The best extensions for Visual Studio 2012

By Ugo Lattanzi on Aug. 22nd , 2012 in .NET | comments

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Visual Studio 2012 is absolutely the best IDE in the world and, with the latest version, it has sorted most of the big problems (from my point of view the previous version was a bit slow).

I'm not a big fan of extensions because they often make Visual Studio unstable and/or slow, but I'll make an exception because it this case it's incredibly cool!

Resharper 7

It doesn’t need presentation. It’s absolutely the best Add-On for Visual Studio (I use it probably from the first version);

Below a cool video by Hadi Hariri

More info Download Cost: Free for opensource and MVP, 47€$ academic, 189€ Personal License, 332€ Commercial (+VAT for all licenses)

Vs Commands

Like Resharper I really love it because introduces some interesting features like Settings Synchronization (using DropBox, Skydrive or whatever you want). Moreover it highlights important messages in Output Windows (red for errors, yellow for warning, etc.), shows branch name into the solution, locate in solution and my favorite feature : Attacch To IIS Process.

If you need to debug your web application, a simple click on a button (or a shortcut if you prefer) and you got the IIS process attached into Visual Studio.

More info Download Cost: Free


It's a incredible tool that improves your code quality. In fact, combined with R#, it analyzes C# source code to enforce a set of style and consistency rules (naming convention, code documentation, maintainability, spacing, etc.). If you don't use R# you can use also StyleCop inside Visual Studio or jut at compile time with MsBuild.

More info Download Cost: Free

Ghost Doc

It’s a cool extensions that helps you to document your methods starting from naming convention or copying from base method. Unluckily there isn’t yet a stable version for VS2012 but I’m using the beta and it seems to work well.

More info Download Cost: Free for the basic version and from 25% to 50$ for the Pro

Image Optimizer

It’s a cool extension made by Mads Kristensen ( that optimizes your images directly inside Visual Studio. Right click on the folder or on the image and “Optimize Image”. You can see the compression result into the output window of Visual Studio.

More info and Download Cost: Free

SlowCheetah - XML Transforms

Is another interesting extension. It adds xml transformation for all xml files (not just for .config) and, only for the client application, applies the transformation directly when you push F5 from Visual Studio.

More info and Download Cost: Free

Web Essentials 2012

I’m not a web designer and I’m absolutely away to be a guru of CSS but that extension is really cool. Something I’ve to change a css color, class, or add a fallback for and old browser or a new no-standard feature (webkit, moz, prefixes for example).

Get Microsoft Silverlight

Get Microsoft Silverlight

More info and Download Cost: Free

Which is your favorite?