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I came across this add-in for Visual Studio the other day that is subtle but added some productivity features to Visual Studio for me.  It’s called Tabs Studio.

NOTE: I’m not getting a complimentary license for this add-in and have already purchased my own license with my own money.  This is an unsolicited opinion.

For me Tabs Studio does two things: organize my open content better and enables me to more quickly close/manage the open tabs.  Take a look at the before after of the same content open in VS:

Visual Studio 2008 tabs normal

In the before I have all the tabs open and can only close them one at a time (i.e., can’t selectively close a tab without first activating it).  Additionally, It is shown in order of opening.  I may have MainPage.xaml somewhere along the project, but not right next to the MainPage.xaml.cs file that I also need.  On a recent project I had about 15 files open at once and hunting to find the related ones was a nuisance when you needed to be fast.  Now look at the after:

Visual Studio 2008 tabs with Tabs Studio

Same amount of tabs open, but the “related” ones are automatically grouped for me, and the bold shows which one is open.  Additionally I can selectively close the code file without first activating the tab (each tab in Tabs Studio has a close button like Firefox tabs implementation).  This is great.

What’s the best part?  It’s all XAML!  The Tabs Studio is a WPF control that you can customize to your liking by putting your own styles in the settings pane using BasedOn styling:

Tabs Studio Settings dialog

Very cool  So far this little add-in is helping me just a tad more productive and it stays out of my way!

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