Top Plugins for Visual Studio

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Microsoft Visual Studio has several plugins and extensions that can enhance the software development process so developers can produce higher-quality products faster. Here is a list of some of the top Visual Studio plugins.

What Is Microsoft Visual Studio?

Visual Studio


The question “what is Microsoft Visual Studio?” is answered succinctly on the product’s home page: “It’s how you make software.” Whether you want to build, code, deploy, debug, analyze, learn, or collaborate, Visual Studio is Microsoft’s integrated development environment (IDE) that can help. Developers use Visual Studio to create web applications, mobile apps, web services, websites, and computer programs. And with the help of Visual Studio plugins (aka extensions or add-ons), their jobs can become much easier.

The Best Visual Studio Plugins

Could many of your software development needs be fulfilled by Visual Studio’s out-of-the-box functionality and features? Sure, but with so many free and paid Visual Studio extensions available, why not use them to unlock your development potential? Here are some of the best Visual Studio extensions you can find in the Visual Studio Marketplace.

Visual Studio IntelliCode

You can increase your productivity and boost your workflow as a developer using Visual Studio Intellicode’s machine-learning skills that make it easier to understand code and its context. The plugin supports multiple languages, including XAML, C#, C++, and JavaScript, and it boasts such features as code formatting, argument completion, style rule inference, and contextual IntelliSense.

Magical C# Debugging – Ozcode

Install Ozcode, and its creator claims that you can transform debugging from a dull and daunting task into a fun and simple one. Ozcode is a Visual Studio plugin that dissects your code and detects and isolates bugs, making them easier to fix. Use it, and you can decrease your debugging time and increase your productivity and available time for more critical tasks.

While Visual Studio has its own debugger, programmers can integrate it with Ozcode for even more functionality since it can predict the future of a function code execution and offer valuable insights for faster problem-solving. Your debugging sessions can end quicker than ever with Ozcode’s features, which include evaluating expressions, comparing objects, creating tracepoints, and searching for properties. Since studies show that developers spend about half their time on debugging, it is no wonder why so many have downloaded Ozcode to save time on this essential task.


Nearly two million developers have installed ReSharper, one of Microsoft Visual Studio’s most popular productivity plugins. With it, you can spend less time on menial, repetitive tasks and concentrate on more important things. You can decrease your development time and increase your efficiency with ReSharper’s features, which include support for multiple programming languages (C#, XML, CSS, HTML, etc.), automatic error checking, code correction, and more. If you want to write better code faster, ReSharper is one of the top Visual Studio extensions for doing so.

Visual Studio Spell Checker

Long hours of coding can lead to exhaustion and eventual spelling errors. Visual Studio Spell Checker protects against this problem by checking spelling in plain text, strings, comments, projects, selected items, and entire solutions. The editor extension will check your spelling as you type so you can spot any errors immediately.


There are several reasons to download the SlowCheetah plugin or extension for Visual Studio. It can come in handy if you have ever wanted to do the following:

  • Preview your XML transform without building or publishing your app
  • Transform XML files via simple and clean syntax
  • Use different appSettings, connection strings, and more for debug and release when building an app
  • Adjust WCF service configuration with ease

Press F5 in Visual Studio and SlowCheetah will automatically transform your app.config or other files.


SonarLint is an open-source and free Visual Studio plugin that helps you pinpoint coding errors in terms of quality and security and fix them before they become problematic. The extension supports C#, JavaScript, C, C++, and other languages. Install it if you want to write clean code, as SonarLint works like a spell-checker by offering real-time feedback and highlighting errors like bugs, security vulnerabilities, and code smells so your code is as issue-free as possible. And, while spotting errors and telling programmers how to fix them is reason enough to install SonarLint, it also tells you why such issues are problematic, so you get a better understanding of the process. In doing so, you can start recognizing the issues on your own to prevent them in the future.


CodeMaid is a Microsoft Visual Studio extension that promises to do a developer’s “dirty work.” It does this by cleaning up and simplifying coding for C3, C++, JavaScript, CSS, HTML, XML, PHP, etc. Over one million developers have installed CodeMaid for its wide variety of features, including code cleaning, code digging, code reorganizing, comment formatting, and more.

Image Optimizer

Programmers can achieve faster-loading applications with the Image Optimizer plugin for Visual Studio. Use it to optimize images in varying formats, such as PNG, JPEG, and GIFs (even animated ones). The extension offers both lossless and lossy optimization and works on entire folders or single images. All you have to do is right-click on the folder or file of interest, select the Image Optimizer option, and choose between Best Quality or Best Compression.

Trailing Whitespace Visualizer

Are you tired of annoying invisible characters in your code? Then you may want to do what nearly 250,000 developers have done and install the Trailing Whitespace Visualizer extension.

This Visual Studio plugin makes it easier to keep your code clean by highlighting and removing any trailing whitespace. Use its remove on save feature to eliminate all trailing whitespace every time you save a file, or use the ignore rules feature to specify file patterns you want to ignore.


You can achieve consistent code formatting and style if you install Prettier for Microsoft Visual Studio. The opinionated code formatter is free and easy to use and gives you a simplified way to format code properly.


VSColorOutput uses specified rules consisting of regular expressions to tweak a line’s color emitted to the output window. The rules map to classifications, which convert the map into colors. By default, patterns mark build errors in red and warnings in yellow. Any successful build messages are colored green.

VSColorOutput’s creators claim that they created the Visual Studio plugin to highlight trace output during the debugging process, and it appears as if nearly 500,000 developers have downloaded it to do the same. Since the tool also highlights lines in the build window, it makes it a lot easier to visually parse output and quickly pinpoint specific items.

File Icons

When using Visual Studio, you may notice that the IDE does not offer icons for some files. File Icons is an extension that fixes this issue. Install it like over 450,000 other developers have, and it will add icons to files not recognized by Solution Explorer.

Enrique Stone
Enrique Stone
Enrique is a writer who specializes in SEO, social media, and web design content.

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