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Abhijit works at Microsoft as a .NET Consultant. He is a former Microsoft ASP.NET MVP, Code Project MVP and a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist on Web Development.
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Color Indicator for Code Changes – Track Changes in Visual Studio 2010

Mar 17 2011 3:09AM by Abhijit Jana   

“Track Change” one of the best interesting features in visual studio which indicates the code changes with a color indicator at the beginning of the line. Generally we know about the two color indicator “Green” and “Yellow” which are used indicting the color change till VS 2008 along with those VS 2010 introduced another new color “Orange” which indicates some additional track change for undoing file after save. In this blog post I am going to explain how those color indicator helps developers to track the code changes.

In Visual Studio 2010, there is three color indicator

Green color indicates the lines which you have edited before your last save. Save again the file and green mark will be disappear.

 

Yellow color indicates the lines which you have edited since the last save of that file. Yellow becomes Green after saving of the file. Once you close the file that indication disappears.

 

 

This color indication has newly introduced in VS 2010. This color will come when user does an undo after a save operation for that current file. Orange color indicates that current changed line is different from the saved version of the file.

How to Enable / Disable Track Change features ?

To enable or disable the “Track Change” features, Goto Tools > Options > TextEditor . In General section, you can checked or Unchecked the “Track Change” option .

Key Note : While you are using “Track Change” option, you have to select “Selection Margin” display option other wise, “Track Change” Won’t work.

One Quick Flow of “Track Change”

You have opened one code file in visual studio 2010 which having below lines of code. By default there is not color indicator with line number.

Now, you have started editing the file Yellow indicator shows , you have made changes on those line.

When you are done with your changes, Save the file. Green indicator shows, all of your changes has been saved.

Now, you have undoing the files after save, orange indicator saying that, the lines is different than the save version. It means, you have changed some thing on original file, saved it and again undo it.

When you first undoing it, it will be showing as “Yellow”, which means you are editing with this line, but when you have done with all the undoing for that line which is different the saved version colors becomes “Orange”. Which means, it is different than the saved version.

To get a clear , just compare the below two image . Yes, all the orange color marked line are similar with default version image.

Above shown is Default Code image

Above shown is “Orange” Indicator Image

But, the Saved version of the file is

Similarly, This Track changes also works for config files also.

Summary : “Track Change” is one very useful features in Visual studio , by which You can see where you have edited / saved on a file for that current VS IDE state . Green color indicates the lines which you have edited before your last save.Yellow color indicates the lines which you have edited since the last save of that file. Orange color indicates that current changed line is different from the saved version of the file.

If you want to know more about editor setting options , please check the below link

How to: Set Text Editor Options

To know more about the more useful Visual Studio Tips and Trick please follow Sara Ford’s Blog

Hope this will help you !

Thanks !

Tags: Visual Studio, ASP.NET, .NET, VS2010, BRH,


Abhijit Jana
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