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Posted by on Apr 26, 2014 in Development

Zen Coding: My Latest Visual Studio PowerMove

Zen Coding: My Latest Visual Studio PowerMove

I’m a big Visual Studio user, it’s where 95% of my development happens. I also suffer the classic Developer problem of “too many ideas, not enough time” – so I’m always looking for ways to be more productive.

I was going through a tutorial yesterday, when the author casually threw this in, as a quick way of building up some web scaffolding:



Wait… WHAT?!

Someone has a way of making the boring part of HTML go away? Show me more!




What is this magic, and how can I get some?

This is Zen Coding – and I’ve no idea how it’s passed me by. Apparently it’s been a thing since 2008 and available for Visual Studio since the end of 2012. How much time have I wasted since then, endlessly creating tables, or div structures?

Right now, you can get it via Web Essentials. If you don’t know (and you should – call yourself a Developer!) – Web Essentials is a set of handy add-ons for people creating Web-based projects in Visual Studio. It’s written by Mads Kristenses (program manager at Microsoft) and is the “ASP.NET and Web Tools team’s official unofficial playground – owned and driven by the open source community”. It’s a bit like a Labs for Visual Studio. Often the features from Web Essentials eventually end up inside the main product.

There’s a full list of supported commands written up by John Papa on his blog.

My favourite Zen Coding PowerMove? Easy, has to be this:


Written by Tom Morgan

Tom is a Microsoft Teams Platform developer and Microsoft MVP who has been blogging for over a decade. Find out more.
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  1. What are those moving images? Are they sprites? How do you recorder them? Is it an auto play video on a loop? They seem so useful to make a point and I wonder why I hadn’t find them more often.

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