View Help with in Same Code Window – Peek Help in Visual Studio 2013

By | December 27, 2013

Peek Help feature enables the Visual Studio 2013 users to view the code help ( MSDN documentation ) with in same code window. This increases the overall productivity of the developers – getting things done without distracted by the other things. The Peek Help feature is very similar to the “View Code Definition”, where we have seen how Visual Studio code editor shows the code definition with in the same editor window (View Code Definition with in Same Code Window – Peek Definition in Visual Studio 2013). Whereas in the case of Peek Help, instead of the definition of selected types, this loads the MSDN documentation and view with in the code window.

To use this feature, you have to install the Visual Studio 2013 Productivity Power Tool

Once you have the power tool installed, select the type / definition for which you want to view the help.  You can perform that by doing following

  1. 1. Select the type and Press Alt + F1
  2. 2.  Select Peek Help from the Context Menu.

Visual Studio 2013 Tips and Tricks - Peek Help - Power Productivity Tool

On selection of Peek Help, Visual Studio displays the MSDN documentation in the same style that you have seen in the Peek Definition Window. Within the help documentation control, you can navigate like a browser and explore the documentation as similar to exploring in a web browser.

Visual Studio 2013 Tips and Tricks - Peek Help

In the editor window, you will find a “Read Only” icon indication, which indicates that this is just a help of the selected type and you cannot do further change. If you want to promote (Similar to Preview  Tab and Promote in Visual Studio)  this help, and wanted to view it in bigger windows, you can click on the “Promote to Document” option, to open the help in the browser windows.

Visual Studio 2013 Tips and Tricks - Peek Help - Promote to Document

If you are trying to search something from the peek help which does not exists, Peek Help will return the nearest possible matches.  If you have a class called “myClass” with type “MyCustomClass”, you may get the following result thorugh Peek Help.

Visual Studio 2013 Tips and Tricks - Peek Help Custom Search

Note : You need internet access to view the helps as this reads the content from MSDN directly.