Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Selection in Visual Studio 2008 SP1 RTM (Multiple Control Formatting at it's best]

Last week, I have installed Visual Studio 2008 SP1 RTM and I am happy to bring a new feature in your knowledge [i.e. multiple selection and alignment operations in Design]. This feature has been introduced in Visual Studio 2008 SP1 RTM and Visual Web Developer Express 2008 SP1 RTM.

I do understand that designing pages using absolute positioning of elements is a tedious task and some people avoids it. However we have to been relying on the functionality that Visual Studio used to provide since VS 2002 and expected feature to stay in subsequent versions.

But the things are changing rapidly here. In VS 2008 Microsoft Visual Studio Product Group has replaced old IE based designer by a new designer that is shared with Expression Web and is based on former FrontPage technologies. But neither FrontPage nor Expression Web ever had multiple selection functionality in their releases, even Visual Interdev 98 is amongst the same page with these tools, Thus it took us some time to implement the feature in the new code base and it was not yet ready for SP1 Beta release.

Due to time constraints, not all functionality available in VS 2005 will become available in VS 2008 SP1. Here is what will be included:

1. Multiple selection using Ctrl+Click
2. Primary selection is indicated by white tab
3. Position menu with Absolute and Relative sub items
4. Align, Make Same Size and Order menus commands.
5. Ability to apply property to multiple controls in the Properties window
6. Delete multiple controls

Excluded Functionality :

1. Ability to drag multiple controls
2. Cut/Copy/Paste multiple elements

But its an interesting move: look at these pictures.