Get the most out of Output Window in Visual Studio

Get the most out of Output Window in Visual Studio

The Visual Studio Output window displays status messages for various features within IDE include build errors, compilation error, project configuration information, which occur when a project is compiled. This window is very much important to see what your application is doing during the build and further using those logs for troubleshooting. Apart from just reading the logs and using it for troubleshooting, there are several sets of features which we must know to get most out of it.

#1 – Enable / Disable Toggle Word Wrap:

Like Visual Studio Code Editor, you can also enable Word wrap to adjust the long line of messages in multiple lines based on the editor view area. This is for improving the readability.

#2 – Save the Output Window content

This is a very handy tip for every developer incase you want to save content from the output window to a text file. During debugging much time we refer the content of Visual Studio Output Window ( either it is a debug, build etc. options), and may consider to save them for future reference or share across developer. Most of the time developers seem to be copy and paste the content into a text file. Here is a quiets way to avoid copy past and save the content directly.

Read Complete Tip : Did you know– you can save the Output Window content directly in Visual Studio?

#3 – Displaying detailed output of MSBuild

By default Visual Studio doesn’t show the detailed output of MSBuild in output windows. And to be honest you really don’t need to check them most of the time. But there are some cases, when you want to identify very specific project build related issues, or diagnose some build error, having this enabled would be extremely helpful.

To enable the detailed output of the MSBuild in the output window, navigate to:
Tools –> Options –> Projects and Solutions –> Build and Run

Here are the sample screenshots of different build output window when different build verbosity was selected.



Read Complete TipDisplaying detailed output of MSBuild in Visual Studio Output Window


#4 – Automatically Show the Output Window During Build in Visual Studio

if you want to see the output window every time, whenever your build start, you need to do a small settings.

You can do  a small settings from Tools > Options > Project and Solutions , then Select Show Output window when build starts


Read Complete Tip :   Automatically Show the Output Window During Build in Visual Studio

#5 – Filtering the Output Windows messages

During debugging, Visual Studio debugs Output window shows a different set of essential messages. This could be exception information, process exit information, thread exit information etc. However in many cases you don’t need them to view or it may distract you with lots of messages which is not required. In that case, you can filter them out as per your exact need. This is how you can keep the debug output window as clean as you want also can focus on what data is required for you.

You can set it up from Tools –> Option –> Debugging –> Output Window as well



Read Complete Post : Filtering the Output Windows messages to focus on what is required 

Hope this helps !



Abhijit Jana

Abhijit runs the Daily .NET Tips. He started this site with a vision to have a single knowledge base of .NET tips and tricks and share post that can quickly help any developers . He is a Former Microsoft ASP.NET MVP, CodeProject MVP, Mentor, Speaker, Author, Technology Evangelist and presently working as a .NET Consultant. He blogs at , you can follow him @AbhijitJana . He is the author of book Kinect for Windows SDK Programming Guide.

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