Debugging Tips with Visual Studio 2010
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by Scott Guthrie
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TracePoints – Running a Custom Macro

In a talk I gave last week in London, someone in the audience asked whether it was possible to automatically output all of the local variables when a TracePoint was hit. 

This capability isn’t built-in to Visual Studio – but can be enabled by writing a custom Macro in Visual Studio, and then wiring up a TracePoint to call the Macro when it is hit.  To enable this, open up the Macros IDE within Visual Studio (Tools->Macros->Macros IDE menu command).  Then under the MyMacros node in the project explorer, select a module or create a new one (for example: add one named “UsefulThings”).  Then paste the following VB macro code into the module and save it:

Sub DumpLocals() 
        Dim outputWindow As EnvDTE.OutputWindow 
        outputWindow = 
DTE.Windows.Item(EnvDTE.Constants.vsWindowKindOutput).Object 
 
        Dim currentStackFrame As EnvDTE.StackFrame 
        currentStackFrame = DTE.Debugger.CurrentStackFrame 
 
        outputWindow.ActivePane.OutputString("*Dumping Local Variables*" + vbCrLf) 
        For Each exp As EnvDTE.Expression In currentStackFrame.Locals 
            outputWindow.ActivePane.OutputString(exp.Name + " = " + 
exp.Value.ToString() + vbCrLf) 
        Next 
    End Sub 

The above macro code loops through the current stack frame and dumps all local variables to the output window.


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