1. Install Visual Assist

  1. Exit all instances of Visual Studio.
  2. Run the .exe installer you downloaded from this website.
  3. Select the IDE(s) you want to install to.
  4. If you selected Visual Studio 2017, install any dependent components.

2. Launch Visual Studio

Browse through the tips-of-the-day and learn about some of the components and commands of Visual Assist.

Tip of the Day

3. Open a solution

Visual Assist will come alive after it finishes parsing.

Parsing

4. Look around

Open the VAssistX menu. You will use the menu primarily to open tool windows, review keyboard shortcuts, and access the options dialog.

VAssistX Menu

Appreciate the understated UI to Visual Assist. There are just a few visible changes.

Visual Studio after installation of Visual Assist

5. Change a few settings

If you like meaningful synxtax coloring, open the options dialog for Visual Assist and apply coloring to more of the UI.

Visual Studio after installation of Visual Assist

If you highlight the current line, choose a thin frame that doesn't obscure your code.

Option for thin frame

Then, open the options dialog to Visual Studio and eliminate the redundant navigation bar. The version in Visual Assist includes the functionality of the built-in one.

Disable built-in navigation bar

After making the changes, Visual Studio is ready to use.

Visual Studio after making popular changes

6. Learn a few shortcuts

Open a dialog of new keyboard shortcuts by selecting VAssistX | Help | Keyboard Shortcuts. Hover in the dialog for command meanings.

Keyboard Shortcuts

Take the recommended shortcuts. Some of these, like Shift+Alt+O at global scope, are important.

Recommended Keyboard Shortcuts

Learn which shortcuts to use in the next learning resource, Top 10 Features.

7. Discover features in the options dialog

Browse the options dialog for Visual Assist, bit by bit, to find features that fit into your workflow. Hover over any setting to see its explanation.

Options Dialog

8. Dive into documentation from any dialog

Click the ? icon in any Visual Assist dialog you use often to learn advanced usage of the feature.

Dialog Help Icon

9. Learn more

Return to online resources to become a power user of Visual Assist.

Tutorial Thumbnail

10. Stay informed

Learn about new features and bug fixes by following us on social media or by reading our what's-new page when notified of a new build.