Download Pretty Paste now!

One of the things that have annoyed me about Visual Studio for many years, is the inconsistency when pasting code copied from websites. Depending on the browser you get different results. Consider the code snippet below copied from one of Sayed’s blog posts.


If I copy that from Internet Explorer and paste it into Visual Studio, this is what I get:


And copied from Chrome result in this:


As you can see, both browsers include the line numbers, but they interpret them differently. Both browsers fail to understand my intent for copying the text and it has been that way forever. Very annoying. In tooling, understanding the user’s intent is the holy grail.

So, in a rare moment of clarity a few days ago, I decided to fix this issue by writing an extension for Visual Studio - Pretty Paste. The idea is to inject some logic just before the regular Paste command in VS executes. That logic will quickly analyze the text being pasted and correct any non-intended line numbers and extra blank lines.

With Pretty Paste, the result of pasting the above code sample now shows this:


It automatically formats the code I pasted using the settings from each individual language. Here, my settings are set to use spaces instead of tabs and that is respected.

In the case where you actually wanted the raw copied text instead of the cleaned up version provided by Pretty Paste, you can just undo the paste once to get the raw paste. Here’s the result of a Pretty Paste followed by an undo:


This way we can have the best of both worlds. You decide. Nothing is lost.

Pretty Paste is my 6th Visual Studio extension and I love that extensibility let’s me fix use cases that are important to me. The code is simple, short and sweet. Check it out on GitHub and fork away. Pull requests are more then welcome.


Recently, a lot of people have asked for Intellisense support for AngularJS in the Visual Studio HTML editor. The bad news is that there is no extensibility for providing additional HTML attribute Intellisense, so I can’t ship this support in Web Essentials.

The good news is that we can accomplish this through a more manual mechanism.


Here’s what you need to do:

Step 1

Find the file commonHTML5Types.xsd located in the Visual Studio install directory and back it up (just in case). Mine is here:C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 11.0\Common7\Packages\schemas\html

Step 2

Download this new version of commonHTML5Types.xsd and replace the existing one from the directory in Step 1 with it.

Step 3

Restart Visual Studio and that's it. You now have all the ng-* attributes available in Intellisense. This Works On My Machinetm, so please let me know if it works on yours too.

I still want to add native support in either Visual Studio or Web Essentials, so if this is something you’re interested in, please vote for it here.


Today the ASP.NET and Web Tools 2012.2 update was released. Go download it right now!

It contains a lot of new and updated Visual Studio tooling features including:

  • First class LESS editor
  • Knockout.js Intellisense
  • Paste JSON as classes
  • CoffeeScript editor
  • Mustache/Handlebars/JsRender syntax highlighting
  • Page Inspector
    • Live CSS auto-sync as you type
    • JavaScript selection mapping and callstack

Some of them are features that started their lives in Web Essentials 2012 and are now ported into an official release. Every time we move features from the experimental Web Essentials extension into the official product, we try to make the transition as smooth as possible.

However, this time we moved some substantial features that are mutually exclusive – they register the same MEF components and that leads to this rather ugly exception:

An exception has been encountered. This may be caused by an extension

This exception occurs when Web Tools 2012.2 is installed and you haven’t updated Web Essentials to version 2.5. The solution is simply to update Web Essentials. Go do that now. If you don’t have Web Essentials installed at all, you won’t get this error because then there is no conflict.


Nerd alert: This post is only for crazy website performance freaks. Proceed at your own risk.

The holy grail for us crazy website performance freaks is to reach a perfect score of 100/100 in Google Page Speed without sacrificing important features of the website we’re building. One of those important features is Google Analytics. Gotta have Google Analytics, right?!

Let’s say that you’ve optimized your website to the perfect score of 100/100 and now decide to add Google Analytics. Too bad, your score is now 98/100. That’s because the ga.js JavaScript file loaded from Google’s servers doesn’t have a far-future expires HTTP header. To get the perfect score back, we need to fix this problem.

Getting back to 100/100

Here’s a solution that I use on one of my websites. It involves the addition of a single .ashx file to your web project. It’s isolated, safe to use and works.

The role of the .ashx file is to act as a proxy to the Google Analytics ga.js script file by downloading its content and serving it with a sufficient expires header. It caches the script file on the server, so it doesn’t have to download the ga.js file every time a visitor hits your website.

Step 1: Add an empty .ashx file (Generic Handler) to the root of you project and call it ga.ashx.

Step 2: Copy this code into the .ashx file you created in step 1.

Step 3: Modify the Google Analytics tracking script on your page to look like this:

    var _gaq = _gaq || [];
    _gaq.push(['_setAccount', 'UA-12345678-9']);

<script src="/ga.ashx" async="async" defer="defer"></script>

Voila! That’s it. You now have the perfect score back.

Optional step 4: Don’t like the .ashx extension? Then change it to .js by adding this to the web.config:

    <rule name="analytics">
      <match url="^ga.js" />
      <action type="Rewrite" url="ga.ashx" />

You need to add it to the <system.webServer> section of web.config. Remember to run the AppPool in Integrated Pipeline Mode for the <system.webServer> section to kick in.

Then just change the script tag to this:

<script src="/ga.js" async="async" defer="defer"></script>

Wait, is this a good idea?

I’ll let you be the judge of that. What I can tell you is that this exact code is running on one of my websites and it reports data to Google Analytics just fine.

Does it work? Yes
Is it cool? Totally
Should I do it? N/A


imageIn the beginning of January, we released the Web Developer Checklist with great interest from the general web community. The checklist helps raising awareness of common best practices for building websites.

It was always the plan to branch the checklist out into technology specific checklists to make it even easier to apply all the best practices.

Today we’re excited to announce the first technology specific checklist – the ASP.NET Developer Checklist. It contains links to many ASP.NET specific tools and solutions to common problems.

Not only is it a great tool for all ASP.NET developers to learn from, but also to track the progress of implementing the various best practices.

We hope it will be received well and add value to the millions of ASP.NET developers worldwide. In the meantime we will be working on finishing another ASP.NET specific checklist that focuses on website performance.

ASP.NET is just the first of many web technologies to receive its own checklist, so remember to check the Web Developer Checklist often for updates.