I suggest you ...

Show indent guides like Notepad++ does

Indent guides help quickly finding out where a scoop starts and where it ends. I think an advanced IDE like Visual Studio must have this feature. I know that there is an extension for this, but why doesn't Visual Studio have a basic feature like this natively?

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Erdem Kargın shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

Hi Supporters

I’m pleased to announce that this feature is now available for you to try out in the Visual Studio 2017 RC release. Check out more info and see a download link at:


You can also see it demonstrated in the recent VS Live presentation at:


… where I show a sneak preview of the guidelines at ~1h:07 into the talk.

I’d love to hear from supporters on how the feature looks in Visual Studio 2017 RC, and whether it’s meeting your needs; please drop me a line here on this UV item or directly at mwthomas at Microsoft dot com with your feedback!

Mark Wilson-Thomas
Program Manager, Visual Studio Editor Team


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  • Tim commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Is there a way to have structure guidelines for HTML tags when editing views? Indent works fine, but it would be nice to see the link between an opening and closing DIV tag for example.

    (I'm sure I used to have this, possibly via an add-in, in a previous VS version)

  • Andrei Mirea commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Productivity Power Tools 2015 rocks. Give it a try. And it has additional visual features you may never thought of, which come in very handy and makes coding a little more satisfying.
    Now, I wish I could edit the colors of the indent guides.
    @Mark Wilson-Thomas: please, if you are part of it, make it more discreet and somehow put it "beneath" the code cause the indent guides currently overlaps the code with Whitesmiths indentation style. Meanwhile I'll use the non-aware one since I can't code but in Whitesmiths style and keep Productivity Power Tools 2015 for Visual Studio related features like... everything else.
    I will check for updates or maybe somebody can tell me if I can "hack" the colors - make them more pale, or maybe the style (solid to dotted)

  • Jon Milliken commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Actually, could someone at Microsoft tell whomever is in charge of notepad to get rid of "Notepad" as a whole, and replace with "Notepad++". While we are at it, why WordPad too? I don't know anyone who has EVER used it.

  • Sergiu commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I prefer language-aware structure visualizer. Also in VS preview 5 i cannot see this feature yet? Should be there?

  • William Bosacker commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    This is hilarious. This already exists as a Microsoft Extension in all versions of Visual Studio since 2010. It is part of the "Productivity Power Tools <version>".

  • Tymek Majewski commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    @Mark Wilson-Thomas My vote goes to start with a basic one, and then extend it.

    Visual Studio Code supports vertical guide lines with "editor.renderIndentGuides": true,

  • Mark Wilson-Thomas commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Thanks for the input @xyz . Do others subscribed here feel the same way as @xyz does, that it's very valuable to see different colors for different kinds of block?


  • xyz commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    The language-aware structure visualizer should be used whenever possible because it shows different colors for different blocks. And if you use the right colors, you'll quickly see try/catch and loops (make sure those colors stand out more than say conditionals which are more common)

  • Mark Wilson-Thomas commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Hi Indent Guides Supporters:

    As noted above, we're looking at what we can include in the product in future releases.

    One question that we're considering is whether you would prefer to have simple indication of indents like the free indent guides extension:


    provides - which is purely indent based and not language aware - or whether you'd prefer the language-aware structure visualization that is provided by the Productivity Power Tools Structure Visualizer


    which is aware of block structure within a language and shows vertical lines based on that structure?

    We suspect that the language structure aware visualization is probably the more useful one, but want to hear your views.

    Mark Wilson-Thomas
    Program Manager, Visual Studio Editor Team

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