Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Classic Rock evolved into Heavy Metal

Mihnea Balta released MetalScroll, a great replacement for the superb Visual Studio Add-In RockScroll:

MetalScroll is an alternative for RockScroll, a Visual Studio add-in which replaces the editor scrollbar with a graphic representation of the code. Compared to the original, this version has a number of improvements:

  • The widget at the top of the scrollbar which splits the editor into two panes is still usable when the add-in is active.
  • You must hold down ALT when double-clicking a word to highlight all its occurrences in the file
  • Lines containing highlighted words are marked with 5x5 color blocks on the right edge of the scrollbar, to make them easier to find (similar to breakpoints and bookmarks).
I have used RockScroll for a while, but encountered some bad Visual Studio crashs if I changed from code view to the Windows Forms Designer and as a consequence I had to uninstall it. Later I asked Scott Hanselman (@shanselman), who released RockScroll on his website, if he could contact the RockScroll author Rocky Downs and ask him for the source code, so I could fix it and might release it as open source, but Scott Hanselman never got an answer from the RockScroll author. You can imagine how pleasantly surprised I was after I had read the MetalScroll news from Johan Andersson (@repi) today.

My favorite feature is not the smart Scrollbar nor the cool splitter, it's the word occurrence highlighting, a feature that I missed since I worked with Eclipse years ago.
MetalScroll works with Visual Studio 2005 and 2008 and it's free and even open source! So don't hesitate, download and install this great Visual Studio add-in now. You won't be disappointed.

Thanks Mihnea Balta for your awesome work!


  1. Who needs this when you have tools like Resharper?

  2. I'm not a ReSharper expert, but as far as I know it doesn't come with such a Scrollbar or the word occurrence highlighting feature, which is the main reason I'm using it. And you should not forget that MetalScroll works also for C/C++, ... and not only for .Net like ReSharper. Oh, and MetalScroll is free and open source.

  3. I'm using VS2005. I have uninstalled RockScroll and enabled horizontal scroll bar but it is still not showing up. I have looked at the Add-In Manager as well and it is also not there.

  4. I'm afraid I can't help you, but the author of MetalScroll wrote on his Google Code site:
    "I can be reached at for questions, comments, patches, spam etc."

    So you might want to contact him.