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Using InterDev's Toolbox


Tip of the month - Using the InterDev Toolbox

Did you know that the InterDev Toolbox allows you to add you own custom

tabs?  This feature allows you to access frequently used snippets of code in

an instant.  To use a snippet of code in your current page just double click

on it and it will be inserted at the current cursor location or you can use drag

and drop to place the snippet anywhere in the page.  This sure beats the old

copy / paste method.  I have several custom tabs set up in my

toolbox.  One of the most common things I use this for is for setting up

ADO connections and recordsets.  I just drag a connection into my page,

choose a recordset (server-side, client-side, static, dynamic, whatever) and I'm

ready to go.  A by product of this is that all of my ADO code is standard

throughout my entire site (complete with comments), even across multiple sites

as far as that goes.  If I need error logging or transactions, I just drag

them onto my page.  When I'm finished, I just drag the code over to close

the recordset, close the connection and kill the ado objects.  Another

handy tab I have is for setting up crystal reports.  Certain code always

needs to be included for every crystal report.  Simple just drag

it in, then I just drag in my special crystal reports recordsets, one for each

sub-report, drag in my code for passing in parameters if I have any, and finally

drag in my code that calls the crystal viewer.  Even if you use include

files to do some of this now, you still need to type in the #include

statement.  Why not just drag it in.  With this method you can

type up a few good comments once and be assured that they

are included every time.  This works especially well with code

that has several parameters that need to be set up (like error logging

or VB script functions).  Just create a code snippet that acts like a

template.  For the places that require data to be

entered just type in something like ***INSERT TABLENAME HERE***.  Its easier than typing the code over and over and you

don't have to worry about syntax errors either.  The possibilities are

endless.  Oh yea, its easy to create snippets too.  All you need to do

is highlight a section of code, drag it to your Toolbox, and rename it to

something meaningful.  By the way this feature has been integrated into Visual Studio

and will be part of the IDE for all programming languages in Visual

Studio.NET.  I am surprised by the number of web developers who do not use

this feature or who have no idea it even exists.  Start using this today

and I guarantee you, your Toolbox will be full of snippets in two weeks.

Creating Tabs in your Toolbox

Right click on an empty spot in your Toolbox

Creating New Snippet

under the Tab

Open a tab in your toolbox by clicking on it.

Highlight some code in your page and drag it to an empty spot in the Toolbox.

A new item will be created named "HTML Fragment"

Rename the New Snippet

Right Click on HTML Fragment and choose rename from the popup menu.

My Toolbox after some customizing


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