How many times have you ever stopped the debugger only to go back to your code and say:
$#@! – what was the value of that variable again???
One of the nice things about pinned DataTips is that they keep track of their “last value from debug session” – and you can look these values up within the VB/C# code editor even when the debugger is no longer running.
DataTips are by default hidden when you are in the code editor and the debugger isn’t running. On the left-hand margin of the code editor, though, you’ll find a push-pin for each pinned DataTip that you’ve previously setup:
Hovering your mouse over a pinned DataTip will cause it to display on the screen. Below you can see what happens when I hover over the first pin in the editor – it displays our debug session’s last values for the “Request” object DataTip along with the comment we associated with them:
This makes it much easier to keep track of state and conditions as you toggle between code editing mode and debugging mode on your projects.
Importing/Exporting Pinned DataTips
As I mentioned earlier in this post, pinned DataTips are by default saved across Visual Studio sessions (you don’t need to do anything to enable this).
VS 2010 also now supports importing/exporting pinned DataTips to XML files – which you can then pass off to other developers, attach to a bug report, or simply re-load later.
Combined with the new support for importing/exporting breakpoints, this makes it much easier for multiple developers to share debugger configurations and collaborate across debug sessions.