Simplify Your Visual Studio for Mac Experience

If you’re a .Net developer with a Mac and love Visual Studio, you’ve probably tried out the fullish¬†Visual Studio application that was released back in September of 2017. My experience has been pretty good with my normal development tasks (ASP.Net Core) but besides some missing functionality, one of my biggest pain points has to do with one of the latest editions to the MacBook Pro line which is the Touch Bar. I know, shocker, a developer complaining about the Touch Bar. I’m sure you can also guess that my main frustration is with the Function keys being replaced by app specific Touch Bar enhancements. In some scenarios, this is really cool. In Visual Studio, this is not.

Thankfully, there’s a fairly easy solution that I have only just learned about and wanted to share. You can make the Function keys show up by default for¬†specific apps. That way you can enjoy all the Touch Bar goodness for other apps and control your brightness, etc. without fully converting to Function keys everywhere. Sweet!

Here’s How:


  1. Select Apple Icon from top-left of screen
  2. Select System Preferences
  3. Select Keyboard
  4. Shortcuts
  5. Select Function Keys
    • Click the + icon and add your desired app (Visual Studio in this case)

Keyboard settings in System Preferences showing Visual Studio app

Allow Visual Studio to Recommend NuGet Packages

I first saw this on Scott Hanselman’s blog the other day and wanted to share the tip. Additional details can be found from his blog here. Please note that this feature is only available on Visual Studio 2015 Update 3 and up.

Steps to Enable:
1. Launch Visual Studio 2017
2. Select Tools > Options
3. Select Text Editor > C# > Advanced

Now Visual Studio will give you an additional choice when you try and use a type that doesn’t exist to use a NuGet package that has that defined type. Awesome!

Some may note that this feature has been in Resharper for awhile now but seeing this integrated into the default IDE is a huge plus.