Vishful thinking…

"Task List" feature in Visual Studio 2005

Posted in Visual Studio 2005 by viswaug on September 7, 2007

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One of the less known features in Visual Studio is the “Task List” window. It helps you maintain a “To Do” list of sorts inside Visual Studio 2005. I, personally wasn’t aware of this feature until sometime last year and found this feature to be very handy at times.


When you select “Comments” from the drop down list on the top, you will see a list of all the places where you have used a ‘TODO: in your code. The “TODO” here acts as an identifier and any comment that starts with ‘TODO: can be seen the list inside the “Task List” window. This list also acts as bookmarks. Double-clicking any item in the list takes you to the file and line where ‘TODO: is found. There are a couple of other identifier that are in Visual Studio 2005 by default. New identifier tags can also be added as required in the “Tools” -> Options” dialog. In the “Options” dialog, select the “Environment -> Task List” option on the left pane. The screen below shows how to add a new identifier.



Now any comment in your code that starts with an ‘REFACTOR: will also be listed in the “Task List” window.


When you select “User Tasks” from the drop down list on the top, the “Task List” window displays a list where new tasks can be added. This a a real simple list where you can add and manage task items that you need to keep track of. When a task is completed, the checkbox on the task item can be checked, which will strike the text in the task. Even though these features may not meet all the requirements for a good “To Do” list, it is handy and can be used in moderation to be useful.