TIP: Use Notepad++ to Count File Types

Tips, Visual Studio Team Services
A few days ago I found myself wanting to figure out how many filenames being written to a log file were JavaScript files. One of the build tasks for an automated build (in VSTS) was logging the names of every file, recursively, beneath the source folder. In this case, there were a total of 15,475 lines written to the build log file. The question I needed to answer was, how many of these files are JavaScript files? While there are likely many ways to answer this question, I decided to make use of Notepad++ since I already had it installed (it’s my go to text editor). So, how did I use Notepad++ to get the answer? Simple… Step 1 – Copy Results to Notepad++ Open the build results for the…
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MRU List in VSTS

Tips, Visual Studio Team Services
Yesterday, I posted an article about Controlling Preview Features in VSTS. In that article, we saw how you could enable the new VSTS account landing page experience. Not only does this change the landing page experience but it also updates the icon in the upper left hand portion of the menu bar as shown below. Before the new experience: You can see the drop-down menu in the above screenshot for the “old” experience. You can also see the contents of the drop-down menu below, which includes a most-recently used (MRU) list of team projects. After the new experience: Once you enable the new experience, you can see that the drop-down menu no longer exists, as shown in the screenshot above. Clicking on the project name simply takes you to the…
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VS Code + Ctrl+Shift+S = Wat?!

Tips, Visual Studio Code
Like many of you out there, I’ve been using Visual Studio (literally) ever since there was a Visual Studio (and Visual InterDev prior to that). One of the keyboard shortcuts that has been burned into the muscle memory of my left hand for years now is CTRL+SHIFT+S which is a common shortcut for “Save All”. I can’t claim that this keyboard shortcut has consistently mapped to “Save All” for the life of Visual Studio but it has definitely been around for quite a while (if not its entire life).I also can’t claim that CTRL+SHIFT+S is a well-known universal key combination for “Save All”. However, taking a quick look at a few apps on my workstation (that supports multiple tabs/documents being open/edited), here’s what I found: ApplicationCTRL+SHIFT+S = “Save All” Visual…
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VSTS Keyboard Shortcuts

Tips, Visual Studio Online
Computers have been part of my daily routine for many years now (over three decades!) and I’ve used a lot of software in that time. My primary applications tend to include various software development tools (such as Visual Studio, ReSharper, Fiddler, etc.), productivity software (such as Microsoft Office, various text editors, etc.) and so on. Over the years, I’ve found that if I used a command more than twice in a single session, I will take the time to learn the associated hotkey sequence – assuming one exists. For example, in Visual Studio, I tend to build the source code many times so Ctrl+Shift+B (or F6) is ingrained in my muscle memory. When I want to format the source code for an open code file, I’ll press Ctrl+K, Ctrl+D without…
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PSA: Backup Your BitLocker Key

OneDrive, Security, Tips
Windows BitLocker Drive Encryption is a feature integrated into Windows that allows you to encrypt data stored on your computer/tablet. For the most part, everything “just works” and you never have to think about BitLocker once you’ve enabled it on your computer. However, it is possible that BitLocker could encounter an issue or condition that prevents it from being able to unlock your drive. If you’ve encrypted a portable drive using BitLocker to Go, and you’ve forgotten the password, you will not be able to retrieve your files. That is, unless you have a BitLocker recover key. Creating a BitLocker recovery key is fairly quick and simple. You also have multiple options of where/how to store your recovery key. To create a BitLocker recovery key (for Windows 10): Press the…
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Windows 8 BitLocker Recovery Keys

OneDrive, Tips, Windows 8, Windows 8.1
With an ever-growing concern around data security, it’s no surprise that many companies (and individuals) make use of Microsoft’s BitLocker drive encryption technology. BitLocker, once enabled, will encrypt your entire drive (or drives) on your computer (e.g. desktop, laptop, or tablet). As long as your computer continues to run “normally”, things are hunky dory. However, if you end up in a “recovery” situation with your computer, you will need a BitLocker recovery key. Not just any recovery key, but a specific key that will work only with your computer. You’ll know you need your recovery key when you are presented with a screen that looks something like this: It is good practice to backup your BitLocker recovery key for just such an occasion. However, if you haven’t backed up your…
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TIP: Previous/Next Track Buttons in Windows 8.1

Tips, Windows 8.1
If you’re like me, you like to listen to music on your PC/laptop/tablet while you’re working. In my case, I happen to utilize the Windows 8.1 Xbox Music app (with Xbox Music Pass) which has become much better with the last couple of updates. There was, however, one feature that I really wanted – “previous/next track” keyboard shortcuts. Unfortunately, no shortcuts are provided out of the box with the Xbox Music app (or by Windows). Given this limitation, I had to turn to my keyboard. While there are many keyboards available with built-in previous/next track buttons, my keyboard is not one of them. However, I do happen to use Microsoft’s Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000. Assuming you have the Microsoft Mouse and Keyboard center installed (it’s installed automatically the first time…
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TIP: Visual Studio 2013 XAML Error

Tips, Visual Studio 2013, Windows 8.1
Since I upgraded to Windows 8.1 I’ve had various issues with Windows Store apps running in Visual Studio 2013. I would get strange debugger-related issues when I attempted to run an app though it would compile just fine. In fact, it didn’t matter if I ran the app locally or within the emulator, it would give me some strange debugger errors which were surfaced from non-managed code. I noticed that when I opened a XAML file in the XAML editor (within Visual Studio 2013) I would get the following error: I did some quick bing’n around for an answer and came across a post on Microsoft Connect that suggested drivers for a dual-video docking station might be at fault. It just so happens that I am using a Toshiba dynadock…
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TIP: Disable Spell Check and Autocorrect in Windows 8.1

Tips, Windows 8.1
For many of us, myself included, having automatic spell check integrated into most of the apps I use on a daily basis (including Windows Live Writer, which I am using to compose this post) has been a great productivity enhancer. However, there are certain scenarios where autocorrect, or automatically highlighting misspelled words, can be a nuisance. My native language is English and I have to admit that the spell check features in Windows 8.1 have worked pretty good for me. However, I have seen many reports of the spell check and autocorrect features being less than desirable for non-English languages (e.g. Spanish). There are plenty of examples where someone types something specific only to have autocorrect change it to something else just as you click/tap “send”. The ideal fix for…
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Where Did My Visual Studio 2013 Shortcuts Go?

Tips, Visual Studio 2013
If you have installed the recently-released Visual Studio 2013 you may have had to do a double take to find the Visual Studio 2013 shortcuts in your Start menu. In previous releases of Visual Studio, the Start menu folder the shortcuts are installed in have always been prefixed with “Microsoft”. For reasons unknown to me, Microsoft has removed the “Microsoft” prefix from the Visual Studio 2013 Start menu folder, as shown in the following screenshot: As you can see in the above screenshot, you have to scroll down a ways to find Visual Studio 2013. If you happen to have more applications installed that fall between the two, you may have to scroll quite a bit. This is not a huge problem, though I have been asked by others “why…
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