thank you Steve Dower.

by BeMobile | November 15 2013

by chrisWhite | November 14 2013

Very helpful guides, it does exactly what I expected. I just wish it was a bit more subtle.

Zooba November 15 2013
| Edit |

Open Tools, Options, Indent Guides and customise to your heart's content :)

by Cloudrocket | November 07 2013

One of those rare tools that does one really useful thing really well. Helps me pick up a lot of speed, especially in XML and other markups.

Thanks, Steve!

by Leonardo Lourenço Silva | November 01 2013

Perfeito, ajuda demais quem está começando a programar...

by Shay.Nadav | October 29 2013

Great Extension.
very light and very effective :)

by 小霧 | October 28 2013

When less than the height of the screen can be very handy.

Nice tool !



by lmanapure | October 28 2013

Really really useful. Thanks !

by Samir L. Boulema | October 22 2013

Nice, simple, works perfect :D

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  • Guide lines are now 2 pixels wide
    7 Posts | Last post June 17, 2014
    • I've just found that I haven't updated this extension and now installed version 14 for Visual Studio 2010. I noticed that the guide lines are now 2 pixels wide, instead of 1 pixel before. The dot pitch is still the same, but the dots are now 2x1 px instead of 1x1 px. Is that intentional or a bug? I'd like to have the thinner line back. It also happens with default settings.
    • (Apologies for the slow reply.) The dots should be antialiased/slightly blurry, which is why they appear wider. I made a significant performance improvement that had an effect on the layout, and without this option the dots are not consistently 1 pixel tall. In my opinion, it was unusably ugly, while the antialiasing was bearably ugly.
      I'll see if I can find a way to get the dots to render properly for the next version, but I don't think it's likely.
      (Technical details: the reason the layout changed is because I now render all the lines as a single adornment, rather than doing each one individually. This means that there is a canvas control that the editor handles the layout, but the canvas handles the layout for each line. The performance improvement is huge though, so I won't be switching back.)
    • Since I've never seen lines other than this, maybe you could just move them to either side by 0.5 pixels. This seems to be a usual and old trick, coming from GDI+ days where things started to become "device-independent" (a bad idea actually because it simply doesn't work on a "device").
    • That sounds like it has potential, but I'm really not sure how it can improve the look. (It sounds like it might work only because I've got enough experience to know that things that sound like they'll never work often do :) )
      Moving the line up or down is more likely to affect the vertical spacing, which is the real issue. Given a choice between dots that look good horizontally and dots that look good vertically, I picked vertically. Next time I get some time for this, I'll give it a try.
    • When I open the file it says "The installation was unable to install the extension to all selected products....."
      help please
    • If you're using VS 2010, you need to follow the link on the Description tab of this page.
      If you're using an earlier version of VS, sorry. They aren't supported.
    • I've fixed this in the code. My guides are now 1-pixel sharp again. See
  • Bug together with "Word Wrap with Auto-Indent" extension
    2 Posts | Last post March 17, 2014
    • When used together with the "Word Wrap with Auto-Indent" extension (, all indent guide lines are shifted to the right if the first visible line is a wrap overflow line which is indented itself. Hard to explain, just try it out, scroll down to a wrap line and you'll see the mess... VS2010.
    • I was sure I fixed this, but I don't remember whether it was before or after the last release. It certainly appeared without needing that extension. It may be that the other extension changes how the lines are rendered in a way that breaks how I'm finding the left-most position *and* how I'm detecting that it is being wrapped.
      That said, since the other extension is only available for VS2010, I'm unlikely to fix it. At this stage, I'm not supporting VS2010 other than to keep building the extension for as long as possible. You are welcome to take the source from my CodePlex page and make the fix - it's an easy project to build - and I will accept contributions if they look safe enough.
  • totally messed up visual studio 2013/javascript
    3 Posts | Last post February 20, 2014
    • I installed this extension and when editing javascript in visual studio 2013 it totally messes up indentation, jumping like 100 pixel to the right in some cases. I uninstalled it but for some reason it is still wrecking havoc and I can't even restore settings using the import/export option. In short, I think this extension ruined my box and I have to start from scratch now.
    • reproduce:
      make braces
      then indent in the previous braces and make more:
      at the third level something screws up:
      keep doing this anyway and eventually this dialog comes up:
      specified argument was out of the range of valid values: parameter name: offset
    • I'd be extremely surprised if this was due to Indent Guides. For starters, it never modifies the text buffer at all, and has almost no code paths that depend on the language in use. If it is causing this, it should also be causing it in C# and C++.
      Jumping many pixels across is a known issue if you have word wrap enabled and the first visible line of text is actually the second part of a wrapped line.
      If you want to clean up the existing Indent Guides settings, delete your HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\VisualStudio\12.0\IndentGuide registry key. There are no settings stored anywhere else unless you've explicitly exported them.
  • Column 0
    3 Posts | Last post January 02, 2014
    • Hi,
      Is it possible to configure Indent Guides so the indent line will be drawn also in column 0? Below is an example about what I mean. In the first example the function code starts in column 0, in the second example it starts in column 1. And I will like to see in the first case also two indent lines as it is in the second example.
      void f()
      void f()
      So I will like if the first example will be displayed as follows:
      void f()
    • This should be pretty easy to add, though it won't be in before the next version (currently unscheduled) and will be off by default, so you'll have to go option hunting - most likely through the theme customizations.
    • Of course I expect it will be off by default. I'm looking forward to the new version. Thank you very much for your effort.
  • Can this be added to express editions pleas
    2 Posts | Last post December 20, 2013
    • Please make it available for VS 2013 express editions (web and windows)
      It is such a great tool
    • Sorry, I'm afraid I don't have any say in that. The restriction is in the Express editions, and it's deliberate. The only way it will get into the Express editions is if the VS team adds it into the product.
  • Suggestion
    4 Posts | Last post December 17, 2013
    • I am developer and I am a great fan of this tool and I have a suggestion. Pl provide an option to draw lines only on block of codes and not every where. example sub(), fun(),IF..else..endif, switch case, loops, with...end with, using etc and I dont want to see lines every where. Hope u understand my suggestion clearly. example: how can i ignore line inside the IF block? Currently I am unable to achieve this even thru customization option.
    • I understand your suggestion, but I've already decided that I won't ever do this. Right now, I don't have to teach my extension about every language - it just looks at text and spaces. It would be a huge amount of work to handle different languages, and honestly VB would be a very low priority, so it may not help you at all.
      That said, there may be a more general option I could add that would help. For example, not displaying guides that are less than X lines tall, which may reduce noise if you have lots of one-line if blocks. Can you think of any other general rules like this that might help?
    • Thanks Zooba for replying to my suggestion. Actually I am not asking language level setting as that would be more complex to handle. This tool is working fine for my project but what I am expecting is that there should be an option to draw line only for blocks. when i check/uncheck visible on empty lines, it still does not server my purpose. 
      Bty, there are not many block statements in you may give a try :-)
    • Ah, I see what you're getting at.
      There's an option under Behavior called Only Extend Inwards that may help, though I think what you really want is an "only show every second" (not a great name, but I know what I mean). That should be doable, as long as I can find a reliable way to handle the first one.
      No promises, but when I next spend some time working on this I'll have a go.
  • Need a "Jump to next long line" tool/hotkey
    2 Posts | Last post December 14, 2013
    • Love this extension. Thanks.
      Our coding standards limit lines to 80 chars. Sometimes, when editing a module I did not write, I will do some format cleanup.
      I find myself wanting a hotkey/tool to jump to the next line of text that exceeds the line-wrap guideline.
      I love that the wrap guideline highlights when a line is too long. However, finding the occasional long line in a big module can be daunting. :)
    • Thanks for the suggestion. I'm considering adding some hotkey commands to the next version, and I like this idea more than some of the other suggestions. If I do add them, this will be in there.
  • Incorrect work with wrapped lines
    1 Posts | Last post November 06, 2013
    • When 'Word wrap' is enabled and page scrolled to position when first visible line of code is a 'tail' of long line, all indent lines move right for the same distance as indentation of that 'tail'.
  • Indent lines have gone after update to v.14
    2 Posts | Last post October 28, 2013
    • VS2012 Update 3, Pro.
      Hi Zooba,
      Just updated to v14 (from v12) and plugin stopped to work. It's enabled in plugin menu and color scheme is CSharp. Any chances to get it work again? Or where I can find old v12?
    • The answer for you is on the Description tab.
      It seems to be an issue that affects upgrading from v12 and should be fixed as of v13.
  • Wrong guide highlighted for single line blocks.
    3 Posts | Last post August 03, 2013
    • Hi Zooba,  Firstly, I love this extension, first one I add on a fresh VS install :-)
      I think I found a problem, which shows up a lot in F# code as having a single line indented block is very common in that language, for example.
          let func3 x = 
              if x < 100.0 then 
                  2.0*x*x - x/5.0 + 3.0
                  2.0*x*x + x/5.0 - 37.0
      If I put the cursor on one of the 2.0*x*x parts for example, then the guide for the let func3... line is highlighted instead of the if x... level.
      If I change it to be like this:
          let func3 x = 
              if x < 100.0 then 
                  2.0*x*x - x/5.0 + 3.0
                  // spare
                  2.0*x*x + x/5.0 - 37.0
                  // spare
      Then it works perfectly.  I tried changing around the options but nothing seemed to fix it.  Any ideas?   Thanks!
    • Oops, I posted too soon, the highlighting needed to be on Current Line rather than Current Block.
      Sorry!  It's working perfectly now.  Thanks.
    • Glad you found the option. I decided to make the current setting the default because I don't think there's much point in showing the extent of a single-line block (because you can already see that it's only one line) - I'd rather see how far the outer block extends.
      But, for those who want it (and you're not the first person who's thought it was a bug) I added the option in.
      And thanks for the kind words.
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