Matching Paired Punctuation

Sunday May 2nd 1999 by Lars Bergstrom

Matching Paired Punctuation

At least in my opinion, the largest feature lacking from the Visual Studio editing environment is emacs-style paren-matching. While it is impossible (so far as I know) to do *real* highlighting back to the matching punctuation pair (in VStudio-macro-land, changes of selection aren't reflected in a screen update until end-of-macro), it is possible to get the next best thing.

As is documented in each of the 'NewRightPunctuation' functions, simply rebind each of the right paren, right bracket, and right curly brace keys to these new functions. They will insert the character, call the Visual Studio function to match on back to the correct character, blink around it 'a bit', and then hop on back to the correct point to continue typing.

The only caveat? The number of times to blink around is *very* machine-dependant. Fifty seems to work well on a P2-400; alter to your own preferences. It's in the MatchEnclosing() function's call to SwapAroundCharacter(n) -- just change 'n'.

Sub NewRightParen()
'DESCRIPTION This should be bound to ')' in order to gain the matching
End Sub

Sub NewRightBracket()
'DESCRIPTION This should be bound to ']' in order to gain the matching
End Sub

Sub NewRightCurlyBrace()
'DESCRIPTION This should be bound to '}' in order to gain the matching
End Sub

Sub InsertCharAndMatchEnclosing(ch)
 ActiveDocument.Selection = ch

End Sub

Sub MatchEnclosing()
'DESCRIPTION Blinks around the matching punctuation and then hops on back
 lCurrentColumn = ActiveDocument.Selection.CurrentColumn
 lCurrentLine = ActiveDocument.Selection.CurrentLine

 ExecuteCommand "GoToMatchBrace"


 ActiveDocument.Selection.MoveTo lCurrentLine, lCurrentColumn
End Sub

Sub SwapAroundCharacter(numIterations)
 nIterator = 0

 While nIterator < numIterations
 nIterator = nIterator + 1
 ActiveDocument.Selection.CharRight dsExtend
 ActiveDocument.Selection.CharLeft dsExtend
End Sub
Again, to install these, simply save them into a macro file, load it into Visual Studio, then go to Tools->Customize. If you select the Keyboard tabbie and then change the category to Macros, the NewRight* functions should appear. I'd recommend changing the Editor field to Text and then going on ahead and binding the right bracket, right curly, and right paren keys to each of the appropriate macros.

Date Posted May 2, 1999

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