I actually bothered to log in to MSDN just to put my two cents in on this. Metal scroll is, in my opinion, the most useful addon I've ever used in any IDE. The visual "mile high" view appeals strongly to my thought processes, and the highlighting that happens in said view is utterly useful. After using MetalScroll (and RockScroll before that) for the past two years, I can never go back to using an "Express" edition of Visual Studio... if for nothing else than so that I can use this addon.
If you are looking for a similar product that works with Visual Studio 2010 do a Visual Studio Gallery search for "AllMargins" by David Pugh
It works differently but is similar enough to be a replacement for people who upgrading to later versions of Visual Studio
Agreed. AllMargins just doesn't provide what is really useful about MetalScroll... the line-by-line mile high overview. Its abstracted representation is probably good for some people, but there's something about seeing the code itself that helps visual people like myself more easily identify where we're at in relation to other content in the file.
The classic tooltip was annoying because it showed up if you accidentally left your mouse on the scroll bar for a bit. It's also awkward for it to move with your cursor after it auto-shows and it would disappear if you accidentally exit the scrollbar area when you actually want to move the tooltip. I tried it and it wasn't usable at all, so I switched to the explicit button holding thing. I guess I can add an option to use autoshow like a regular tooltip, or change the button which brings it up.
About the highlighting issue, Metalscroll should highlight the word just like Rockscroll, but it also adds the square on the right. I haven't removed the word highlighting, I've added the square as an extra because the highlights alone are very hard to see, especially if the file has more lines than the height in pixels of the scrollbar (in which case the image gets scaled). Are you sure it's not highlighting the words on your computer?
Great product. Love the options. Only found two things wrong with it (Using VB.net, VS2005)
Comments are not color coded.
When you first open a file, the blue area that represents the currently visible section of code is usually not the right size. After I click somewhere on the scroll bar, it fixes itself.
Just found one more thing. If I increase the size of the scroll bar, say to 128, break point and book marks are still drawn using the default size of 64. (Meaning they appear in the middle of the scroll bar)
ctwalker: thanks for the reports. The right edge markers are indeed drawn at a hardcoded location, I'm not sure how I managed to do that (probably late night coding :) ). I'll fix it for the next update.
The wrong size of the blue area is an update problem, it should also go away if you wait 2 seconds. I'll try to figure out why it's not updating properly though, it's probably something silly on my part.
The code only supports C style comments at the moment. I'll see about checking the language used in the file and parsing the comments appropriately.
Kurt Place: could you install DebugView ( http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896647.aspx ) and tell me what messages are printed when Visual Studio starts up?
Rory Driscoll figured out that when the horizontal scrollbar is disabled, the add-in doesn't work. I'll fix the problem in the next update, but until then you can enable the bar and MetalScroll should show up (Tools -> Options -> Text Editor -> General -> Display Horizontal Scrollbar). Please tell me if this worked in your case.
Enabled the horizontal scroll bar and MetalScroll worked. Wahooo!
MetalScroll is most excellent. Thanks for making it available.
For anyone, like me, who wants to change the color MetalScroll uses to highlight text, there's an option under Tools/Options/Environment/Fonts
This an excellent tool, I've just replaced rockscroll with this. But it doesn't quite work well with wrapped text, and with split windows, the new windows doesn't show this bar, is it supposed to be like this or is it a bug?
I haven't thought about text wrapping, I'll see if I can take that into account too. Split windows won't show the bar immediately, but they should show it when they get focus (when you click inside for the first time). Doesn't that work in your case?
Thanks a lot for this wonderful tool. i love the preview feature.
This only things that bothers me is that words only appear highlighted in the scrollbar and not in the editor anymore like it was when i was using rockscroll. Is this normal ? If it is, an option to enable/disable words highlight in the whole document would be great.
That's weird, the words should appear highlighted in the editor too. Maybe you're using a color scheme which makes the markers hard to see (although the default marker color is identical to rockscroll, so if that worked...). Can you check if you have a "MetalScroll" entry in fonts
There is a "MetalScroll" entry in my "Tools/Options/Fonts and colors" list, i set it to Cyan On Magenta so i could be sure to see highlights on my dark grey background :) but no match is highlighted at all in the editor (not even the word i just clicked)
What kind of source file are you editing? Could you try with a cpp or cs file, if you haven't already? The funny bit is that the markers are created, because the middle-click preview uses them to know what to highlight, but the editor doesn't display them. Are you using 2005 or 2008?
You can host HWND content inside WPF by using an HwndHost, which you could stick inside a margin in the new editor. It would be very little code to do that (managed code, though, if that matters for you), so it may not be that hard to get the existing HWND-based MetalScroll into VS 2010. If you are interested, drop me an email (noahric at MS) if I can help at all.
The thing is, Metalscroll replaces the window procedure of the existing editor scrollbar and paints the code overview on it; it's not a new control. The WPF scrollbar doesn't have an HWND and a window procedure, so there's nothing for me to hook. I suppose it's possible to hook an existing WPF scrollbar, resize it and paint on it, but I have no idea how to do it, and it wouldn't be a trivial port of the current code.
I'm going to give a try at finding some way to hook it into VS2010 as soon as I get some free time: and if it actually gets somewhere I'll report back and toss it up on the Metalscroll project. (Not that I'm certain it will get anywhere... but I must try. MetalScroll is my crack and I can't move to Visual Studio 2010 without it. And as was mentioned earlier, AllMargins is an unsuitable and insufficient replacement)
The Productivity Power Tools (http://visualstudiogallery.msdn.microsoft.com/d0d33361-18e2-46c0-8ff2-4adea1e34fef?SRC=Home) contain an extension that provides something similar to a MetalScroll scrollbar.
Install the tools, right click on the scroll bar
Hi, I just installed this one and replaced Rockscroll.
My primary reason for switching was the fact that a tooltip shows a chunk of the code anywhere in the file - so I don't have to actually go there to view it.
However, it turns out that the tooltip is only shown when clicking the middle mouse-button. I have a laptop with a trackpoint, no such button. The 'middle' button (normally used to scroll) doesn't show the tooltip.
Why not make the tooltip show up just like that? Where does the need for a click come from? Not only that it requires extra effort, but it also renders the feature unaccessible to some people.
There is one more important aspect I'd like to point out. When looking for a word, MetalScroll highlights the line where it is with a little square.
In contrast, Rockscroll would highlight the matching words themselves. This is a better approach because: (1) I can see where in the line the word is used and (2) if there are several references to that word on a single line - I can see that. MetalScroll places one square to the edge, whether there's one occurrence, or several.
This simplification is hiding some metadata from the programmer and requires more clicks to get things done.
The classic tooltip was annoying because it showed up if you accidentally left your mouse on the scroll bar for a bit. It's also awkward for it to move with your cursor after it auto-shows and it would disappear if you accidentally exit the scrollbar area when you actually want to move the tooltip. I tried it and it wasn't usable at all, so I switched to the explicit button holding thing. I guess I can add an option to use autoshow like a regular tooltip, or change the button which brings it up. About the highlighting issue, Metalscroll should highlight the word just like Rockscroll, but it also adds the square on the right. I haven't removed the word highlighting, I've added the square as an extra because the highlights alone are very hard to see, especially if the file has more lines than the height in pixels of the scrollbar (in which case the image gets scaled). Are you sure it's not highlighting the words on your computer?