After working intimately with IntelliJ and Eclipse on previous projects, Visual Studio seems like such a beast for doing very simple things. Resharper makes it bearable though has a cost of its own. Our team has been playing around with trying to speed up the responsiveness. Here’s a few things we’ve tried that have worked at least most of the time:
- Close the Toolbox tab – Even with just the tab closed, VS2005 still seems to use resources to keep it up to date. By removing it from your workspace, the project pane and other windows appear much more responsive.
- Turn Off Animated Windows – When VS2005 gets sluggish, expanding and hiding tabs can appear horrendously slow as the screen repaints. Turning this option off helped a little bit. Uncheck the box found under Tools … Options … Environment … General … Animate Environment
- Turn off the VS2005 File Navigator – With resharper installed, you don’t need VS2005 to update the list of methods and fields at the top of the file (CTRL-F12 does this nicely). I’ve hardly even noticed the small panel that sits at the top of the file you’re editing but apparently it takes quite a lot of effort for VS2005 to keep it up to date. Disable the Navigation Bar checkbox under Tools … Options … Text Editor … All Languages … Display.
- Disable Startup Page – Wondered why VS2005 seemed sluggish on start up? It’s probably because it’s trying to download something from the Internet by default. Turn off the main startup page and the “live” content by unchecking the box found under Tools … Options … General … Startup … “Download content every”. I’d also change the “At Startup” option to “Show Empty Environment”.
- Install Cool Commands – When you use Track Active Item in the Explorer pane, collapsing projects to run tests of various kinds can be hard. Cool Commands has some helpful things like Collapse All Projects so you don’t have to do it yourself when running tests.
I’d enjoy hearing anything else that anyone else may have tried to continue making VS2005 productive for you.